Robert (Bob) L. Jackson, 88, passed away the morning of Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at Portneuf Regional Medical Center from complications of pneumonia.
Bob was born Dec. 7, 1929, in Oakland, CA, to Florence and Harold Jackson. He had an older sister, Donna Rae. When Bob was a child, his father was a cook for the railroad, so the family relocated several times, eventually making their home in Rupert, ID, where his family owned and operated a restaurant. Bob attended elementary schools in Twin Falls, ID, as well as Rupert. In 1947, he graduated from Rupert High School. He spent one year at Southern Idaho College of Education in Albion, ID, then attended Idaho State College in Pocatello, graduating with a BA in Education in 1951. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from ISU in 1960.
Bob married Marilyn Hubble in 1957. They had two children, Kirk and Stephanie, and later divorced. Bob married Susan Ballard in 1979, and the couple just celebrated their 39th anniversary on August 4.
Bob began his teaching career at Malta Junior High in 1951. After a year in Malta, he transferred to Paul Elementary School and taught there until he joined the Army in 1954. He served two years as a supply clerk in Paris, France. After an honorable discharge from the service, Bob returned to teaching in Paul. In 1959, Bob and his family moved to American Falls, where he taught at the junior high school. He was head teacher there, and later principal. He also coached, refereed high school basketball games, and was a counselor. He was Business Manager for the Power County School District for many years. The last two years of his career, Bob split his time between the American Falls School District and Rockland schools. His students all respected and liked Bob, but they also learned that “he meant business”! The teachers who worked for and with him always knew they had his unfailing support.
Bob was a hard worker, and after retirement in 1987, he continued to work at various jobs. He was a book representative for the Meador Book Company, placing books in local stores (and a few in the hands of his book-loving wife!). He then worked at the baseball card shop in the Pine Ridge Mall, and the reception desk at Sports World. His yard was his pride and joy, and he strived to keep it looking perfect.
Bob was an avid track and field fan, and was a certified USA Track and Field official. He enjoyed the years he spent officiating at ISU track meets. The Simplot Games were a highlight each year. In 1995, Bob was honored to be chosen to officiate at the U.S. Olympic Festival Track and Field Competition in Colorado Springs, CO. Bob also traveled to NCAA track championships across the country (Buffalo, NY, Duke University, and St. Louis), as well as officiating at the Idaho High School Track and Field Championships in Boise several years.
Bob was the perfect Santa! He was the official mall Santa for many years, as well as entertaining children of all ages at numerous private Christmas functions.
Bob was preceded in death by: his parents; sister; and his mother-in-law, Wanda. He leaves behind his wife; two children; and a daughter-in-law, Lori. He will also be missed by his dog buddy, Cooper. His death leaves a hole in many hearts. Though he could sometimes be gruff on the outside, Bob was a loving husband and father with a very soft heart for those he knew and loved. The care and kindness he showed his mother-in-law in her last weeks was beautiful to see.
At Bob’s request, there will be no formal services, but the family hosted a small get-together for all who knew him on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Jackson residence. Bob made it clear that everyone should dress comfortably, “no suits or ties”! For more information or directions, contact Kirk at 915-549-0905.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bob’s name to the Idaho Food Bank, Pocatello Branch, 555 S. First Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83201, or online at www.idahofoodbank.org.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.wilksfuneralhome.com.
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