John F. Jackson, Jr.

Aug 23, 1957 - Jan 10, 2021


John Frederick Jackson, Jr. passed away peacefully on January 10, 2021, with his family by his side. He was 63 years old. He is survived by his spouse, Lelia Jackson, their sons, Aaron (Angelina); Nathan (Christie); and Adam (Tara), and four grandchildren, Shane, Evan, Isla, and Emilia Jackson. He is also survived by his father, John F. Jackson and mother, Shirley J. Jackson.

John met the love of his life, Lelia, when he was 16 years old. The two were high school sweethearts, attended high school senior prom together, married in 1976, and remained inseparable until his passing. With his soulmate by his side, John lived a rich and fulfilling life.

John proudly served in the United States Army from 1976 to 1984. He was stationed at Fort Ord, California and Schwabisch Hall, Germany. He served as a helicopter crew chief and flew many missions with the USASSB. He rose to the rank of Sergeant and received several decorations, medals, and honors. Following his honorable discharge, John always found comfort in the company of his fellow veterans. He was a member of the American Legion Riders and volunteered at the local VA to assist disabled veterans. He also belonged to the Knights of Columbus and the Sons of the American Revolution.

Following his military service, John returned to California and obtained a college degree from De Anza Junior college. John found his professional calling as a group home children’s counselor, working with children from broken homes, troubled backgrounds, or those who had special needs. John was quick-witted and had a natural ability to connect with anyone, and that skill allowed him to reach, guide, and improve the lives of many adolescents throughout his life.

John, a dedicated father, enjoyed spending time with his sons and taught them to fish, camp, and shoot. Later in life, John was incredibly proud to become a grandfather and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and watching them grow.

In addition to his family, John had many passions, including Native American studies, genealogy, military history, cooking, fishing, and especially motorcycles. John belonged to several motorcycle clubs, and founded one. John will be remembered by many as a good natured, witty, and easy going friend. But he will be remembered by his family as a loving son, husband, father, and grandfather. He fiercely loved his family, who loved him in return, and he will be sorely missed.

Funeral services are at East Lawn in Elk Grove, CA on January 26, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Private Internment on January 27, 2021 at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery.


  • Clare Ruth Snow says:

    John was my brother by marriage and deep friendship. We traveled many roads together. The world will miss John. He was true to himself and true to his family. He had the ability to be a chameleon and fit in any group. I will miss his laugh for a lifetime. Love you always. To my sisterm and his sons, when John first got sick he called me. He spoke of nothing but his live for,all of you. He made me promise to stand beside you if he couldn’t and hold you up if he was gone. I love you all..R.I.P. MY dear brother

  • Kathryn Shea says:

    John was the husband of my childhood friend, Lelia. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and son. He loved his life. He’s missed so much. He’ll always be remembered and loved. ♥️

  • Chris Cosper says:

    John was like a Father to me. I first met him while working with Severly Emotionally Disturbed children. He was always a calming influence, and I learned a lot from him. He supported my desire to go to college and made sure my schedule did not interfere. Having lost my parents at an early age he was a great mentor to me, and I saught his advice (and validation) often. He was the first person I showed my wife’s engagement ring to before I presented to her the very next day.

    I enjoyed the fishing and camping trips, and really wish I could have been near him when he needed me most. As he was there for me.

    I love you John and I am a better person having had your influence in my life.

  • Jim Snow says:

    John was a good friend growing up and then a lifelong family member as my brother-in-law. As a young man, John and I were rebels, always on the lookout for a new adventure. From cruising the strip in our Pontiac Firebirds on a Friday night to camping, fishing and hunting.

    I remember as if it were yesterday when John asked me if I would mind if he could date my sister and of course I said yes and Lelia joined our little club and she became front and center. For me a lifelong friendship followed along with being apart of a wonderful family. Lelia and John had three amazing boys, Aaron, Nathan and Adam whom I am very proud of….

    I will miss John’s words of wisdom and down to earth clarity about life. He was a good republican and loved our country.

    While our lives took different directions and we were separated by time and geography, we always maintained a powerful bond as any brothers ever had and whenever we were together, it was if we never were apart.

    God’s speed to you my friend and I’ll see you again one day!

  • Steven Hernandez says:

    On behalf of the American Legion Riders of Elk Grove Chapter #233, we extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to Leila and Family. John was our Sgt. at Arms for our Chapter, John was a very active member of our group, he participated in our meetings and also rode in our annual Veterans Day Parade in Elk Grove. We enjoyed riding and appreciated his dedication and participation during our meetings. He will be deeply missed.

    Steven Hernandez
    President American Legion Riders
    Elk Grove Chapter #233

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