Obituary of Seawillow Umberger Jackson
Seawillow Umberger Jackson, age 94, began life on December 18, 1925 with her parents Herbert R. and Vivian Umberger. She was born in her family home in Wytheville, VA and it was always her wish to die in that same home. Seawillow passed away peacefully at her family home on June 26, 2020. Seawillow loved horses. Her father had several beautiful horses and boarded horses for others. She learned to ride at a young age. Due to her riding skills she was selected to play Molly Tynes, the leading role in a historical play depicting a brave woman’s ride to Wytheville to alert the town to Toland’s raid. After high school, Seawillow branched out on her own, moving to Washington, DC where she worked as a secretary for the FBI, Red Cross, and the National Geologic Survey. When she returned to Wytheville, she worked at the local courthouse. She also became reacquainted with her childhood friend, Cecil. Upon seeing him again she declared, “I’ll never let you go!” They were married at St. John’s Episcopal Church on March 16, 1946. True to her word, they spent 74 years together. Before starting a family, they enjoyed traveling around the U.S. and Mexico, returning to Wytheville periodically to help her parents. In Northern VA, while raising a family, she helped Cecil launch his business, Alexandria Surveys, by working as his draftsman. In 1977 the Jackson family moved from Arlington, VA to San Antonio, TX where they lived until relocating back to Wytheville in 2010. Supporting the community was important to Seawillow. She was very involved in volunteer and charity work. Seawillow was a volunteer and on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Craft Center, in San Antonio, Tx. She pioneered the monthly wine tasting parties that became a tradition of the organization for over 10 years. She also supported the McNay Art Institute, in San Antonio, TX. She was on the Board of Directors where she helped coordinate the annual black-tie gala and volunteered in the gift shop. Seawillow and her husband Cecil were honored with the Peacock Award for their contributions. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution for over 65 years. As a direct descendant of Henry Umberger of Rose Hill, she was enrolled among the First Families of Wythe County as of 1810. Seawillow always held her Wytheville home close to her heart as she had promised her father she would find a way to preserve the homestead and property. It became her lifelong work to restore her childhood home as a historical tribute to the 1800’s. She and Cecil forged a relationship with the Town of Wytheville to establish the Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum and Willow Brook Jackson/Umberger Homestead Museum. A living history site to preserve and teach children how our ancestors lived. Seawillow is survived by her husband, Cecil; children Kay and Rush; grandchildren Mark and Kimberly and great grandchildren Oliver and Grey. The family will receive friends at Grubb Funeral Home Chapel Thursday, July 2, 2020 from 6 P.M. until 8 P.M. Funeral service will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory can be made to the Willow Brook Jackson/Umberger Homestead Museum and/or St. John’s Episcopal Church. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.grubbfuneralhome.com Grubb Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.