Rush Jackson, Sr.

Obituary of Rush Cecil Jackson, Sr.

Rush Cecil Jackson, age 98, began life on September 11, 1922 in Emory, VA with his parents Porter and Vivian Jackson. He died peacefully in his sleep March 8, 2021. He was preceded in death by his wife of 75 years, Seawillow Umberger Jackson. Growing up on a farm, Cecil spent time before and after school, caring for livestock and tending the garden. During the winter he made sure there was enough wood to keep the family warm and, in the summer, enjoyed ice cream made from blocks of river ice that had been cut and stored in a cave to keep frozen. In 1941, he met a ship’s captain who invited him to join the crew going to South America to pick up oil on a tanker ship. Cecil fell in love with the sea. He went on to attend the Fort Trumbull U.S. Service Officer Candidate School and the Maritime Academy. He served during WWII from 1941 to 1945 as ship’s Boson in the United States Merchant Marines. He circumnavigated the globe, visiting many countries and was present for actions at Tripoli and D-Day at Normandy. Upon returning to Wytheville, he became reacquainted with Seawillow and they were married at St. John’s Episcopal Church on March 16, 1946. Before starting a family, they enjoyed traveling around the U.S. and Mexico, returning to Wytheville periodically to help their parents. In Northern VA, while raising a family, Cecil launched his own business, Alexandria Surveys, and won the contract to survey the beginnings of the Washington, DC subway system. He was also a real estate investor in San Antonio, TX and Wytheville, VA. 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 Cecil. He was an active member of St. David’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, TX and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Wytheville, VA., serving multiple times on the Vestry and as Stewardship Chairman and Senior Warden. He served his professional organizations as President of the Mt. Vernon Chapter of the Virginia Association of Surveyors, President of the Virginia Association of Surveyors, and board member on the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping. He was a Mason and a Shriner and member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Cecil was on the board of the San Antonio Botanical Center. He was a volunteer for the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts, the McNay Art Museum, and Witte Museums in San Antonio, TX. He and his wife served as the Wythe County representative to exchange a proclamation between Wythe County and Brazoria County, TX in honor of Stephen F. Austin. Cecil and Seawillow 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. Cecil received many community service awards and recognitions including the Paul Harris Fellow from the Wytheville Rotary Club; the National Community Service Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution; the Celtic Award from the St. David’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, TX; Proclamation naming September 11, 2012 as “R. Cecil Jackson Day” in Wytheville, VA; Certification of Recognition from the Virginia Association of Surveyors for “outstanding service to the surveying profession throughout the State of Virginia and the United States”. Cecil is survived by his children Kay and Rush, grandchildren Mark and Kimberly and great grandchildren Oliver and Grey. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to the Willow Brook Jackson/Umberger Homestead Museum, 1125 Tazewell St., Wytheville, VA 24382, and/or St. John’s Episcopal Church, 275 E. Main St., Wytheville, VA 24382. The family will receive friends at Grubb Funeral Home Chapel Monday, March 22, 2020 from 6 P.M. until 8 P.M. Funeral service will be held privately. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at The Jackson family is in the care of Grubb Funeral Home in Wytheville, VA.