William Johnson Jackson, Jr., 78, of Laytonsville, MD and formerly of Elizabeth City, NC, passed away peacefully at Casey House Hospice, on February 14, 2023, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna Abigail Hursey Jackson, and his parents, Margaret Virginia Watson Jackson and William Johnson Jackson, Sr.
William (Bill) was born in Wilson, NC on his mother’s birthday, August 24, 1944. Bill grew up in Elizabeth City where he was active in the Boy Scouts and played trumpet in the band at Elizabeth City High School. Bill attended Campbell University and while there, met a beautiful young lady from Dublin, NC, Donna Abigail. The two were married on April 9, 1967 and moved to Ft. Meade, MD, where Bill was stationed in the Army. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and received his Master’s Degree from George Washington University. Bill worked for Maryland National Bank, NOAA Fisheries, and eventually spent over 25 years as a Contracting Officer for the US Government, working for various service departments. He was proud to say that he worked on purchasing guided missile systems for the US Navy.
As a young boy, he learned to sail. As he got older, his passion for the water led him to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. He and his friends explored many of the shipwrecks off the Outer Banks. In the 1950’s, he and his family built a beach house in Southern Shores, NC. He had a life-long love of the beach, enjoying many trips to Nags Head whenever he had the chance. When Bill wasn't going out to eat or perusing thrift stores, he enjoyed going to gun clubs or shows where he always looked forward to learning about antique firearms. Bill loved collecting antiques, especially kerosene lamps and other unique artifacts. He had a love for all kinds of foods. One of his favorite evening rituals was enjoying a bowl ice cream.
Prior to Alzheimer's taking over his life, he was a devoted Grandfather, known as Geeda, who adored his two grandchildren. He thoroughly enjoyed their younger years, helping them explore the world around them. He loved taking them out to the shooting range and stopping to get a treat on the way home. Bill and Abigail were foster parents to six children at various times during their marriage. They also hosted two foreign exchange students: Monica Martins Monteiro of Sao Paolo, Brazil and Gontijo Jordan Pinto of Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Bill is survived by his loving daugher, Sheryl Lynn Cruz and husband Eric of Laytonsville, MD; granddaughter Erica Lynn Cruz; grandson Jackson Scott Cruz; brother Richard E. Jackson and wife Thong Bang of Poquoson, VA; brother-in-law, David Hursey and wife Jackie, and beloved nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A graveside memorial service for family and friends will be held in Dublin, NC on April 13, 2023.