With the passing of Lawrence Jackson, Jr., owner and founder Jackson Funeral Home, Scotland County has lost a one of its bedrock business and civic leaders, according to colleagues and friends.
Jackson died on Tuesday.
Details on a possible funeral or memorial service were not available at presstime.
The last of the “old guard” of funeral home directors, Jackson leaves behind a legacy built on decades of service to people at their greatest time of need, according to fellow funeral home owner Beacham McDougald.
“He was a wonderful colleague and he served the community professionally and with a lot of compassion and care,” said McDougald, who’s late father Hewitt was a professional contemporary of Jackson’s at McDougald Funeral Home and Crematorium.
“When I started out here my father was living, Fairley Butler (of Butler Funeral Home) was living, Harold Odum (of Pate’s and later Harold Odum Funeral Home) was living, Bee Morris (of Morris Funeral Home) was living as well as Mr. Jackson,” McDougald said. “Mr. Jackson was the last of that generation.”
City Councilman JD Willis remembers Jackson as a strong supporter of the community, especially youth athletics.
Willis, a former county commissioner, met Jackson when he moved to the county in 1973. The men were Omega Psi Phi fraternity brothers.
“Mr. Jackson will be deeply missed,” Willis said. “You hear of people talking about pillars of the community. This man was more than a pillar, he was part of the foundation.”
State Rep. Garland Pierce, pastor at Bright Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, recalls Jackson’s excellent service to the public through funeral services over the years.
“I’ve been at Bright Hopewell for 22 years, and I know in that time he has shared with many families. He had a great reach, serving other counties as well. His death is a loss,” Pierce said.
Pierce also remembers Jackson from his youth in Fayetteville, where he was taught in elementary school by Jackson, a former educator.
“That’s when I first met him, at Lewis Chapel Elementary School,” Peirce said. “We share roots in Fayetteville. We were also both alumni of Fayetteville State University, where he was loved by the school family which he was always working to help.”
According to Pierce, Jackson worked to help prospective and current FSU students secure financial aid.
“He made sure they were well taken care of,” Pierce said.
For his efforts, Pierce said that Jackson was recently recognized as a member of the FSU Hall of Fame.
“I knew him from when I was a young boy and all of the people he served in this community — can you imagine how many? — when we heard he had passed, it made an impact. He will definitely be missed.”