Chris Jackson, 41, passed away after a bout with cancer at his home in Trussville comforted by a loving and grateful family on October 6, 2014.
A native of Jonesboro, Georgia Chris had lived with his wife, Tracey, and two sons, Peyton and Carson, in Trussville since 2006.
Chris’ life was characterized by two strong passions. One was a lifelong love of competition and sport. He was fully engaged in his sons’ youth sports teams and had served on the Board of the Trusville Youth Football League. He spent many years as a head and an assistant coach for both sons’ soccer, baseball and football teams. Coaching off the field was a year round activity for Chris as he helped his sons learn the lessons of team play, the value of practice and hard work, and the sense of accomplishment from reaching a shared goal. He rarely missed a game, match, practice or any other event in which his sons were involved. He was a life-long, devoted fan of the Ohio State Buckeye football team, yet he had never visited Ohio.
Although college football was much loved, the NFL was his stronger football passion. Chris held season tickets for the Atlanta Falcons and the most coveted game was taking his son to see Peyton Manning and his Broncos play at the Georgia Dome. His love of sports extended to the MLB as well. A favorite accomplishment of his younger days were the several seasons he worked as a ground-crew member at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. He cherished the many autographed balls and jerseys from a variety of sports teams and stars as prized possessions to share with his sons.However, even more important to Chris was his love and devotion to his wife and sons. He made critical choices in his life that always placed family first. He passed on financial gain and career opportunities to make all of his time and energy available to his children. He gave his sons a blank check to draw on one’s most valuable asset, his time. Afternoons were spent together with his boys practicing their school and sport skills or merely being together as father and sons. In the most important role a man ever undertakes, that of fatherhood, Chris had his values and priorities properly arranged. He succumbed far too young to a cancer that all his strength, courage, and goodness could not overcome. But in his brief time together with his family, he left them gifts of strong character, examples of a life well lived, and principals and values that will continue in his sons. His legacy shines in their cheerful natures, pure hearts and bright futures.He is survived by his wife, Tracey Merrell Jackson; sons, Peyton Mercer Jackson (11) and Carson Merrell Jackson (7); mother, Debbie Jackson; his beloved aunt and uncle, Lisa and Terrell Bunn; father, Steve Jackson; sister, Nicole Henderson and other extended family and dear friends. Friends of the family have established an education fund for Peyton and Carson at the Trussville branch of Bryant Bank; 137 Main Street Trussville, AL 35173 (205) 661-5900.