July 4, 1932 – August 10, 2023
Bruce G. Jackson died in an Austin hospital on August 10, 2023. He is preceded in death by his wife Bette Bearse Jackson, his parents Warren Jackson and Dorothy Burnam Jackson and brother Dean Jackson. He is survived by a son in Austin, Kevin Jackson (Pamela) and grandson Matthew (Avni) and their two children in Houston, and granddaughter Jessica in Cedar Park; by a son in Dayton, Scott Jackson (Shirley) and grandson Brian Jackson and daughter Shelbie, and by a daughter in Baytown, Wendy (CJ) Sebastian, grandchildren Travis (Brandi) Mayorga and three great grandsons in Boerne and granddaughter Jackie (Ryan) Reed and three great grandsons in Huntsville. He is also survived by his partner of many years Ivy Hooks of Boerne.
Bruce’s birth was on July 4, 1932 in Salem, Massachusetts and Independence Day remained his lifelong favorite holiday. Bruce graduated from Emerson High School in Miami; he played semi pro-baseball in Miami and later in a league in Hampton, VA. He graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from University of Miami in 1955 and took a job at the then National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NACA) in Hampton, VA. That same year he married Bette, his sweetheart from Massachusetts. All three of their children were born in VA. Bruce was in the Space Task Force that designed and tested the first Mercury capsule.
In January 1962 he moved his family to Houston to join the newly formed NASA Manned Spacecraft Center. He held various positions of increasing responsibility ultimately retiring as Chief, Systems Engineering Division in 1985.
After leaving NASA, Bruce did consulting work for such spacecraft as the Space Hab. He founded a small business and eventually took in partners working in various aerospace areas. In 1994, he resigned from the company and took up his favorite three hobbies, golf, travel, and model trains.
In 1998, Bruce and Ivy moved to Fair Oaks Ranch near San Antonio to be nearer children and grandchildren. In 2018, he and Ivy moved into senior living in the area. Bruce remained there until 2019 when he moved to Austin to be nearer to son and family. He spent his final years enjoying life while sitting on his porch and smoking his cigars.
No formal memorial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider making a donation to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to the Wounded Warrior Project.