OBITUARY

William Grady Jackson

August 29, 1933May 2, 2019
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FAYETTEVILLE—Retired Sergeant Major William Grady Jackson, 85, passed away Thursday, May 2, 2019. The funeral service will be Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Reeves Funeral Home in Hope Mills. A visitation with family and friends will be held from 4-7 p.m. Monday, May 6, 2019, at Reeves Funeral Home in Hope Mills. Burial will follow the service with full military honors at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, May 6, 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, May 7, 2019
  • Burial Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Memories

William Grady Jackson

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Kathy Helms

May 6, 2019

I know there's no way to fill that empty space in your hearts left by Uncle Bill's passing.

But like the first law of thermodynamics states: "Energy can't be created or destroyed. It can only change forms."

This energy that is in all of us doesn't go away at death. So, I send a salute to Uncle Bill as he passes into the next world, and prayers to all of you, that you might find comfort in having been a part of his life.

Cynthia Carr Simmering

May 4, 2019

Wish we could be there with you to show our love and support but know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope you can feel our love despite the distance separating us. Summers spent in Tennessee were the best and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life . I am so thankful that we got to visit Tennessee again in 2000 and then visit you all in North Carolina and reconnect with the kids and Uncle Bill in 2005, seemed as no time had passed and we picked up where we left off...guess that's the way with family and I'm so glad to be part of this one.

DeAnna Heaton-Smith

May 4, 2019

Thoughts & prayers go out to all the family. Memories of summers with Uncle Bill, Aunt Flo & kids are especially precious ones. The first steps I ever walked were to Uncle Bill. Love & comfort to you all, he will never be forgotten. DeAnna Heaton-Smith

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Biography

When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits William Grady Jackson who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical, and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, William was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with William knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.

       His parents were Silas Henry Jackson and Lillie Mae Nichols Jackson. William was raised in Texas and Oklahoma. Even as a youngster, William learned to be objective and decisive. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

      As a young boy, William was able to put his natural abilities to work. He was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, he liked to organize and direct. William was raised with five siblings; Louis, Cecil, Charlie, Pauline, and Rosalee. William had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For William, this was a natural order of life, one he gladly embraced.

      William's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during his childhood. As a young boy, William enjoyed being part of teams, and organizations and groups of other kids who shared similar interests. In his spare time he liked to chase girls and play cards. William's memorable achievements included joining the army at age 14, and retiring at age 38.

      In school, William was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. He sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of his classes. He would eagerly complete his homework, and often put in extra study time when he felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, William was always good at following directions and meeting his schedules, whether they were set by his teachers or were self-imposed. William’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers.

      William’s practical work ethic carried over into his college years. His logical mind permitted him to work hard without succumbing to the usual distractions of college life. He would tackle an assignment and work through it before moving onto the next project. William’s orderly nature gave way to establishing personal study habits and procedures that not only helped him stay on track but often put him ahead of schedule. When William saw the need or benefit, he would willingly take on the extra assignment or even attend extra classes in order to learn more and become a better student. He earned his Agriculture and Welding Certifications in Central Carolina, and completed courses in Fayetteville Technical Community College. His favorite courses were Agriculture Business and Welding.

      William was sociable and approachable. Because he was always so straightforward in how he approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. He enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. When William was a member of a group, his interaction worked to keep the others grounded. He wasn’t afraid to confront his friends and, when necessary, he challenged them to stick to the task at hand. Those close to William came to expect his high standards of performance. While growing up, some of his best friends were Army buddies. Later in life, he became friends with Robbi, his best friend, and Army buddies.

      An objective and conscientious individual, William reveled in the security of his family. The first time he was married was November 24, 1955; the second time was December 31, 1992. William's first spouse was Flora Belle Bailey; his second spouse was Debra Lee Scheidemantle. The first time he was married , the location was in Germany; the second time was Fayetteville, N.C. One of William’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for his family and friends.

      William was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. William would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. William was blessed with eight children, Robbi, Billie, Dennis, Douglas, Rodney, Linda, Harry, and Johnny. They were also blessed with eleven grand children, Liza, Vanessa, Corrina, Taylor, Danielle, Stephon, Darick, Chance, Harmony, Lauren, Billy, Nikki, Jaimie, and Bobby, and fourteen great-grandchildren,.

      Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, William was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, William was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, William upheld his standards. His primary occupation was in the Army, and a Welder. He was employed for 26 years in the Army, and 11 years as a Welder. William was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

      William was an Army Veteran. His sense of duty helped lead him into the military where his understanding of rank, his willingness to abide by rules and regulations and his desire to follow orders was admired by his fellow service men and women. He was in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Fort Bragg, Okinawa, and Tampa, Florida. William saw action for Korea, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of E-9, Sergeant Major. He received several awards recognizing him for his heroism, including a United Nations Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Prisoner of War Medal.

      William approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were photography and bowling. William was content to enjoy his favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Playing by the rules was a natural thing for William to do in life and that carried over to his enjoyment of sports. Recreational sports included bowling. He also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football and boxing.

      Being generous with his time and energy, William liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. He was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. His desire to uphold traditions and his ability to take charge of any type of project made him a tremendous asset. Throughout his later years, William was an active member of the Boy Scouts.

      When it came time to travel or take a vacation, William used his scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that he made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. William had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. Favorite vacations included fishing trips at the beach, Blue Ridge/Smoky Mountains, and family reunions in Texas and Pennsylvania.

      William was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. His family was rounded out by Possum (a mixed breed dog), Dixie (a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix), Saint #1 (a Saint Bernard), Saint #2 ( a Poodle-Pekingese mix), and Angel the cat.

      When William’s retirement finally arrived in 1974 from the Army, and in 2001 from Welding, he was well prepared. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. His new life involved relocating to Hope Mills, North Carolina. In retirement, he found new pleasure in family activities and movies. In many ways, William loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

      William passed away on May 2, 2019 at home in Hope Mills, North Carolina. He is survived by his children: Robbi, Billie, Dennis, Johnny, Douglas, Rodney, Linda, and Harry; his grandchildren: Liza, Vanessa, Corrina, Taylor, Danielle, Stephon, Darick, Chance, Harmony, Lauren, Billy, Nikki, Jaimie, and Bobby, and his nieces and nephews: Doug, Don, Dan, Ruth, Judy, Tammie, Lorie,Becky, Kathy, Tomi Gayle, Cindy, Bonny, Kelly, Michelle, and Steve. Services were held at Reeves Funeral Home in Hope Mills, North Carolina. William was laid to rest in Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

      All who knew him would agree that William was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. William Grady Jackson did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.