Andrew "Andy" Jackson

Dec. 16, 1944 - Feb. 1, 2011

A public memorial service will be held for Andrew “Andy” Jackson, 66, of Coquille at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts, Southwestern Oregon Community College, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. Private family services will be held at a later time.

Andy was born Dec. 16, 1944, in Fitgerald, Ga., to Ransom A. Jackson and Clara L. (Montgomery) Jackson. He died Feb. 1, 2011, in Springfield.

He graduated from Monitor High School in Fitzgerald in June 1963. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Navy, serving during the Vietnam War. In 1969, upon discharging from the Navy in San Diego, Calif., he moved to Santa Rosa, Calif. While living in that area, he worked at a variety of jobs, including managing a sporting goods store, at Wells Fargo Bank and as a manager of a local winery.

Andy moved to Coos County in 1974. After moving here, he worked for the state Highway Department before joining the Coos County Sheriff’s Office in Jan. 1977 as a deputy. He was promoted through the ranks until becoming jail commander. In November 1998 he was elected to the office of sheriff, where he served until his retirement in December 2010. Though not the type of man to focus on his race, Andy was proud to be the first elected black sheriff in the state of Oregon. In November 2010, he was elected to the position of Coos County commissioner. He had served as commissioner for less than one month before his death.

On Oct. 15, 1982, Andy married the love of his life, Linda Thurman. They spent their married life in Coquille where they were very involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren.

Andy also was involved in his community. He participated in local theater groups, performing in several plays: “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “Lobby Hero.” He greatly enjoyed his “acting career.” He was a past member of the American Red Cross, Coos County Commission on Children and Families, Human Rights Coalition and Coquille Lions. He also served as a Cub Scout master for a Coquille troop. He served as a board member on the Coquille Library Board and the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association. He was on the Coquille City Council from 1997-1999. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Myrtle Point Rotary (for a time he served as president), Coquille Elks Lodge and Coquille Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the Coos County Republican Party, serving as a past president and was chosen Republican Man of the Year in 2009.

Andy like to golf, fish and hunt. He looked forward to the annual hunting trip to Eastern Oregon, even though during the last five years, no deer were “injured or killed” during those trips.

When he was relaxing at home he enjoyed watching the Western movie channel. When he couldn’t find a good Western movie to watch, he enjoyed watching his favorite soaps on television and would often watch the soap opera channel on weekends to get caught up on what he missed during the week.

His greatest enjoyment in life was spending time with his children and he was extremely proud of them all. His greatest joy, however, were his grandchildren. They were the light of his life. He loved spending time with them and going to their many activities.

Andy is survived by his wife, Linda of Coquille; his sister, Yvonne Jackson of Atlanta, Ga,; his brother-in-law, Bobby West of Long Beach, N.Y.; his children all of Coquille including daughter, Tina Marquez and her daughters, Jordan, Jillian and Ellie; daughter and her husband, Trisha and Lance Noel and their children, Jessica, Levi, Jonathan, Zachary and Luke; daughter and her husband, Claresa and Ron Roberson and their sons, David, Dallas and Drew; daughter, Diane Bliss and her daughters, Hunter, Kameran and Taelyn; and son, Jamal Jackson; his son and his wife, Frederick and Angela Jackson and their daughter, Alyssa of California; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, mother and sisters, Irene Smith, Gloria Payne, Jimmie West and Claretha Gillis.

Andy was a wonderful, well-respected man and will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

Arrangements are under the direction of Myrtle Grove Funeral Service, 541-269-2851.

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