Jean Jackson has been a blessing to the Mt. Juliet church of Christ for many years. Her late husband Thax, served as a deacon and elder here at Mt. Juliet. She had much to do with the spiritual influence of her home. Jean was born at home on Suggs Creek in Wilson County. She arrived before the doctor did! She was the fourth of seven children. Of the seven children her two sisters survive her; Foy Dell Harding and Frances (Don) McDonald. She loved playing in their big yard with her sisters. But she also grew up knowing the responsibility of daily chores to help the family. She milked the cow, brought in wood for the stove, hung clothes on the line, worked in the garden, and washed dishes. The last one listed was the one she disliked the most, which was one reason why she from time to time tried to get her friend June Cummings to do them for her! She had a great time growing up. She enjoyed hayrides pulled by mules, black and white Penny Loafers (with a new shiny penny in them!), cheerleading, and singing in an all ladies quartet called the “4 Juliets.” She received the “Daughters of the Revolution” pin at her high school graduation, which was an honor she appreciated all her life. Amidst all the blessings in her childhood she also experienced a very difficult loss when her brother Ed was killed in WWII at Iwo Jima. When Jean told about it, she described the postmaster coming to their door to deliver a telegram. In her words she said, “Dad had to go to bed. Mom took care of Dad and just kept on going. Ed was buried on Iwo Jima – but after a year or two my parents had his body sent home. His remains were in a casket in our home. Then the funeral was held at the church of Christ in Gladeville. Ed was brought ‘home to his people.’ He was a good boy and greatly missed.”
Shortly after graduation Jean was at her brother John’s house when Thax came over with Jean’s cousin. They had been classmates, but this time their talks lead to a date. She thought he was handsome, outgoing and funny. The dating lead to a proposal, which lead to a marriage of 54 years! Even though their relationship didn’t begin this way, her parents eventually loved him like a son.
Jean worked for the Tennessee Central Railroad for the first 10 years of her young adult life. As their family grew she stayed home to raise her three girls: Sherrie (Earl “Termite”) McCulloch, Melanie (Kenny) Sweeton, Stephanie (Stan) Moss. She Loved to Take Care of her family – She didn’t really have hobbies. Thax was an only child, somewhat spoiled according to his daughters. They explain that their mother just continued what his mother started. She loved taking care of him. She also loved taking care of the girls. One of the family’s favorite memories was supper time. Naturally they would eat together, but after they finished eating they often would sit at the table and continue to listen to Thax or Jean’s stories, talk about their day or laugh at one of Thax’s tales for which he was known. Shortly after the girls left home, Jean took care of Thax’s parents for many years helping in their garden, putting up the harvest and cooking their meals each day. Needless to say, she also loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; Grandchildren – Megan McCulloch Climer, Rachel McCulloch, Patricia Fulcher, Chris Fulcher, Rebekah Sweeton and Taylor Moss. Great-grandchildren – Chase Climer and Reese Climer.
After Thax’s passing, Jean moved to Willoughby Station. She never wanted to leave MJ. She wanted to be close the MJ church, the MJ cemetery, the bank and her hairdresser.
This woman of great faith was not only born at home in the Suggs Creek area, but she was born again in Suggs Creek! As a child they always walked to the Presbyterian church. When her siblings were old enough to drive, they began to drive to Gladeville church of Christ. They became Christians. Then their parents began to go to church with them and they too were baptized into Christ. Her father (Gladeville), two of her brothers (Lebanon Road and Atlanta) and her husband (Mt. Juliet) served as elders at four different congregations.
There were two things that remained important to Jean all her life – church and family. As a girl she always went to church. After church they came home to eat lunch together as a family. She loved chicken, roast beef, cream potatoes, and peach cobbler, but what she really loved was her family being together. By nature Jean was not a reader, but she read and knew her Bible. She loved Ladies Bible class and never missed an opportunity to gather with God’s people.
All her family knew without any question that Jean wanted them to be Faithful to God. When they lived in other states (Texas or Virginia), Jean would call on Sunday to visit. She would always ask, “Did you go to church this morning?” Even in the past few weeks while she has been in Lebanon, she was still asking “Did you go to church this morning?”
It wasn’t a “generic label” to be able to place the word “Christian” into a description of this wonderful Christian daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and neighbor. The description of Christian is supposed to be describing one who lives and looks like Christ. Jean did. She has blessed the Mt. Juliet church family for many decades. She has been a deacon’s wife and an elder’s wife and available to serve where needed. She always had a quiet, yet strong presence. And present she was! She was with grieving families at funeral homes – always. She visited nursing homes and took food to the sick. She sang at many funerals along with Nancy Hackney and Sandra Williams. As a side note, a person’s favorite songs reveal much about their heart. Three of her cherished songs were; God’s Family, Because He Lives and What a Day that will Be.
Jean Jackson was faithful to God, God’s people and to her family. She is greatly missed. We do not grieve for her. By faith we believe she is better than she has ever been (1 Thess 4:13ff). To her family we extend our deep sympathy and love. May the God of all comfort bring peace to your pain.