Truman Gunn Jackson


June 28, 1935 - February 3, 2012

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Truman Gunn Jackson entered into heavenly rest surrounded by his family on February 3, 2012. He was born June 28, 1935 in Quitman, Arkansas, to the late Orville and Christine Gunn Jackson. At age 9, his mother married Wendell Tackett, who became his step-father. Truman spent most of his early childhood playing in and around his grand-daddy Gunn's horse and mule sale barn. He graduated from high school in Conway, Arkansas in 1953.
He attended the University of Arkansas where he met Carolyn "Ag" Haynes, who was his dream come true. They began dating in 1953 and were married at Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas on October 7, 1956. Shortly thereafter, he began his apprenticeship in the masonry union in Little Rock. He eventually moved back to Conway, where he started his masonry construction together.
Together, he and Ag raised three children, Jeff, John and Paige. He was a Mason with his membership at the Masonic Lodge in Conway, Arkansas. In 1970, he came to Fairbanks, Alaska to work. One of his first jobs was working on the building on the northeast corner of Third Ave and Cushman Street. He appreciated the workmanship and design on the side of that building. He quickly fell in love with the friendly people and the small-town feeling. After working that summer, he returned in May 1971, found a house for his family and they made Fairbanks their home. He worked hard and established his masonry business, Jackson Construction. Truman was a true craftsman, and he enjoyed building fireplaces. In fact, many of the homes built in Fairbanks in thr 1970's have Shaw Creek stone fireplaces that were built by Truman. He believed in "paying it forward", and because of his generosity and willingness to train young men in need of a job, many got their start in the trades under Truman's trained eye.
To take a break from the cold, in 1988 Truman and Ag moved to Maui, Hawaii. He enjoyed being on the beach and watching the beautiful sunsets. While living in Kihei, Maui, he was a member of the Keolahou Congregational Hawaiian Church, where he served as a deacon and was involved in many church activities. After 12 years of palm trees and whale watching, they returned home to Fairbanks to be closer to family. He loved and missed his little green church home in Maui.
Truman was a classic car enthusiast. He was partial to the '40's abd '50's cars. He was never able to fully restore his own favorite, a 1948 Lincoln Continental Mark I Coupe.
Wherever he went, he was always looking up. He had a passion for ornamental and decorative brick work, especially at the top of older buildings. When you find yourself on small-town main streets, look up, find some fancy brick work and think of Truman.
His proudest achievement was his relationship with his adult children, which remains to this day. They loved and respected their daddy, and the feeling was returned by Truman. Each child truly felt that they were his favorite.
He survived prostate cancer in 1996 and was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003. He lived his life with courage and peace throughout his illness.
He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Carolyn "Ag", his son Jeff and wife Joni, son John, and daughter Paige Jackson Withers and husband Tom, all of Fairbanks; three beautiful grandchildren in Fairbanks, Morgan Withers and Christine and Brandon Jackson; also, brother David Jackson and sister Sarah Tackett of Arkansas.
Truman will be greatly missed by the many people that respected and loved him. He was a loving husband, incredible dad and granddad, and a true friend to all who were lucky enough to know him. He had a big wonderful smile and a gentle spirit, and he never ceased being a southern gentleman. We are all blessed to have had him in our lives and, in many ways, will always be better people for having known him.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, February 11, at 1:00pm in the Binkley Room at Pikes Waterfront Lodge. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Denali Center, 1510 19th Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99701. Cards of condolence may be sent to the family at 2195 Western Ave., Fairbanks, AK 99709.