His father predeceased him in 1955, mother in 1966, oldest brother Joseph in 1963, and youngest brother Donald in 1988, along with Joseph's wife, Eva and Donald's wife Janet and the sad loss of two infant sisters that joined the angels shortly after birth at the Robert Packer Hospital, Geraldine Marie in 1926 and Beatrice Mary in 1928. Most recently, he lost his nephew Kerry Jackson in July of 2012 and his brother-in-law Ben Jackson on Dec. 30, 2015.
Bob is survived by his sister Regina Jackson, Columbia Cross Roads (Wetona), Pa. Also surviving are his niece Susan Jackson; nephew Gary McDermott; nephew and his wife David and Sandy Jackson; nephew and his wife Daniel and Michelle Jackson; niece Cathleen Evangelista; and nephew and his wife Dean and Rebecca Jackson; and 16 great-nieces and great-nephews, which includes Bob's great niece, Christy, who was a special caregiver to him.
Bob and his two brothers, Joe and Don, were drafted and entered the Army Air Corps (Air Force) within a short period of time. Joe joined in 1921, retiring as a Lt. Colonel after a 20 year career, Bob entered in January of 1942 and was discharged in October of 1945 as a Corporal, and Don entered April of 1942 and was discharged as a Sergeant in Oct. of 1945. At the time Bob entered the service, there were no aptitude tests. They were assigned where they were needed. Although a very good mechanic, he was placed in the medics. He said the only mechanical work he did was on the ambulances that he drove in Italy, where he was with the 15th Air Force that flew B-17s from the 483 Bomb Group that sent hundreds of bombers a day until Germany was defeated.
On March 14, 1943, he was one of many that left New York Harbor in a 79-ship convoy, destination Italy. He said that Uncle Sam thought so much of him that he sent him on a cruise for his 22nd birthday. The ship was named the Isaac Sharpless, but the troops called it the Isaac Hopeless, due to the fact that it took 27 days to reach Italy. The reason being that they sailed to Brazil and Africa to avoid German subs in the Atlantic. The German subs couldn't hold enough fuel to reach them on the route that they took as they could only patrol the Mid-Atlantic. A three day storm and the attack by German planes as they came near to Italy, caused damage and delay. Bob and his unit were awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster during this time. During this time of war, Bob was presented with the EAME Theater Ribbon with eight Bronze Stars.
The sacrifices of all military personnel and their families must never be forgotten, especially the ones that were severely wounded or gave their young lives so that we could keep our freedom. Where would we be today if during WWII the many thousands of young men and women stayed home and never crossed the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans to foreign lands to keep us free from the evil of that era? Think about it and thank God for each and every one of our military today and veterans, especially the WWII veterans, as so few remain! Our family was thankful for the return of "Our Boys" but lives were changed and never the same. Think about it tonight and remember that FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE!!!
Funeral services was held at Jan. 25, at the Jay E. Lowery Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. with the Rev. Linda Rogers officiating. Burial will be in Tioga Point Cemetery, Athens, Pa.