Jackson honored as Senior of the MonthPublished 6:00am Saturday, November 17, 2012
The Russellville Senior Center’s Senior of the Month for September was Russellville resident Rhoda Jackson.
Jackson was born and raised in Arkansas where she played basketball for five years for her high school as a player and as captain and was voted Miss DHS before she graduated at 17 years old.
After graduation, Jackson moved to Rockford, Ill., where her father and four brothers lived and it wasn’t long before she met her husband, Bill Jackson, whom she married after several months of dating.
The Jacksons had their first child, Teresa, four and a half years later, and seven years after that, they had their second child, Timothy.
During that time, Jackson said they attended church in Rockford where she and her family were very active.
“We were there every time the doors were open,” Jackson said. “Bill was ordained as a deacon in January of 1966 and served in two churches in Illinois and two more when we moved to Russellville.”
When the Jacksons moved to Russellville in 1974, Jackson found her place teaching children’s Sunday school classes.
“Over the years, I have tried most jobs in the church,” she said. “I served in Women on Missions at four churches through the years, taught Bible school, served as church treasurer, on pulpit search committees and sang in the church choir and senior choir.
“I started teaching teens in Sunday school when I was barely out of my teens and then tried all age groups before I settled on an age I enjoyed the most, which was ages 9-12, and that is the age I stuck with for 30 years because I enjoyed it so much.”
Besides being active in church, Jackson has also enjoyed travelling over the years. She has been to all 50 states, most of which she visited with her husband, Bill.
She has also been to the Holy Land and on a European tour in 1990, which took her to seven countries including England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Holland.
“One of my favorite trips was the trip to the Holy Land,” she said. “Seeing all the places I have read about in my Bible was special to me.”
Jackson said she also enjoyed visiting Hawaii with her friend, Ramona Thorn, and going on an Alaskan cruise where they spent seven days on land and seven days on the ship.
“Besides those trips, Bill and I have been out west four times because that’s Bill’s favorite place,” she said. “Bill and I went to Yellowstone, before and after the fire, the Grand Canyon, the Grand Tetons, Mount St. Helen’s after the eruption and Bryce State Park. We loved Jackson Hole, Wyo., Mount Rushmore and the famous Wall Drug Store in South Dakota.
“I also enjoyed spending two weeks in Seattle when my son, Tim, lived there while working as editor of a magazine, and I loved seeing Canada, Niagara Falls and New York.”
Jackson said as she and Bill have gotten older, they don’t do as much travelling as they used to but they enjoy looking at all their pictures from their trips and reminiscing.
“The ‘golden years’ have slowed us down and we mostly just visit family in Arkansas, Missouri and North Carolina with a stop in the Smoky Mountains sometimes,” she said.
“We enjoy spending time with our daughter, Teresa, and her husband, Pat; our son, Tim and his wife, Taryn; our granddaughter, Kellie, and her husband, David; our grandson, John; and our granddaughter, Anna.
“We also enjoy coming to the Senior Center and visiting with our friends here. Mrs. Cathye and her husband, Hugh, are such nice people and do a great job here at the Senior Center.”