Henry Darrell “Al” Jackson

May 24, 1936 - June 25, 2020
Henry Jackson

Henry Darrell (Al) Jackson passed away on Wednesday, June 25, 2020, at his home in Battlefield, Missouri, at the age of 84, after a brief battle with cancer.

Al, the son of Wilburn and Irma (Dettke) Jackson, was born in Santa Monica, California, on May 24, 1936. He was a 1954 graduate of Junction City High School in Junction City, Kansas. He married Virginia (Meyer) Jackson in 1955, and to this union six children were born. They were divorced many years later. In August of 1980, he was united in marriage to Karen (Tunnell) Jackson, and they were blessed to share almost 40 years together.

He spent his career as a credit representative for General Motors (GMAC) as well as a loan officer for Mid-America Credit Union. These positions gave Al an opportunity to create a huge network of friends and acquaintances with ties to the automobile industry over the years. As the auto industry changed, so did Al’s job, which found he and Karen making their home in several communities during their married life, to include Hays, Salina, and Rose Hill in Kansas, before retiring to Battlefield, Missouri, leaving behind a cadre of beloved friends, neighbors and co-workers with each departure.

Al’s larger than life personality endeared him to all those who knew him. Friends and family alike agreed that his zest for life was what set him apart from everyone else. Al was a huge baseball fan and loved talking about his days as a pitcher on the Junction City Blue Jays hometown team in his younger years, and the many games he pitched at Rathert Stadium. An avid sports fan, he spent countless hours cheering on his beloved Jayhawks, Royals, and finally his Super Bowl Champion Chiefs. He relished the fact that many thought he looked a lot like the Kansas City Chiefs coach, Andy Reid. He was always ready to strike his “coach” pose for a photo op when requested. His love for “all things collectible” kept the house full of sports memorabilia and apparel that he was happy to share with family and friends whenever they visited. The last several years of Al’s life he was able to enjoy and participate in the major achievements of all his favorite teams that every sports fan hopes to enjoy. He attended many games for his favorite college basketball team, the KU Jayhawks, and cheered them on too many Big 12 Championships. Another special memory will always be the 3-generation family trip to attend a Kansas City Royals World Series game. They won the game, lost the Series, but won it all the next year. All was right with the world. The family gathered in Battlefield in 2019 to help Al cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs to a much-anticipated Super Bowl championship, allowing him to strike his infamous “Andy Reid” pose as the winning coach.

His love for landscaping was always evident with his “green thumb” for growing over 100 unique cactus varieties over the years. His beautiful yard, koi ponds, and yard décor were a testament to his pride to achieve a picture-perfect outdoor space to be enjoyed by everyone. A lover of music, you could always find him in the backyard listening to his favorite tunes while enjoying his favorite beverage. Al’s passion for yard décor and all things mystical were a matter of difference of décor opinion between he and Karen. Al’s great love for wizards and gargoyles would cause you to find many statuettes adorning the fence posts and tables, much to Karen’s dismay. The crocodile head that floated in the koi pond served as a constant reminder of his tongue-in-cheek humor.

One of Al’s greatest joys was sharing in the lives of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He and Karen enjoyed many trips over the years to attend school functions, track meets, and ball games to show their support, as well as family get-togethers and celebrations.

His love for animals was well known, and he was never without one of his canine companions at his side over the years. There were many, and they will all be waiting to greet him at the end of the rainbow bridge. His love for his pets was unbounding, and he spent countless hours training, teaching, loving, and nurturing them back to health when needed.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Virginia, daughter, Kathy, and son, Kris.

Al is survived by his beloved wife, Karen, and sons, Ken (Stacey) Jackson, Osborne, Kansas, Kerry (Cindy) Jackson, Lincoln, Kansas, Kelly Jackson, Asheville, North Carolina and Kevin Jackson, Salina, Kansas; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sister, Gayla (Ron) Dewitt, and brother, Robert Jackson, both of Topeka, Kansas; a host of nieces and nephews; cousins; mother-in-law, Esther Tunnell; brother-in-law David (Trudy) Tunnell; special family friend, Kimbray Nunnold, and beloved canine companions, Riley and Bailey, who dearly miss him.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 3, 2020, at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 703 S. Hickory, Mount Vernon, Missouri. Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the service at the Church. Burial will follow at the Miller Memorial Gardens, Miller, Missouri.

Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri or Integrity Home Care & Hospice in care of the funeral home.

The service is under the direction of the Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home, 510 E. Cherry St., Mount Vernon, Missouri 65712.