Williams Baptist University lost an iconic figure and one of its staunchest supporters Sunday, February 18, with the passing of Dorothy L. Jackson. Mrs. Jackson, an alumna of Williams, served for over 25 years as a professor and administrator, including 15 years as Vice President for Student Development.
Mrs. Jackson and her late husband, Lendol Jackson, were both prominent figures at Williams. Starting in 1969, she taught health and physical education classes for 10 years, launching WBU’s first campus-wide intramural program. She went on to become the first female vice president at the school.
“Dorothy Jackson’s devotion to Williams – its students, its mission – was passionate and determined. She never faltered in her sense of calling or in her duty or dedication. She was a remarkable individual. We cherish and honor her memory,” said Dr. Kenneth Startup, interim president at Williams.
Mrs. Jackson, 86, of Jonesboro passed from this life Sunday at Lawrence Hall Nursing Center. She was born November 5, 1931, in Greenway to the late William O. and Bessie I. Shaffer. Mrs. Jackson was a pastor’s wife for 49 years. She was a member of Central Baptist Church and was very active with the Encourager’s Sunday School Class. She was a 1955 graduate of Williams, and she also held degrees from East Texas Baptist University and Arkansas State University.
She and her husband were active with Arkansas Campers on Mission, and she also did many mission trips outside of the United States. She later worked for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Jonesboro for eight years.
Mrs. Jackson enjoyed camping, hunting, the outdoors, coaching and sports. She also loved spending time with her family especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Rev. Lendol Jackson and seven brothers and sisters.
Survivors include her son, David (Shelia) Jackson of Fayetteville; daughter, Linda (Eric) Smith of Powhatan; two sisters, Nina Long of Michigan and Naomi Shaffer of Jonesboro; six grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be Wednesday, February 21, at 10:00 a.m. in Emerson Memorial Chapel with Larry Bailey and Dr. Jimmy Millikin officiating. Burial will follow at McDaniel Cemetery.
Visitation will be Tuesday, February 20, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in Emerson Memorial Chapel.
For lasting memorials, the family asks that consideration be given to Central Baptist Church, Williams Baptist University or the Pregnancy Resource Center of Jonesboro.