Dr. Marion T. Jackson, 85, of Terre Haute passed away at Brookdale of Ft. Wayne on Thursday, February 7, 2019. He was born near Versailles on August 19, 1933 the son of Marshall and Estelle Fox Jackson. He was married to Jaleh Jorjani on June 1, 1985 and she preceded him in death in June of 2016. Survivors include two daughters Arshia Myers of Dayton, Ohio,and Grousha (Jason) Birkenbeul of Ft. Wayne; four granddaughters Elise and Libby Myers, and Mia and Claire Birkenbeul; also his sister-in-law Eva Fern Jackson of Versailles. He was also preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Willard, Kenneth, and Hubert Jackson, and his sisters Naomi Ruth Carter, Margaret Jobst, and Neva Rea. Mr. Jackson was a 1951 graduate of Versailles High School and began his working career at Coca-Cola in Ft. Wayne in June of 1951. He served with the US Naval Reserve from 1953 to 1955 aboard the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender based at Norfolk, Virginia. In 1955 he was employed in Ft. Wayne as a Technical Writer in the Talos ground-to-air missile program at the Farnsworth Electronics Company. He received his B.S. degree in Conservation of Natural Resources from Purdue University in 1961 and received his PhD degree in Plant Ecology from Purdue in 1964. He was a former professor at Moorhead State University and in September of 1964 began a 37 year career at Indiana State University in Terre Haute as a professor in the Life Science department, also teaching part time at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute. Mr. Jackson authored two books including The Natural Heritage of Indiana and also Indiana Trees, in an effort to protect the state’s natural heritage and biodiversity. He also spent many summers working for the US Forest Service in Idaho, the National Park Service in Oregon, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. Other accomplishments in Mr. Jackson’s career included being editor and president for the Indiana Academy of Science, president of the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, president of the Wabash Valley Audubon Society, and serving on the Board of Trustees of the Natural Areas Association. He was also named Conservationist of the Year in 2017 by the Ouabache Land Conservancy. Funeral services for Mr. Jackson will be held on Friday, February 15th at 2pm at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Rev. Jeff Stratton officiating. Burial will be in the Tanglewood Cemetery. Visitation will also be on Friday beginning at 1pm. Memorial contributions may be given to ACRES Land Trust or the Tanglewood Cemetery in care of the funeral home. A memorial service for Mr. Jackson will also be held on Saturday, February 16th at 1pm at the Debaun Funeral Home, 85 East Springhill Drive in Terre Haute.
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