William “Bill” Jackson | Obituary

William “Bill” Jackson

February 11, 1933 – July 7, 2022

William “Bill” Jackson, 89, of Columbus, Nebraska, died Thursday, July 7, 2022 at Faith Regional Hospital in Norfolk, Nebraska.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at Gass Haney Funeral Home with the Reverend Ollie Fullmer officiating. Burial with military honors by the Hartman American Legion Post 84 Honor Guard will be at Roselawn Memorial Cemetery in Columbus. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday and continue Tuesday from 1 p.m. until time of service, all at the funeral home. A reception will be held at Wunderlich’s Catering following the interment.

William E. “Bill” Jackson was born in Elk City, Oklahoma on February 11, 1933. After living briefly in Tulsa, his family moved back to Burns Flat, Oklahoma, where he lived throughout his school-age years and graduated. from Burns Flat High School as an honorary student in 1951.

During his teenage years, most of his free time was spent on a baseball field. Although it started out as something to keep a restless boy busy during the hot Oklahoma summers, baseball became an important part of his life. He pitched his team to state championships both his junior and senior years in high school. Success on the ballpark allowed Bill to receive a college education as he received a full scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in education in 1956. Records show he did not lose a college baseball. game and has racked up over 25 wins. Although he had the opportunity to pitch for two different professional teams, a rotator cuff injury kept him from turning professional.

After graduating from college, he enlisted in the US Army. He served two years in the 8th Medical Battalion, most of that time spent in Germany.

With his military obligations out of the way, Bill could begin the profession he had prepared for. He signed a contract to teach business education and coach basketball in Gurley, Nebraska, where he met and married Jeanette Freudenberg. They had two sons, Travis and Scott. Bill left Gurley to attend Wayne State College in a graduate assistant position to earn his master’s degree.

The Jackson family then moved to Minden, Nebraska, where Bill taught for two and a half years. He left teaching to become regional director of Great Plains Lutheran Hospitals in Phillipsburg, Kansas. Baseball came back into his life. He helped coach a Legion team to a state championship. It wasn’t long before Bill missed the teaching. A brief job search brought the Jacksons to Columbus where Bill taught at Columbus High for 25 years. The place has changed, but the magnetism for baseball has not changed. He was active in the Columbus baseball program as a coach in the Major League, Pony League and Junior Legion. On January 31, 2009, Bill was inducted into the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

During his more than 50 years in Columbus, Bill held many leadership positions, including the Masonic Lodge, the Columbus Education Association, and Trinity Lutheran Church, where he was a member and taught Sunday School and served as Sunday school superintendent.

Bill is survived by his wife, Jeanette; son, Scott (Kathy) of Columbus; daughter-in-law, Brenda of Arlington, Texas; three grandchildren, Kristina of Manhattan, Kansas; Leslie from Allen, Texas; and Timothy (Danielle) and great-grandsons Zander and Maverick of Columbus; brother, WL (Gwen) Jackson of Chickasha, Oklahoma; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his son, Travis; and her parents, Jess and Jewel Jackson.

Condolences can be sent to www.gasshaney.com

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