William Marion Jackson was born on August 31, 1921, to Oliver Grady and Anna Marie Jackson at their home near Galeton, Colorado. William is the oldest of eight children, six boys William, Neil, Bob, Ken, Jerry and Wayne, and two girls Loraine and Shirley. He is survived by his brother Jerry of Loveland, Colorado, his youngest brother Wayne Jackson of Dayton, Montana, and sister Loraine Lowe of Rifle, Colorado.
He attended school in Gill, Colorado, grades 1 through 12 and graduated from high school in 1936. His favorite subject was Wood Shop, and his least favorite were Chemistry and History. His extra curricular activities were football, softball and basketball. After high school, he attended welding school in Greeley Colorado. While living at home he worked the farm with his dad and worked a team of horses before the tractor was invented.
Later in his working career he moved to Portland, Oregon in 1940 and used his welding skill to build ships for the US Navy. After returning from Oregon in 1942 and enlisting in the Army in Colorado, Bill proposed to Alberta B. Engel of Galeton, Colorado. They were married on September 19, 1943, in Somerset Texas near San Antonio, while Bill was on active duty.
After a short honeymoon, Bill continued his training with the Army and Alberta went back to Colorado. When Bill was sent overseas to prepare for the D-day invasion, she went to live in Arizona near three of her sisters until the war was over.
Bill was a part of the Normandy Invasion of France and survived the D-day landing at Omaha Beach. He was a soldier in the 147th Amphibious Combat Engineers. His assignment after D-day was to work the beach and keep the supplies moving to the front lines by operating a D-7 bulldozer building roads and pulling the equipment and supplies off the beach to where they could be transported to the front. This continued to be his assignment as they moved further inland through France and Belgium and on towards Germany. His only combat was on Omaha Beach. When the war in Europe was over he returned to Colorado in time for Christmas in 1945, and continued working on the home farm near Galeton, Colorado.
They began their family in Colorado where their oldest son David was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1947. In 1949 Bill had an opportunity through the GI bill to apply for a homestead in Wyoming. His application was accepted and he moved his family to Wyoming in 1950. To keep the homestead he had to clear the land, build a place to live and stay on the land for a minimum of one year.
After the farm was established the family continued to grow as Steve was born in 1951, Dan in 1953, Stan in 1955 and Bill Jr. in 1960. Bill and Alberta purchased an adjoining farm and were now the owners of 250 acres of irrigated farmland. Bill and Alberta continued improving their farm by using a gravity fed sprinkler system and concrete ditches to help conserve water. During their life on the farm, they raised sugar beets, beans, canner peas, radishes, corn, alfalfa, oats, barley and malt barley. His farm at different times included animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, horses, dairy cattle, chickens, geese, peacocks, dogs and cats.
Bill was active in the Farm Bureau, served on the Shoshone Heart Mountain Irrigation District Board, and used farm machinery that was mainly painted red. The 1949 Ford truck that he left Colorado with and used to move his family to Wyoming, is still being used around the farm by his son, Steve. Travis Jackson, middle son of Stan Jackson, is now farming the land that his grandfather homesteaded.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Powell, Wyoming, and served as a Deacon and Trustee in his earlier years and was a part of the leadership that planned and helped build the church as it exists today. In his later years he was one of the official greeters at the front door until his health would not let him continue in that role. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living member of the church.
Bill was preceded in death by his son Stan Jackson of Powell in 2002, wife Alberta, in 2008, and his daughter-in-law Kirsten Jackson in 2010 . He is survived by his sons and daughters-in- law; Dave and Kathi of Sugar Land, Texas; Steve and Linda of Powell, Wyoming; Dan and Connie of Harker Heights, Texas; Lynn Jackson of Powell, Wyoming and Bill Jr. and Judy of Clancy, Montana. At the time of his death he had 13 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
A word of encouragement for all who are left behind is taken from Philippians 4:9 "The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
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