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CREEDMOOR — Former Creedmoor Commissioner Thomas C. Jackson suffered a heart attack which led to multiple complications, and after weeks in the hospital, he passed away July 3.
In Jackson fashion, he fought to the end.
About eight years ago, a disheveled man came into the newspaper office demanding all of the articles written about the South Granville Water & Sewer Authority. It was about closing time and Mrs. Coleman, editor and owner at the time, told him we would pull those and have them for him the first thing the next morning. That was not good enough — he wanted them right then.
We proceeded to pull what we could find for him and told him that he was welcome to come back the next day and look through the bound books for more articles.
He said, “OK, I am Thomas C. Jackson and I will be back.”
True to his word, he came back to the newspaper office just about every day for the next eight years and when he didn’t stop by he would call from “Jackson World Headquarters,” better known as Bojangles or Arby’s.
Jackson was very strong-willed and opinionated, but his passion for doing the right things for the residents of Creedmoor was evident from his letters to the editor and his votes as a commissioner while on the Creedmoor board.
His gruff presentation often didn’t sit well with many, but he did have the best interest of the Granville County residents in his heart, especially Creedmoor.
He researched everything and had his facts in hand before he would prepare his letters to the editor or prepare to deliver a message to one of the boards.
Often Jackson would bring in his research and spread it out on the counter and proceed to go step-by-step over his information. He would get caught up in his delivery of that information, until we had to calm him down and help him make sure he had a positive delivery. Jackson began to mellow out near the end of his first term as a Creedmoor commissioner.
He would often come by and show off his Boy Scout patch collection and talk about attending the Boy Scout jamborees. He was so excited and proud to be part of the Green Team that was responsible for recycling at the huge camps.
He shared photos from his zipline trips and sites around the camps. He had photos of meetings with some of the higher ranking Boy Scout officials at the jamborees and he talked about introducing young scouts to those officials. Mr. Jackson was so proud when his daughter, Sheree, completed scout leadership training and would be able to attend the next jamboree with him.
His passion for sports led him to attend South Granville football games and he even traveled to North Davidson in 2017 to see the playoff game. He and his daughter cheered as hard as possible for the Vikings. Making the trek to Greensboro he saw the Lady Vikings win the state softball championship in 2018. One of his last calls to the office after his heart attack was to find out how the Lady Vikings were doing in the playoffs.
He shared stories about running track in high school and joked he was the slowest-fast runner his team could put on the track.
Jackson, with the intention to sit down for a minute to rest, would often end up staying an hour with a short nap in the lobby. When the newspaper moved to its new location, Jackson followed, but it was a little more difficult for him to gain entry because the door was locked on the three days when the office is closed.
He would often come around and knock on the window and want to come in to share a new letter to the editor or a statement he was going to read at a meeting. It was often recommended that he run something by Mayor Bobby Wheeler before making a presentation in public comments.
Wheeler said it best in a social media post about getting to know Jackson and then you would understand him a little better.
One of the last times he came to the office he talked about his upcoming campaign for Creedmoor commissioner, mending fences with fellow candidates and making the leadership accountable to the residents of Creedmoor.
Thank you Mr. Jackson for being a friend and a strong supporter. Jackson can now oversee Creedmoor from above. Rest in peace, Mr. Thomas C. Jackson.