Feb. 22, 2006 – Funeral services were announced Wednesday for former Tourism Commissioner Rafael K. Jackson, who died Saturday at age 70 in Fort Myers, Fla.
Tributes will be held at 9 a.m. Feb. 28 at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Estate Barren Spot on St. Croix. A funeral service will follow.
Burial will take place after the funeral at the Veterans' Section of the Kingshill Cemetery.
Jackson's granddaughter, Kye Walker, said her grandfather was surrounded by his wife, Shirley, and other family members when he died.
Walker said her grandfather was an avid baseball and softball player who played on numerous teams throughout his life. They included the Over-40, Over-50 and Over-60 teams.
She said his love for those sports ranked third after his love for his family and the Virgin Islands.
Jackson was born on St. Croix and worked in tourism for more than 20 years before retiring in 1996. He was an assistant director of tourism and, among other positions, served as the sales promotion manager in the New York office, regional sales manager in Chicago, and the assistant director of tourism responsible for sales and marketing.
After he retired from the public sector, Jackson went to work for Prestige Airways as its director of marketing for Florida and the Virgin Islands.
He returned to serve as tourism commissioner in March 2000, serving first in an acting capacity before his official nomination in July 2000. He resigned from the job in October 2000, citing health reasons.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Gerald L., Leo Mark, Rafael Kenneth Jr., and Roberto Jackson. He is also survived by his daughter Lucy Mae Jackson.
In addition to Walker, Jackson is survived by grandchildren Norlisha Lewis, Nighel Jackson, Norlando Jackson, Idesha Hardcastle, Precious Hardcastle, Reuben Omari Hardcastle, Charles Biko Hardcastle, Nini Claxton, Ishmael Jackson, Latifah Jackson, Andre Jackson, Uni Jackson, Teshana Jackson, Kimari Jackson, Jelanie Jackson, Natalia Felix, Rafael Kenneth Jackson III, Annia Tzaddi, Isiah Tzaddi, Abysinnia Tzaddi, and Addis Aba Tzaddi.
He is also survived by son-in-law Anthony Liddie and daughters-in-law Malvina Jackson, Ophelia Jackson and Josett Tzzadi Jackson.
His stepchildren are Chris Derkas, Katrina Loftus and Erica Derkas.
Jackson's stepgrandchildren are Timothy Derkas, Samantha Derkas, Justin Joyce, Sean Loftus, and Megan Loftus.
Additionally, Jackson is survived by his brother, Samuel Caines; sisters Doreen Georges, Gloria Oldyn and Verna Shabazz; an uncle, Joseph Gill; close friends Luis Davila, Douglas Nesbitt, Excelman DeLagarde, and Patrick Olive; and other relatives and friends to numerous to list.
Funeral arrangements will be conducted by the James Memorial Funeral Home.
The family asks that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Vikings Youth Development Club, P.O. Box 1821, Frederiksted, St. Croix, VI 00841.
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