DOBBINS HEIGHTS — As Women’s History Month comes to a close, so does the legacy of one of Richmond County’s leading ladies.
Longtime teacher and Dobbins Heights Town Council member Gracie Jackson passed away Sunday at the age of 86.
Born Gracie Cheek, a native of the Pleasant Hill community in Randolph County, she graduated from N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University in 1960 with a degree in Home Economics.
Her first job was as a 4-H extension agent working in both Pitt and Richmond counties.
She married Halbart Jackson in 1964 at St. Peter United Methodist Church.
That same year, Jackson started her three-decade teaching career at Henry Grove School in Anson County then moved to Richmond County where she taught language arts, general math and home economics, and served as the District IV advisor for Future Homemakers of America.
According to the biography provided by her daughter, Halena Jackson Brown, Jackson “strongly believed that the major purpose of education is to promote good training, self-discipline and good character development.”
She “loved working with young people in the school, church and community. She was one who believed that anyone could reach their goal and she was her own example.”
Jackson was named Teacher of the Year three times at Hamlet Junior High and honored once as the countywide Teacher of the Year. She retired in 1992.
Her husband served as the first mayor of Dobbins Heights and Jackson served on the planning board when the young town “only had dirt roads.”
Jackson participated in efforts to have the roads paved and street lights erected, as well as helped to organize Easter egg hunts and install a fence around the park.
She was elected to the council in 1987 and served until the end of 2015, when she was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
In civic life, Jackson was a charter member of the Alpha Mu Chapter of the Alpha Phi Chi Sorority, the National Association of University Women and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Steering Committee.
She was also a member of: the Order of the Eastern Star – Palestine Chapter No. 79
- Keep Richmond County Beautiful
- Richmond County branch of the NAACP
- North Carolina Association of Educators
- Home Economics Association
Jackson was also very involved with her church, serving in many capacities.
“She also had a love for different types of music,” the biography reads. “She enjoyed hymns and her one special request for her homegoing was ‘Amazing Grace’ sung by Elvis Presley.
“Mrs. Jackson will truly be missed by her family, church, community and friends.”