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Former Ceres high school teacher Al Jackson, 77, passes away in Montana
Alfred Jackson
Alfred Jackson, former Ceres teacher, coach and counselor, died last week in his native Montana.

Former Ceres and Argus high school teacher, coach and counselor Alfred Jackson Jr., 77, has passed away at his home in Helena, Montana.

He died on Aug. 12, 2013, in Helena, from complications of recent heart surgery.

"I had known Bill very well," said Art McRae, a retired Ceres High teacher and coach. "He was well known, respected and admired by many."

McRae had a chance to visit Jackson at a custom built retirement home in Montana, complete with a spectacular view of the mountains.

Mr. Jackson spent 30 years of his life in education, serving as a counselor throughout his career with CUSD from September 1970 to June 1992. He served at Ceres High School before moving to Argus High School in June 1985. After Bill's career in California, he settled in Elliston, Montana, in 1995 where he remained with his wife of 53 years, Anita L. (Hopcus) Jackson, until his death.

Mr. Jackson was born on Oct. 18, 1935, in Fort Benton, the son of Alfred and Pearl Jackson. The family moved to numerous ranches around Montana and was educated at Montana Western University. Bill and Anita were married on June 6, 1960. After graduating from Powell County High School in Deer Lodge, they attended Western Montana College in Dillon where Bill excelled in basketball, track, baseball and football and is enshrined in the hall of fame there. He was a proud member of the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1954-1956.

As well as teaching and coaching students from grades seven to 12 in California, he was a beloved counselor and known as "Mr. J." He was voted by the student body as the "favorite teacher" on more than one occasion.

One very successful basketball team he started as first-graders went all the way to the state championship game as seniors. Many of these players, including Bob McDonough, Bud Swanson, Kent Harris, Dr. Leslie Moore and Judy Harvey stayed in touch with him until the end of his life.

Kids were always welcome in the Jackson home and even though he had no children of his own, many people whose lives he touched would be proud to call him Dad.

He is survived by his wife, Anita; sister, Lily May (Walter) Myers; and numerous nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

A celebration of Bill's life will take place in October. Memorials can be made to the Elliston School, P.O. Box 160, Elliston, MT 59728.