Leroy Jackson, 80, of Lewiston, went to be with the Lord on Friday, June 9, 2017, but not without a good fight. In true Leroy fashion, he stubbornly fought heart disease tooth and nail, all the while refusing to give up eating ice cream after nearly every meal.
Leroy was born May 19, 1937, in Alpaugh, Calif., to James and Delma Jackson. The second-oldest of five boys, Leroy was a rambunctious, free-wheeling (not to mention handsome) young man. He and his wild band of brothers (Philip, JD and twins Elbert and Delbert) reigned over Northern California with adventurousness and vigor.
On Dec. 6, 1958, Leroy made the best decision of his life - he married Carrolyn Ford (aka The Most Patient Woman in History) and the two set out on a lifelong adventure that included three kids, a number of moves and all the ups and downs you can imagine a nearly 60-year marriage would include.
The family moved about the Golden State and then did a couple-year stint in Gentry, Ark., before finally landing on Clear Creek (pronounced "crick," Leroy always insisted) in 1980. These five acres of land, 7 miles outside of Kooskia, was Leroy's paradise and where his heart has always been and will be.
There Leroy enjoyed a wide variety of interests including hunting, hiking, fishing, gardening, his horses and creating questionable, experimental culinary creations (much to his wife's dismay), and had a soft spot for hitchhikers (much to everyone else's dismay). He even picked up a hitchhiker on their honeymoon. He liked trying new hobbies and taught himself a number of things like the guitar, beekeeping and Spanish.
Leroy and Carolyn moved to Lewiston in 2005 to be closer to family and medical care.
He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers.
Leroy is survived by his wife, Carrolyn, of Lewiston; son Jim (Keela) Jackson of Great Bend, Kan.; daughter Carrlea Jackson of Lewiston; son Darren (Jodie) Jackson of St. Maries; and brother JD Jackson of Yuba City, Calif.
Leroy is also survived by his greatest pride and joy: his eight grandkids and 10 great-grandkids.
He loved each of them very much. These lucky "rascals" all have wonderful childhood memories because of him and their adventures at Grandpa's and Grandma's. There was never a dull moment when he was around. They'll miss his milkshakes, his baritone singing voice, rocking together in his recliner, his big dreams (including all of them seeing America together by motor home), diligently tracking all of their heights on his door frame, his many, many jokes, and oh, so much more.
They'll even miss his resounding snoring and watching him slowly and painfully open his gifts with a pocket knife.
Leroy told his grandkids that drinking straight buttermilk would make them "real cowboys and cowgirls." These proven, real cowboys and cowgirls include Jim (Sina) Jackson Jr. of Great Bend, Kan., Dan (Jacqueline) Schwartz Jr. of Genesee, Kimberly Carbajal of Boise, Darren (Vanessa) Jackson Jr. of St. Maries, Daeleena Jackson of Lewiston, Danae (Collin) Castellaw of Boise, Grant (Amanda) Jackson of Great Bend and Heather (Chason) Leuth of Great Bend.
In 2008, Leroy made the difficult decision to undergo a risky quadruple bypass surgery because he "wanted to see his great-grandkids grow up." Well, he'd tell you he made the right choice. Nothing brought him more pleasure in his last years than being with his nine great-grandsons (plus one on the way) and one great-grandaughter. Carson, Kyler, Gavin, Kaden, Ethan, Jeremiah, Nathaniel, Emmett, Matthew and Elle - you gave him new life these last 10 years. Thank you for keeping him young for as long as you did.
Special thank you to Dr. Spence and staff at Benewah Community Hospital and Valley Vista Care Center in St. Maries.
A private memorial service will be held by the immediate family at a later date.
Jesus, you can't miss him. He'll be the one wearing a flannel shirt, pointed cowboy boots, and if you ask him what he's doing, he'll reply, "Shoeing horses."