It is with deep sorrow but also incredible pride and respect that the family of Brian Jackson announce his passing on February 15, 2023.
After nearly 8 years of battling colon cancer with absolutely everything he could possibly throw at it, the miserable disease put forth a full body offensive tackle that Brian could not defend. Right up until the end he fought hard and refused to give up. As Brian put it, he went out kicking and screaming, not peacefully and serene. For those who were on this cancer road trip from hell with Brian know that he left no stone unturned and did whatever he had to do to fight the cancer. He had specific things he wanted to accomplish and things he wanted to see his children achieve which gave him the strength to withstand the severe sickness from chemotherapy, the irritating skin rashes, the pain following ablations on the liver, the multiple surgeries, and the many rounds of radiation. Through it all he continued to do what needed to be done around the house, maintain the cars, play on a ball team with Aaron, be crew chief for Aaron at Grand Bend Speedway, go to Montreal to see Ashley play basketball, travel to Halifax and Ottawa to get Ashley settled for university, and even continued to design and manufacture goal equipment. He was truly amazing and defied all statistical odds of survival.
Brian had many talents and succeeded at whatever he ventured to try. He was a self-taught goalie, known as Shakey, and played for the Tilbury Selects at one point in his career. He could roller skate circles around people, including Chris when they met at the Roller Alley and fell in love. Brian got his motorcycle licence and enjoyed the open road on his Harley. He played baseball in the summers, but his favourite ball season was the one he played on the same team as Aaron. In the mix was also scuba diving that brought him a great deal of pleasure and that he hoped to do again some day in warm water instead of the usual frigid waters of Tobermory. He was also a self-taught crew chief when he got Aaron into racing at Delaware and then Grand Bend. It was trial and error but he never gave up trying to go faster. Last but not least, Brian taught himself how to design and manufacture goal equipment, out of this was born Jackson Goal Equipment. He proudly made each piece of equipment by hand with attention to detail and perfection. Working on a shoe string budget he was unable to compete with the big names in the NHL but he did get his foot in the door when he was commissioned by the Red Wings to build shoulder pads for a few players, namely Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman. He was beyond excited one time watching a game and Hull's jersey being pulled up during a fight and seeing the shoulder pads displayed, with the Jackson logo. Brian continued to design equipment right up until the end.
Brian is survived by and will be missed beyond words by his wife of 38 years, Christine. He was the proud father of Aaron (Victoria Snyder) and Ashley (Jeremy Thompson), who were both his inspiration to fight and survive. Brian is the son of Clayton and Clara (2020) Jackson of Chatham and is the brother of Sharon Jackson and Mark (Michelle) Jackson. Brother-in-law of Ruth and Bill Toth, Sheree (Dave 2017) Fraser, Penny and Jed Kanter, and Wayne and Mary Edwards. Uncle to Lauren and Adam Jackson, James (Leslie) Toth, Jason (Sara) Moran, Tiffany Black, Darren Moran and great-uncle to Miranda Toth, Lucas, Cooper and Cruz Moran. Predeceased by his mother and father-in-law Margaret and Floyd (Sparky) Moran, and brother-in-law Dennis Moran (1999). He will be missed by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, and will be terribly missed by his sweet dog Chloe.
A special thank you to Dr. Karen Hahn of the LHSC and all of the many doctors and nurses who helped him fight this awful disease and who provided innovative treatments that helped him survive for nearly 8 years. A heartfelt thanks to the nurses and doctors in the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Cancer Suite who took such good care of Brian when he had treatments that he actually looked forward to going as he thought of all of you as friends. Also a special thanks to the Emergency Room staff at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance who helped him many times over the years and who always provided excellent and compassionate care. Thank you to Dr. Jones, Carolyn and Jolane who were always there for Brian no matter what the time or the issue. Last but not least, thank you to all of the incredible staff and volunteers at the Chatham-Kent Hospice. Each and every one of you made the end of this road trip so peaceful, painless, and dignified for Brian and allowed his family to have quality time with him when it was needed most.
In keeping with Brian’s wishes, there will be no service but instead at some point his family will scatter his ashes along his favourite route to ride his Harley. If you want to honour Brian’s memory the family asks that you consider donating to the London Health Sciences Centre Regional Cancer Program or the Chatham-Kent Hospice.