promoted to glory/Clarence M. Jackson

CJacksonClarence M. Jackson, Sr., 78, Tlingit tribal leader and Salvationist, was promoted to Glory Jan. 31 from the Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, Alaska.

Jackson was born May 24, 1934, in Kake, Alaska, and graduated from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska, in 1954. He married Gertrude Louise (Lidda) Paddock in 1951; together they had five children and raised the family in Kake. He was a lifelong commercial and subsistence fisherman and also ran his own store.

While living in Sitka, Jackson was involved in the Alaska Native claims movement in the 1960s as a member of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. He also served as president of the council from 1972-76. In 1972, he signed the articles of incorporation for Sealaska, the regional native corporation for Southeast Alaska, created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. He was the only board member to serve continuously since the company was founded.

Jackson served as a trustee for the Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) from its creation in 1980 and as chair of its Council of Traditional Knowledge, a panel of elders and clan leaders who guide SHI’s programs. He also served on the Board of Advisors for Sheldon Jackson College and on the Fisheries Advisory Board for the Kake area.

In the 1960s and 70s, Jackson led The Salvation Army’s Kake Songsters. During those years, the songsters often performed at the Alaska Congress and took gospel trips to other southeast communities. Although he became a Salvation Army soldier many years ago, during the 2011 Alaska Congress, he stood with his wife as Commissioner James Knaggs enrolled them as senior soldiers.

Jackson was known for his vast knowledge of the Tlingit language, history and culture. He spoke fluent Tlingit and loved talking with the elders about history, clan origins and customs.

Through the years he was generous in giving material and monetary donations to The Salvation Army’s ministry in Kake, the Alaska Division, and to World Services, encouraging others to also support the Army.

Jackson is survived by his wife, Lidda, and by children Clarence, Jr., Leisa Molfetas, Jeffery and Dale. His son John preceded him in death. He has two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Major George Baker preached at memorial services in Kake and Juneau. A cultural ceremony was also held.

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