CHERRYVILLE -- Jacob Jackson, 17, of Cherryville, NC passed away suddenly on Friday, December 3, 2010 at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte after bravely facing yet another heart surgery. 'Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.' Jacob was born on February 28, 1993 in Mecklenburg County and is survived by his devoted parents, Kim and Wade Jackson, loving sister McKenzie, adoring grandparents Shirley Hartis of Cherryville and Mary M. Jackson of Farmington Hills, Michigan; his uncles and aunts, William M. 'Billy' Hartis, Jr. and wife Kim, Mike Jackson and wife Erin, and Mike Sitko and wife Marilee; cousins William M. 'B.J.' Hartis, III, Chase and Alston Hartis, Kaitlyn Jackson, Cody and Nick Rutherford; and his faithful dog, Ozzy. Jacob also leaves numerous families with Levine Cardiac Kids (LCK) who know him as their hero, as he is an inspiration to all who deal with a congenital heart defect (CHD). He also leaves behind his Camp Taylor family in CA. He was predeceased by his grandfather, William M. 'Bill' Hartis, Sr.
Jacob was born with a CHD, but that defect was only anatomical - it surely didn't affect his ability to love with a huge heart and generous spirit. His outgoing nature ensured that he never met a stranger - to know Jacob was to be his friend. His involvement in CHD awareness and support activities, particularly pediatric heart camp, was his passion - inspired by his mom. For 5 years, Jacob and Kim attended Camp Taylor (www.kidsheartcamp.org), an incredible life-changing experience for them; Jacob progressed from camp attendee to being selected in 2009 as a mentor for Camp Taylor/Hawaii . They brought their love of heart camp back to NC and collaborated with Dr. Rene Herlong and Jay Thompson to create a family heart camp, Camp LuCK, in 2010; with plans to establish a kids' heart camp of the same name in August 2011. Jacob, a senior at West Lincoln High School, shared his infectious smile and sense of humor to acquire many friends within the student body and staff. His interests included his LOVE for his Jeep Cherokee, deer hunting and dirt biking. He had plans after graduation to become an EMT. Jacob's generosity was exhibited even in his passing; as he was a LifeShare Carolinas organ donor.
The Jackson family would like to thank the following people for the special influence they had in Jacob's life, 'Ant' Lucy Davison, Tom Dowd and Dr. Rene Herlong (his cardiologist and friend). They would also like to thank Dr. Larry Watts, Dr. Herbert Stern, the pediatric staff at Sanger Cardio-Vascular Institute, the staff of Levine Children's Hospital (particularly Child Life and Keri Stevenson), the families and friends of LCK, Camp Taylor, the North Brook Community of West Lincoln and last but not least, the class of 2011 at West Lincoln High School.
A Celebration of Jacob's Life will be held Thursday, December 9th at 6pm at West Lincoln High School, 172 Shoal Road, Lincolnton, NC 28092 with the Rev. Roy T. Byers officiating. Family will receive friends immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to either Camp LuCK to help establish Jacob's passion - his legacy - by making checks out to Camp LuCK and sending to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP c/o Bryon Mulligan, 227 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202; or to Camp Taylor Inc., 5424 Pirrone Rd., Salida, CA 95368. A guest register is available online at www.stameyfuneralhome.com. Stamey-Cherryville Funeral Home is serving the Jackson family.