Charles Donald Jackson was born on April 16, 1929, in the
East Pittsburgh, neighborhood of Crestas Terrace. He was seventh of ten children born to William T. and Hattie E. Jackson. Charles, who shared a birthdate with his mother, loved being with family, and, with his siblings spent many hours together engaged in sports and hijinks. The Jacksons were a church- going family with a focus on learning the gospel and on education. Charles followed his brothers in playing high school scholastic football at East Pittsburgh High School and at working alongside his father in the family owned construction business.
In March of 1946, 16 year old Charles’ life was forever changed when the teenager met
the love of his life, Marjorie “Margie” Baugh, at Paulson Avenue Church of God, where
their families were members. After first being captivated by her long, flowing ribboned
hair and admiring her from afar, he asked and she agreed to their first date. The Penguin
Ice Cream Shop became the site of their post church weekly dates, where after enjoying
ice cream soda and conversation together, he would walk her home, then head to his
home 12 miles away, a journey which included a streetcar ride plus 3 mile walk. That’s
love. The courtship continued with additional Thursday party line phone calls and shared
time at church at weekly Youth Fellowship Meetings. After 4 years of blossoming love,
gentleman that he was, Charles asked Marjorie’s father for his blessing before asking
for her hand in marriage. They were engaged in March 1951, weeks before he left for
his 2 year draft assignment during the Korean War. In the church where it all began,
they married on November 10, 1951, a date Charles selected 10 days earlier after
learning he would have a 4 day pass for the Veteran’s Day holiday weekend. Later,
while stationed in Fort Belvoir VA, Charles took advantage of the proximity to
Pittsburgh and spent each weekend pass traveling back home to spend time with his new
bride. With the use of 14 different cars, meeting curfew with minutes to spare, and a
passing nod to the notion of a speed limit, Charles had figured a way to be both an + upstanding soldier and a devoted husband.
Five years into the union, the couple welcomed Rick, the first of their 3 children. Linda followed 6 years later, and 7 years after that, Marilyn arrived to complete their family version of The Jackson Five.
As the family grew, what also grew was Charles’ unabashed and passionate love for “His Marge”. His captivation and downright giddiness of her remained a constant throughout their 69 years of marriage, and was easily evident to family, friends and strangers alike. Frequent restaurant dates, impromptu gifts, rides through and time spent in Highland Park, sliding a tip under his plate for a home cooked meal that he particularly liked, late night Dairy Queen runs, always holding hands, opening doors for her- the list of the little things that are the big things that fueled their loving marriage seem endless. They spent a lifetime dating each other. In 2019, when in conversation with 2 sisters in- law, he stated, “I love your sister!”-to which they unprompted and simultaneously replied “We knoooow!” Yes, we all knew. We all know. We thank you.
His love of family was evident in all he did. He adored his children and was easily prompted to share stories of their latest accomplishments. He was father, friend, and sage advisor with a ready shoulder on which to lean. He helped them with numerous geographic moves, and took joy visiting them, always ready to jump in and lend his building expertise to “help” knock out any Honey Do lists. His grandsons Brandon, Bryant “BA” and Connor, were a constant source of pride. Their biggest fan, counselor and playmate, Granddad was always just a phone call away. He relished the trips he and Marge made to cheer them on in sporting events, and theater productions and high school graduations.
Ever the proverbial “never met a stranger’ guy, Charles was the “go to”. Trusted by everyone, he was a confidant, easy advisor, mentor, teacher, offered advice when asked, and possessed common sense, quick wit and great sense of humor. He was a great listener, always making whomever he was interacting with feel like the most important person in the world at the time. His gentle demeanor and unyielding loyalty made him a friend of many. He was a hero to his family, and a role model to many.
Family was his passion. The ninth of the Jackson siblings to pass, he was close to his surviving sister Hattie Grace, and considered his wife’s siblings as his own. He cherished his time and relationships with surviving Baugh family members Herbert, Richard, Harold, Janet, and Brenda – and their spouses, Rev. Joan, Kenna, Chacona, and John and fondly recalled the same with the late Samuel and Constance and their spouses Bernadette and Herbert.
Charles was a raconteur who loved to relate adventures he had experienced, and talk about his interactions with family, friends and “strangers” he engaged.
Among his many passions was music. He could often be heard singing church hymns and easy listening music. Everyone who knew Charles knew he was a passionate fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates. Besides his sporting past as a high school football player himself, he was a board games player – spending many nights engaged in high scoring S C R A B B L E matches with Marge.
Charles’ passion for life and excellence was demonstrated in his professional and church life as well. Carrying on the family legacy of the construction business his father started, C& M Jackson Brothers showcased his skilled craftsmanship and gift of design and could be seen throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area.
For more than 80 years, Charles was an active member of the Lincoln Avenue Church of God. He was a trustee for many years, nine of which he served in the role of Chairman of the Board. He continued to volunteer his time after retiring from the board, and was named the first Trustee Emeritus, a title he held at the time of his passing. At the National Association of the Church of God campground in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, Charles and his father-in-law William “Bill” Baugh hand built a large family home that continues to serve the extended family to this day.
Charles Donald Jackson departed this life peacefully on Sunday February 7, 2021 while a patient in Allegheny General Hospital. Charles was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Calvin, James, Raymond, Marcus, William, and Harry, and sisters Venice and Sheila.
Left to cherish his memory is Marjorie, his adoring wife of 69 years, son Rick (Brenda) of Cleveland OH, daughters Linda (Bryant) Reed of Charlotte NC, and Marilyn (Rev. Karl) Brower of Woodbridge VA, grandsons Brandon Jackson, Bryant Reed, and Connor Reed, sister Hattie Grace, beloved sisters and brothers-in-law, a host of cherished nieces and nephews, and extended family in Pittsburgh and throughout the country.
His memory, legacy, and his passionate love of his family is remembered now, and we wil
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles Donald Jackson, please visit our floral store.