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Daniel Patrick Jackson passed away peacefully on Oct. 20, 2023, after a prolonged battle with Kennedy’s Disease. He was born on August 17, 1953, to Gerald (Judd) and Claire Jackson, and was number 9 of 11 children. As a lifelong Humboldt County resident, he had fond memories of growing up in Eureka and being one of the youngest in such a large family, playing with his siblings and cousins in the redwood forest which served as their backyard playground. As a small child, he was lucky to cultivate lifelong friendships with Dave Turner and Richard Hurst, where they shared numerous adventures throughout childhood and into adulthood. He was a true outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and exploring nature.
He graduated from high school in 1971, and enlisted in the Army in 1973. That same year, he married Karen Bottemiller. Together, they moved to Bamburg, Germany, where he served in the military for three years and finished his military career in 1979.
After returning to Humboldt County, Dan and Karen had three children, Jenny, Justin, and Ryan. Becoming a father was one of the biggest highlights of his life. The family enjoyed countless wonderful memories up at Trinity Lake, boating and water skiing with friends, spending time at the family cabin in Willow Creek, and snow skiing at Mt. Shasta and Mt. Bachelor in the winter.
Following in his father Judd’s footsteps, he worked at Twin Parks Lumber Company until it shut down. He went on to work for the Northern California Log Scaling Bureau in Sacramento, and then Simpson Timber Company in Korbel. In 1983, he transitioned his career to the United States Post Office to work as a mail carrier. He would continue in this role until he was no longer able to work. He loved delivering mail and socializing with people along his route. He was fondly referred to as “Dan the Mailman” and was adored by those on his route. This was especially evident during the holidays, when he would come home with endless treats and baked goods as a thank-you for his hard work.
He was a loyal member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata and a proud brother of the Knights of Columbus, serving as a Grand Knight. Originally joining in December of 1984, he was especially proud to receive a proclamation honoring his devoted service among his Brother Knights of Monsignor Nugent Council 2947. He loved being part of the community and spent countless hours helping put on their annual luaus and crab feeds, often pulling in his family members and friends for additional support and enjoyment.
Dan and Karen separated in 1990 but have continued to come together and share in their children and grandchildren’s lives through sports, holidays, and special events. He married Virginia Bass in 1994 and they enjoyed spending time in Redwood Creek and up at Trinity Lake, juggling the fun and chaos of bringing up four little boys very close in age. Despite their separation in 2004, they remained friends and Dan served as another father figure to her two sons, Jason and Jared, treating them just like his own.
He shared the last 18 years with his partner, Joy Finley. They spent a lot of time in Clear Lake and enjoyed going to Konocti Resort for live music, some of their favorites being Heart, Charlie Daniels Band, and the Beach Boys. He loved country music, classic rock, and anything vinyl.
Dan was a wonderful gardener with quite a green thumb. He was especially gifted with roses, his favorite garden flower, and had a knack and passion for flower arranging. He absolutely loved watching old western shows and this was often the only thing on the TV, with the news mixed in for good measure. An adventurer at heart, he had a keen sense of direction. He blazed his own trail and wasn’t afraid to do things his way. His nickname was thus appropriately coined “Sarge” and he maintained this throughout his life and even through his final days.
Most of all, he was a humble, kind, generous, and proud man who loved his family dearly. He especially loved being a grandpa and was so proud of all his children and grandchildren.
Daniel is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald (Judd) and Claire Jackson, and his brothers Richard Jackson and John Jackson.
He is survived by his long-time partner, Joy Finley, daughter Jenny Bowen (Greg), sons Justin Jackson and Ryan Jackson (Josie), step sons Jason Wattle and Jared Wattle (Brittany), grandchildren Ashlyn Bowen, Taylor Bowen, Boyd Jackson, and step-grandchildren Robert Wattle, Bransen Wattle, and Cooper Wattle. He is also survived by his brother Jerry Jackson and seven sisters, Linda Williams, Jo Ann Rossen (Rick), Diane Heinl (Richard), Mary Vallee, Sharon Simpson (Dave), Donna Gervase (Mark), Carolyn Griffith (Doug) and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, November 9 at Paul’s Chapel in Arcata from 4-6 p.m., with the Rosary beginning at 6 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, November 10 beginning at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Arcata. A burial ceremony, including the Honor Guard, will directly follow the Mass at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Arcata. All those who knew and loved him are invited to attend any or all of the services, with a reception following.