Services planned for Richmond activist
By Chris Treadway
West County Times
Posted: 09/13/2011 03:29:49 PM PDT
Updated: 09/14/2011 07:21:31 AM PDT
The humanitarian legacy of Richmond activist Fred Jackson, who died Sept. 8 at age 73, will be celebrated at two services this week.
A service from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at North Richmond Missionary Baptist Church on Fred Jackson Way, formerly 1427 Filbert St., "will be set aside for people to come and speak about what Fred meant to them," said Dorothy Fox, Jackson's sister.
A second formal funeral service, without a segment for public speaking, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.
Residents are invited to both events.
The Friday service will be followed by a procession with a Richmond police escort from the auditorium to Fred Jackson Way, through North Richmond, then on the Richmond Parkway to Rolling Hills Memorial Park.
"We wanted to do that because North Richmond is where he reached so many people where he did so much work," Fox said.
Already set to speak at the Thursday service are U.S. Rep. George Miller; Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia; Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin; and Barbara Becnel of Neighborhood House of North Richmond.
"He will forever be my role model in terms of kindness and generosity and spirit," Becnel said last week. "He was so understanding of humanity, never judgmental."
Added Gioia: "What always stood out about Fred was that he had the ability to bridge the divide between groups in Richmond. He just had a way of advocating for the community that made people want to join him."
A fund will be established at the Hilltop branch of Mechanics Bank for donations that will be used to complete and publish the many projects Jackson had been working on to spread a message community harmony and well-being, including a novel and original music.
"The family, we've had him all these years and we never got tired of him," Fox said.
"He touched all of our lives, and we wish we could have had him another 25 years. I hear his presence through song and I am comforted."
Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.