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J. Elvin Jackson

J. Elvin Jackson
  • March 17, 1938 - May 22, 2017
  • Carthage, North Carolina

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Carthage – J. Elvin Jackson died May 22, 2017, age 79, at his home.
He was born March 17, 1938 in West End, NC to the late William Elias Jackson and Laura Helen Sullivan.
Elvin Jackson grew up on a peach farm and went on to have successful careers in banking and politics. After his retirement he spent his glory years at the poker table.
He got his start working at the old Carolina Bank. Working at Carolina Bank sparked an interest and passion for money, finance and community engagement.  He had an incredible knack for numbers and rose rapidly through the ranks.  He soon was managing the bank in Vass and later promoted to manage the Carolina Bank in Carthage.  At that time, he was the youngest bank manager in the state.  
Banking opened his eyes to the positive difference that individuals and businesses can make in the community.  He was proud of the opportunity to loan people money to buy their first car, build their first home or create their own business.  He went on to achieve a number of things in his life but in his heart he was always community banker.
He was a leader in the community as well. He was an active member of the Jaycees [Junior Chamber of Commerce], a Master Mason with Carthage Masonic Lodge #181 and served as a Deacon in the First Presbyterian Church in Carthage. He traveled to Israel on a Rotary leadership scholarship, visited the Knesset and the western wall, interviewed Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and swam in the Dead Sea.  
Elvin’s community involvement led to an active career in politics. His first real political involvement was with the Young Democratic Club where he became friends and allies with a number of likeminded young ambitious leaders across the state like Jim Hunt.  He went on to become chair of the Moore County Democratic Party and liked to boast that he was chair of party the last time a Democrat carried Moore County for President.  He managed former NC Speaker of the House Cliff Blue’s campaigns for Congress and Lt. Governor.
Elvin was considering running for office himself in 1973 when he met former Gospel music star Bill Hefner. They immediately clicked and saw opportunity in each other.  For the next year and a half, they spent almost every day together traveling the roads of the 8th Congressional District rallying voters at gospel singings, town halls, plant shift changes, parades, and every church, large and small. Elvin managed Hefner’s first campaign in 1974 and was his right hand and District Administrator for the next twenty four years until they both retired in 1999.  Through the years he traveled hundreds of thousands of miles across the district helping people. Those that needed help with their VA pension, with their Social Security, those seeking funding for a program or an airport or a city hall or those that needed help getting a job. He made time for them all and tried to help them all.
Elvin loved politics and the positive impact it had on public policy. He steered Congress Hefner through the Republican landslides and celebrated the Democratic ones. He was yellow dog Democrat throughout and is one in heaven. He was so proud to have lived to see Roy Cooper elected Governor and he will roll in his grave until we get another Democrat in the White House.
Elvin’s other passion in life was poker. He had a keen mind for numbers, an ability to understand and read people from all walks of life and was fiercely competitive.  Over the years, he was successful at every level he played. During the 1970’s he came in second in one of the famous World Series of Poker events in Las Vegas. After his retirement, he won numerous tournaments on the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker Circuit.  
Elvin and his wife Pat had a love affair that lasted nearly 50 years.  Together they raised Clay and Morgan and spoiled their four “perfect” grandchildren Luke, Parry Grace, Emsley and Colt.  They survived countless late night elections, health issues and scares all the while never losing their ability to laugh with each other and at each other.
Elvin is survived by his wife of 46 years, Pat Wallace Jackson, sons Clay (Anna) Jackson of Fuquay-Varina and Morgan (Shawn) Jackson of Raleigh and grandchildren Luke, Parry Grace, Emsley and Colt Jackson. He is also survived by siblings William E. Jackson, Jr. of Davidson and Jane Ellen Jackson of Matthews.
The family will receive friends at Fry-Prickett Funeral Home in Carthage on Wednesday from 6-8pm. Funeral services will be at the First Presbyterian Church in Carthage on Thursday at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the First Presbyterian Church Building Fund, PO Box 397, Carthage, NC 28327.