Passed away at home surrounded by his family.
Parents: Andrew J. Jackson and Ethel L. Williams
He graduated from Springfield Technical High School. At the age of 19 he earned his pilot's license from the State of Massachusetts. In 1944, Leo was voluntarily inducted into the U.S. Army Air Force and received further flight training as a pilot with the legendary "Tuskegee Airmen". He was honorably discharged in 1946.
In 1958, he moved to New London where he resided for over five decades. He was employed at General Dynamics Electric Boat for 29 years and retired in 1988, after holding several positions which included a Welder, Senior Instructor, On the Job Training Coordinator, Shipyard Placement Representative and Suggestion Analyst.
Public service was very important to Leo and he distinguished himself by serving on numerous community and civic boards, some of which were Easter Seals, and the Community Resource Commission. For several years he served as a trustee and member of the Victory Lodge of Elks #1096 I.B.P.O.E. of W. He was elected and served on the New London City Council from 1977 to 1987 and again from 1989 to 1993. Additionally, he served on the Board of Education, the Sewer and Water Commission and the Redevelopment Agency.
In December of 1979, Leo was appointed Mayor of the City of New London and is credited with being the "First African American" Mayor of New London and New England. After his retirement from Electric Boat, Leo began a second career and was employed by Foxwoods Resort Casino in the transportation department for seventeen years. He greatly enjoyed his job and especially loved meeting people from all walks of life. Leo maintained a spotless attendance record and was recognized on several occasions for his work ethic.
In addition to his wife of 36 years, he leaves three daughters in Waterbury, Philadelphia, PA and New London; four sons of Boston, Mass., Rocky Hill and New London as well as several and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends to cherish his memory.
He was predeceased by three brothers, Caleb, Hugh, Sylvester and three sisters, Ethel, Doris and Theresa Jackson.
Leo Edwin Jackson has lived an exemplary life, serving his community and country with dedication and dignity. He has set an excellent example for family and peers, and he will be greatly missed.
Excerpts from obituary published in The Day on 5/27/2009
Barbara Jane Lockwood Jackson
May the work I've done speak for me.
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