Judith Cross Jackson was born May 31, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to William and Vera Cross. She received her early education in the Cook County School system; Shakespeare Elementary and later graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1959. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from The University of Tennessee.
Judy Jackson, or "Ms. J" as she was called by many whose lives she impacted, worked at the University of Tennessee as the Athletics Department's Assistant and Associate Director of Student Life. She also worked as the Associate Director of Student Athlete Welfare for the football team during her time on Rocky Top, 1992 to 2009. Prior to this position, she worked in the College of Education from 1978 to 1992.
After a staff vacancy, Phillip Fulmer received permission from the SEC to take Judy on the road to recruit young men for the University of Tennessee football team; a monumental moment for women working in football and sports in general.
As Director of Student Life and Director of Student Athlete Welfare, Judy became that incredible mother away from home for the hundreds of student-athletes she encountered. Judy received many accolades; the proudest she brags is being called “Mom” by those whose lives she impacted.
Judy wore many hats while employed at the University of Tennessee. She was an academic advisor, social counselor and voice of reason. She received personal gratification from them all! She was the first and only woman in the University of Tennessee history to receive an honorary letter in football.
In recognition of Judy’s outstanding dedication and commitment to the program The Judy Jackson Athletic Scholarship Fund was established.
After leaving the university she joined Allegiant- Athletic- Agency (A3) In Knoxville, Tennessee as director of client development.
After retirement, Judy relocated to Ponte Vedra, Florida. On September 30, 2019, she entered eternal rest and went to be with the Lord.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, William and Vera Cross. She leaves to cherish her memories son, Roger Miles Jackson III (Tamatha), daughter, Mirhonda Mayo, (Mark), five grandchildren Jaylon Jackson, Mackenzie Mayo, Jackson Mayo, Chesney Jackson, Mylah Jackson, devoted sister Patrica Akin and nephew Mao Akin.
Monday, October 21, 2019, the family will receive friends from 12:oo p.m. to 12:45 p.m with a Celebration of Life service to follow at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 1807 Dandrige Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915. Reverend Renee Kessler officiating. Flowers may be delivered to the church the morning of the service. Professional arrangements entrusted to Patton Funeral Home, Brian L. Buckmon, LFD 1-800-824-8283 or www.pattonfuneralhome1962.com
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