Joe Jackson was born July 24th, 1934 in Maryville, MO to Joseph (Joe) F. Jackson, Jr and Helen Baker Jackson. He grew up there, where he played basketball and ran track at both Maryville High and then Wentworth Military Academy, in Lexington, MO. In 1952 he enrolled at the University of Missouri where he enjoyed being rush chairman for his fraternity Beta Theta Pi.
In 1956 he graduated from the University of Missouri and went to Navy OCS in Newport, RI. Upon receiving his commission as an officer, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence in the Pentagon. It was an interesting time as he was the U-2 Naval Liaison for Admiral Burke, Chief of Naval Operations. On Dec. 27, 1959 he married Sally McClure, of Kirksville, MO. The following summer he returned to MU where he taught accounting and earned his master's degree. Then it was a move to Kansas City as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co. While living in Kansas City, their son, Joe Ford Jackson was born.
His grandfather and great grandfather were both bankers in Maryville, MO so banking called and in 1963 the family moved to Maryville where he became Vice President of the Citizens State Bank and President of the Maryville Lions Club and Jaycees.
In 1966 he purchased the First National Bank of Columbus and moved to Columbus, KS. He remained CEO, President and Board Chair until selling the bank in 2011. In 1982, he purchased Stanley Bank, of Overland Park, KS and traveled back and forth running both banks. He remained CEO, President and Board Chair at Stanley Bank until his death.
Joe was known for his brilliant mind and business ability. Under his leadership Stanley Bank was named as one of the, "Three Best Banks in Kansas City" by the Kansas City Star on Nov 10, 1991.
Along with his brilliant mind was an incredible work ethic which he managed to keep until the very end. On Friday, Oct 9th he conducted his bank board meeting and went to the emergency room later that day. He passed away Monday, Oct 12th. Since Monday was a bank holiday, he did not miss a day of work. That was so very typical and he stayed in control of his destiny until the end.
His special interest was college basketball where he knew all the players and stats. Joe especially loved his Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats and rarely missed a game at either school. He had stopped playing golf but did enjoy watching others play the game while looking out the window of his home. Another of his joys in life was flying right seat in his CJ's and Honda Jet. He loved to dance, loved his dog Raggs but most of all Joe loved his work. Stanley Bank was his happy place.
The American Saddlebred community was a source of pride and he enjoyed traveling to horse shows across the country and abroad. Their horse, WC My Starlights Fantasy was sent to England in December 1980 to give demonstrations in London's Grand Hall. WC Wild-Eyed & Wicked was crowned World's Grand Champion Five-Gaited American Saddlebred in 2001. Others were wc Tempt Me, WC Hi On Heir, WC Token Favorite, WC Cats Don’t Dance, WC No’el-No’el, WC Rambler’s Butterfly and for their granddaughter WC Ocean Eleven. Others included Callaway’s Carnival in Rio, Aisling’s Treasure and Cuttin’ Up. He also enjoyed his involvement in the Thoroughbred industry while spending horse and basketball time in a second home in Lexington, KY.
Joe was very proud to have been a part of helping develop the American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse Association and the pleasure division from the very beginning with Irene Zane. He helped put out the newsletter for several years before the pleasure horse association was folded into the ASHA. It was his idea for Sally to make the silhouettes and class descriptions for the horse show programs and to include the pleasure horse as a way to promote the inclusion of that division. The pleasure division is now the largest division at most shows.
Known for his desire to help others Joe did things privately to help many people without wanting or receiving any notoriety. He enjoyed wonderful health his entire life but the diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease) this year was insurmountable. He fought hard but there is no cure.
His life motto was –“You take the hand you are dealt in life and play it the very best you can”. Joe was given a very bad hand with the diagnosis of ALS but he never once complained, whined or said “why me”. He played the hand he was dealt his way with strength and dignity, but in the end ALS won – it always does.
He was a member of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Mission Valley Hunt and the Nicklaus Golf Club at Lions Gate. Joe is survived by his wife Sally Jackson, son Joe Ford Jackson (Debbie), granddaughter Nicole Jackson and sister Sally Ann Sullivan.
Joe was a great believer in and supporter of the American Saddlebred Museum. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s memory to the Museum, 4083 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511 or to the Church of the Resurrection- "Bookmobile", 13720 Roe Ave Leawood, KS 66224, or a charity of your choice.