The family lost its hero after a brief battle with the Coronavirus (Covid 19).

Jackie Joe Jeremiah Edward Tackett, 88, of Big Run Road, Piketon, Ohio passed 4:45 p.m. Sunday, January 10, 2021 at Adena Regional Medical Center, Chillicothe, Ohio.

He was born June 18, 1932 in South Shore, Kentucky, the son of the late Albert Tackett and Rose (Craycraft) Tackett. In May of 1983, he was united in marriage to Mary Ellen (Howard) Tackett, who survives.

Also surviving are a daughter, Lynn Wilber, granddaughter, Bonnie Lynn (Daniel) Lombardi, two great-grandchildren, Brookelyn and Kelsey Lombardi, brother, Ben Tackett, sister-in-law, Vilma Tackett, and special son-in-law, Wayne Wilber.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Carol Ann Tackett, two brothers, James and Raymond Tackett and a sister, Louise Burchett-Simmons. Also deceased, mother of Lynn and Carol, Edna Esham Tackett.

Jack is most widely known for his years as Principal at Southeastern High School. He loved the students and truly felt responsible for each and every student, doing what he could to make sure they were in school and spent extra time with those who tended to stray from the straight and narrow path to graduation. One memory of Lynn’s is going to school one morning in the old black Chevy truck and seeing a small group of high school boys heading to the creek, ‘skipping’ school. He stopped the truck, hollered at the boys, ran through the woods in his fancy dress shoes and suit, talking with them, then all of them hopping in the back of the truck to come to school. Since he had strayed from the school path himself, he had a way of relating to those kids who might be heading that direction. He also had a big wooden paddle that he used to help keep us on the right track.

He quit school in the 8th grade and went to Detroit to work in a steel mill. He did come back to South Portsmouth High School in Greenup County to finish his high school years, becoming a local basketball star. Jumpin’ Jack as he was dubbed by the local sportswriters was known for his rebound prowess and shooting skills. He continued to be a force on the Naval Base team at Pearl Harbor during his 4 years there, and later at Pikeville College in Pikeville, Kentucky, while working on his Bachelor’s

degree. After receiving his Master’s degree at Eastern College in Richmond, Ky, he found his way back to his beloved Greenup County teaching and coaching basketball at South Portsmouth High School.

He was an avid storyteller and his love for South Portsmouth and his life there was evident in the many stories he told to anyone who had a minute to listen. His father died when he was 9 years old, so life was hard for the Tackett family in the 1940’s. His stories of survival and moving from house to house to avoid the flood waters of the Ohio River made you feel like you lived it too. Stories usually ended with ‘and that’s the truth!’. He had a great appreciation for the ‘finer’ things in life like plenty of food, heat and money. It was important to him that his children, grandchild and great-grandchildren appreciate all we have now and know what life was like ‘back in the day’. Story telling was a big part of each Tackett family reunion, the younger generation gathered around to hear Jack and his siblings talk of the days in South Portsmouth and Portsmouth; these are treasures we will carry on throughout our lives.

His love for the outdoors was a common theme throughout his life. He spent countless hours hunting, from his days attempting to earn the title of Grouse King in the 80s to his later years, deer and turkey hunting from his old camper ‘stand’. He enjoyed fishing from the dock of the pond in the last few years with his buddies from his youth. He loved sharing the love of animals, birds and trees with his family and friends.

He was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather and nothing made him happier than spending time with his girls. He was always in a teaching mode, to him every activity or event was an opportunity to learn. Jack was a member of the Chillicothe Masons Scioto Lodge #6 and Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels

His sense of humor was at the forefront of every conversation and his goal was to make someone smile even in the worst of times. This was evident in the last hours of his life at the hospital when he was still making those around him smile.

Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m. Monday, January 18, 2021 at the Calvary Baptist Church, Piketon, Ohio with Pastor Jon Black officiating. Burial will follow in Bailey Chapel Cemetery, Piketon, Ohio. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post #142.

The family will receive friends at the church 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday.

In lieu of flowers, people wishing to honor Jack’s lifelong commitment to family and community can make donations to the Calvary Baptist Building Fund, 212 Indian Ridge Drive, Piketon, OH 45661.

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