Obituary: Jessy May Abramson Jackson (96), Civil Servant

Jessy Jackson.

SPRINGFIELD, VA – Jessy Jackson passed away peacefully Tuesday evening, January 12, 2021 in Springfield, VA.

Jessy was born on October 17, 1924 and was one of four siblings born to Edith Sloan Steelman and John Abramson of Woodbury, NJ in Gloucester County, which once incorporated the Great Egg Harbor Township that today still carries the Steelman and Scull town surnames of her founding ascendants of the Dutch and Swede settlements of the Colonial Era.

The Abramsons moved to Washington, D.C. during the Great Depression where Jessy graduated from Central High School. She then began her career as a federal civil servant with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) during WWII. While there, she met Blaine C. Jackson, Sr., who was an enlisted Marine. They married while he was on leave during Thanksgiving weekend – November 25, 1944.

Jessy continued with the USDA until June 1951, when she transferred to the Department of the Army when the couple moved to Norfolk, VA, where Blaine had accepted a position with the Department of Treasury in the Alcohol Tax Unit. It was upon the long-awaited birth of their son, Blaine, Jr., in 1953, that led the family to then move to the City of Alexandria, and later Springfield, VA as Jessy remained home (1954-1971) and Blaine, Sr. accepted his established position with the IRS in Washington.

In 1971, after their son had graduated from Annandale High School and went on to Virginia Tech for college, Jessy returned to her career at the Department of the Army in Washington. She retired 18 years later as a computer specialist, on the precipice of the internet era, in December 1989.

Throughout her life, Jessy enjoyed the company of her family, friends, and cats. She was a staunch advocate for women’s equality with earning her aviator’s license during WWII. She was a creative soul, who could create anything with a spool of thread, yarn, needle, paint brush, or candle wax, and as a committee member and Chair of the Christmas Bazaars at her Episcopalian Church, would submit her creations for the charitable cause. She was an avid gardener, with her home being one that those strolling by would stop and gaze at her beautiful azaleas, hibiscus, and favorite annuals, all the while growing tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries in the backyard. She could expertly finesse the tournament bridge game and create the best “cakey” cookies. She loved her daily glass of wine, Godiva Chocolate Martinis, and she always celebrated the end of every year by hosting THE annual Christmas Party that she began in the 1960’s for her neighbors and friends. One that continues to this day, thru the generations. And, above all, she was loved and she loved back – fiercely.

Jessy was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Blaine C. Jackson, Sr. (2003), her sisters Iris West, Eugenie Collins, and her brother John Abramson.

Jessy is survived by her beloved son, Blaine C. Jackson, Jr., daughter-in-law Alexandria City Councilwoman Amy Jackson, and grandchildren, Ella and Blaine, III (“Bryce”), all of Alexandria, VA.

As a lifelong advocate for animal welfare and the environment, it is in keeping with Jessy’s wish that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made in her memory to one of her favorite non-profits: Best Friends Animal Society (link:

A visitation in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions will be held at Everly Wheatley Funeral Home at 1500 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria, VA on Thursday, January 21, 2021, 4-6pm. A private gravesite ceremony will follow in the spring at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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