Death – Athletics Mourns the Passing of Hall of Fame Member Willie Jackson

Death – Obituary

By Matt Schabert, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations



– One of the pioneering and most dynamic athletes in Morehead State history and an Athletics Hall of Fame member has passed away. Willie “Hobo” Jackson passed away on Jan. 6 at the age of 77.

Visitation is 9-11 a.m. ET Friday, Jan.  21 at St. Stephen Church, 1018 S. 15th Street, Louisville, Ky. Funeral service is to follow at 11 a.m. with burial in Highland Memory Gardens. Arrangements are entrusted with A. D. Porter & Sons Funeral Home in Louisville.

A member of the “Birmingham Four” (Four African-American athletes who all came from Birmingham, Ala. to Morehead State in the 1960s), Jackson was a member of the men’s basketball Eagles from 1965-69, joining his Birmingham teammates Lamar Green, Bruce King and Howard Smith in making a significant impact on the success of Eagle basketball during that time. Jackson helped pave the way for countless opportunities for minority athletes following his years. He was inducted into the Morehead State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 and Green, King and Smith were inducted the following year.

Playing for head coach Bobby Wright, along with beloved assistants Sonny Allen and Rex Chaney (also Hall of Fame members), Jackson scored 1,049 points for the Eagles just in his three varsity seasons from 1966-69, which at the time of his induction ranked 23rd on MSU’s all-time scoring list. On top of the points, Jackson also pulled in 793 career rebounds which ranked ninth on MSU’s all-time rebounding list in 2008.

Jackson is regarded as one of the most outstanding athletes to ever wear an Eagle uniform. MSU’s record during his three varsity years was 46-26, and the Eagles were Ohio Valley Conference Champions during his senior season (1968-69) when they went 18-9. He led the team with 16.9 points per game that year.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Fuqua-Jackson; daughter, Tara Smith, sisters Gleasine Williams, Annie Wren, Eddie Mae Bandy Anderson and Rhonda Faye Jones (Anthony); brother, Robert Jackson and a host of other family and friends.

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.