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Janet W. Jackson

July 14, 2021

Janet W. Jackson, 79, of Vero Beach, FL died July 14, 2021. She was a true “firecracker” baby being born on the fourth of July in Clearwater, Florida to parents Thomas and Kathryn Walson.
Janet spent her childhood growing up in Pittsburgh, PA. During her high school years, the family lived in Long Island, NY, Columbus, GA and Nashville, TN when her father, a Merrill Lynch executive, was promoted to lead their local branch. After graduating from Sullins College in Virginia, Janet moved back to Nashville where she met and married her husband Ernie.
In 1964, after welcoming the birth of their first child, Janet worked for WLAC radio station while Ernie finished medical school at Vanderbilt University. Upon graduation, the couple moved to Richmond, VA where Ernie completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Medical College of Virginia. Days after their second daughter was born, the family moved permanently to Vero Beach in 1972.
Janet became involved in the local community, clubs and organizations and developed a great passion for tennis. In the 1980’s, she was active in organizing the annual Citrus Bowl tournament held at the Riomar Bay Yacht Club which saw the likes of rising young tennis stars like Chris Evert, Mel Purcell, Carling Bassett-Seguso, Jennifer Capriati and Andre Agassi.
Janet is remembered by friends and family for her love of cuisine and culture, her sense of humor and speaking her mind. She was a self-taught gourmet cook who also enjoyed gardening, boating and special trips with family and friends.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Dr. Ernest O. Jackson. She is survived by her two daughters, Darcy Dunbar (Brian) and Anna Brady (Bill) and her loving friend and partner of 23 years William MacDonald and their cat Simon. She is also survived by sister-in-law Judy Lea of Lebanon, TN and a younger brother Tom Walson of Harrisburg, PA.
The family would like to thank the caregivers, doctors, and nurses who cared for her over recent years. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Janet’s name can be made to the VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach or
Condolences may be shared online at


Jean Lindsey

July 20, 2021, 6:52 pm

I didn’t know Janet, but it sounds like she was an amazing person, who led an interesting and fulfilling life. Her friend and partner, Bill McDonald, has been a great help to me over the years with the accounting for Westminster Presbyterian Church.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and with Bill.

Celeta Arden

July 23, 2021, 12:30 pm

Thinking of Darcy, Anna and family at this time of deep sorrow. Janet was always such fun to be around with a great sense of humor. We had such good times working on tennis events at Riomar Bay Yacht Club and playing tennis at that fun club. I hope that, as time passes, each of you will find peace in knowing that many of the people from Janet’s past were very fond of her and we hold many memories of her very close.

Judy B Witherspoon

August 16, 2021, 12:36 am

The Women of Sullins College and the Class of 1962 send our love and condolences to all who knew Janet.

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