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Hall of Fame - Lonnie Jackson




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Lonnie Lee Jackson (1926 – 2014) Most of all, Lonnie Jackson was a philanthropist to the jazz music community in Austin. He was a regular notable (usually the highest individual) contributor to Jazz at St. James’, Women in Jazz Association, and a supporter to many of our Austin jazz artists as they pursued their art. He is fondly remembered and appreciated by so many of our Austin jazz artists and jazz music lovers.

During his working career, Lonnie was a coach/educator and community leader. He made many champions of men during his 20 years as an offensive and defensive line coach of high school football teams. He began his professional career at Hallettsville Colored High School, Hallettsville, Texas in 1951 and retired from the Austin Independent School District at Bedichek Middle School, Austin, Texas in 1986. His family include daughter Shirlita Jackson Plumber or San Antonio, Texas and sons KC and William Jackson of Victoria, Texas.

Contributions to the field of athletics

  • Organized the first athletic program that was under the auspices of the  Prairie View Interscholastic League at Hallettsville Colored High School
  • Organized a basketball league for 13-15 year old boys at Rosewood Recreation Center, Austin
  • Worked as a Track Official for Austin Independent Schools District (AISD) until retirement in 1986
  • Was a member of the Southwestern Officials Association
  • Was member of the Southwest Football Officials Association
  • Inducted into The Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame November 13, 2004.

After his retirement from coaching and school education, Lonnie focused much of his energy on jazz, the music he loved most. He was a historian of jazz music and had an extensive collection of albums, cassettes, CD's, and videos of many of the legendary performers. Lonnie would travel all over the country to support festivals and concerts, often paying for the travels of local artists to attend with him. He served on the Jazz at St. James’ Committee from 1996 to 2012. He had always consulted on which artists should be chosen for the event, both internationally and locally. Through this committee’s work, St. James’ Episcopal Church saw its membership grow and Jazz at St. James’ program become an evangelistic ministry that is a shining star for the Austin community for 22 consecutive years. An award is given in his name each year celebrating a committee member exemplifying extraordinary commitment to the event. Lonnie also served on the Board of Directors of Women in Jazz Association, and volunteered for this organization since 1996 to 2014. His knowledge and experience of Jazz helped Women in Jazz bring many special artists to the Austin Area. He was a tireless, dedicated volunteer of the organization’s cause: Keep Jazz Alive! Through his guidance, Women in Jazz is one of Austin’s leader of jazz events.