Jerome D. Jackson, a computer expert, patent lawyer and volunteer educator in Ghana, died of a heart-related problem last Friday at his home in Falls Church, Virginia. He was 59.
“He was a wonderful son — everything I hoped for and more. His work in Ghana reflected his Christianity. He asked his students to pledge that they would do no evil,” said his father, Melvin Jackson of Hempstead. “My firstborn is gone too soon.”
Jerome Jackson graduated in 1974 from Hempstead High School, where he had been on the chess club, played lacrosse and wrestled. With a full scholarship he went on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated in 1978 with a bachelor of science degree in computer science and engineering, according to his father.
Jackson then went to work as a development engineer at Teradyne Inc. in North Reading, Massachusetts. While there, he decided he wanted a law degree, and around 1983, he began attending Suffolk University Law School in Boston, graduating summa cum laude in 1987. Then in 1988 and 1989 he took advanced courses in electronics, circuit design and control systems at Boston University, according to his family and his resume.
He went to France and, in 2006, earned a master’s degree in Information Systems Architecture from the National School of Advanced Engineering in Paris.
“Jerome’s colleagues have described him as a brilliant and talented patent attorney,” said his brother, Dr. Michael Jackson of Tappan, New Jersey. Michael Jackson said his brother was featured in the 2004 book “The Inventive Spirit of African Americans.”
In 2011, Jackson began a new challenge, working with ELiTE Education Inc., a Manhattan-based nonprofit focused on educating youth in Cape Coast, Ghana. The initials stand for Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering.
He taught high school students physics, electronics and software engineering. He administered the first Advanced Placement exam for computer science in that country, said his brother.
Elite’s co-founder and executive director, Chelsey Roebuck, called Jackson “a generous soul who has had a profound impact on hundreds of students over the past five years.”
Besides his father and brother, Jackson is survived by two sisters, Donna Jackson of Hempstead, and Melanie Jackson of Oakdale. His mother, Florence Young Jackson, died in 1993 at age 62.
His body was cremated. Visiting will be at the Everly Community Funeral Home in Falls Church from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. A memorial service will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Jerome Jackson Scholarship Fund, ELiTE to support educating students in Ghana, at 470 Park Ave. South, sixth floor, New York, NY, 10016.