Diné College mourns the loss of Jack C. Jackson Sr.
28 Feb 2023
TSAILE, AZ — One of the pivotal persons in the history of Diné College (Formerly known as Navajo Community College) has passed away. Jack Chee Jackson Sr., helped to ensure that Navajo history, language and culture were as commonplace in a college classroom as English and Math. He was 90 years old.
“He was a pioneer in making, at that time Navajo Community College, integrate our Navajo belief and ways of knowing throughout the curriculum at our college,” said Sharon Toadecheenie, chairwoman of the board of regents. “He also served in the Arizona state legislature for nearly two decades fighting for his Navajo people and the needs of the Navajo Nation.”
In an online post, his son, former Arizona state senator Jack Jackson Jr., posted, “Our father, Dr. Jack C. Jackson Sr. started his journey to the spirit world on Sunday, March 5, 2023.” Jack Jackson Sr., worked at Diné College for 13 years as the Director of Legislative and Cultural Affairs. He provided counsel and guidance to many college presidents through those 13 years. His twin brother, Dean Jackson was a former president of the college.
“Jack Jackson helped create the modern college that now serves the Navajo Nation,” said vice-chair of the board Greg Bigman. “He will be sorely missed but his contributions to the college and the Navajo Nation will forever live on.”
Jackson Sr. was Kiyaa’áanii and was born for Áshįįhí. His maternal grandfather is Táchii’nii, and his paternal grandfather is Tódích’íi’nii. He was born in Leupp, Arizona. Jackson Sr., wife, Eloise Jackson, passed in 2020. They had four children.