“I think the best way to describe him is Mr. Red Raider Club,” former Texas Tech University coach and athletic director Gerald Myers said about Leete Jackson Jr, who passed away July 10th at age 89. “He started the Red Raider Club from scratch as far as I know. He was just a great ambassador for Texas Tech athletics.” Jackson was the Red Raider Club’s first paid employee in 1958 and led the support group until 1986, raising funds for all men’s and women’s athletic scholarships.
Jackson was born in Royse City, Texas, on Dec. 6, 1922, to Laura Jane and Leete Jackson. Jackson quickly took to football, going on to co-captain the famed 1939 Cinderella Boys Lubbock High School state championship team. The team was inducted into the Lubbock Independent School District Hall of Honor, and Jackson was also ultimately named to the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, and his memorabilia is now housed in Waco, at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Jackson began his football career at Texas Tech University in 1941 under the legendary coach, Pete Cawthon. At the outbreak of World War II he left Tech and enlisted to serve his country, becoming a torpedo bomber pilot in the U.S. Marine Air Corps, flying with the most highly decorated squadron in the Corps; The Red Devils, VMTB-232. He saw active duty in the Pacific Theater, taking part in Bougainville, Guam, Bloody Nose Ridge (on Peleliu), and Yap.
Following his return from active status in the Marine Air Corps, Jackson went back to Texas Tech to join the starting football squad and complete his degree. In 1943, he married his childhood sweetheart, the former Jane Ann Floyd.
Jackson was a 50-year member of the Lubbock Lions Club, the Double T Association, and the Ex-Letterman Association, and served as executive vice president of the Red Raider Club for 28 years.
Leete was preceded in death by his two children; a son, Dr. Leete Jackson III, D.D.S., M.D., and a daughter, Jim Jackson Hooks. Leete is survived by his wife, Jane Ann Floyd Jackson and his five grandchildren; Leete IV, Brent, Shannon, Ryan and Reed, and great grandsons Campbell and Luke. Mr. Jackson donated his remains to the Texas Tech Medical School, of which his son was in the first graduating class.
Contributed to by The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal