He attended and graduated from the Edgartown School in 1948. In 1951 he married Geraldine Gibson, his high school sweetheart and shortly after left to serve the U.S. Army in the Korean conflict from 1951 to 1953
As a teenager he worked in the Colonial Drug Store and after graduating from high school went to work for the MSPCA where he was manager of the Edgartown Branch for 19 years.
Seeing a need for boarding and grooming of animals, he opened the Shady Oak Kennels in 1968 and was in business until he retired in 1991.
Sonny loved animals and children. He enjoyed his position at the Edgartown Boy’s Club as Athletic Director and coached young boys in basketball and other sports. He called them “his boys.” He was proud of the way they all grew to be good citizens of the Vineyard.
He liked to shellfish and was once known for being the fastest scallop opener in Edgartown. He also liked to play golf and when he was in Florida , he played every day.
He was a member of the Federated Church, where he was baptized and buried by the church. He was a church school teacher when his children were young and a deacon in later years.
Sonny had a great sense of humor and more than once was told that he should have been a comedian.
He is survived by his wife, Geraldine; his son, Glenn Jackson and his wife, Rosemary, his daughter, Cathy Merrill, and her husband, Clay; his grandchildren Jennifer Kennedy and her husband, Mark, Laura Andrewski and her husband, Clyde, Jason Merrill and his wife, Katherine, and Joshua Merrill; eight great grandchildren, Victoria and Haley Martin, Danielle and Shealyn Kennedy, Jonathan Sylvia Jackson and Mackenzie Jackson, Kyah Andrewski, and Juliet Rose Merrill; his sisters, Helen Estabrook of Windermere and Maureen West of South Dakota, and his brother, Paul Jackson Sr. of Edgartown; a brother-in-law, Dennis Gibson, and his wife, Helen, and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service was held on Friday, January 17, in the New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown.
Donations may be made in Sonny’s memory to the M.V. Boys & Girls Club, POB 654, or Federated Church, POB 249, both in Edgartown, MA 02539 or Hope Health Hospice, POB 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. For online guest book and information visitwww.ccgfuneralhome.com.