Steven Dennis Jackson, 58, died Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, with the Rev. Jo Roberts Craig and the Rev. Dr. Robert Pace. Committal will follow in the columbarium chapel of the church. A reception will be held in the Parish Hall after the service. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Steve was the youngest of Ruth and Frank Jackson’s four children. He was born Oct. 28, 1955, in Amarillo. Those who knew him all of his life called him Stubby; those who knew him as an adult called him Steve. But to all who knew him he was a down-to-earth, all-around great guy.
Steve was a hometown boy. He graduated from Amarillo High School in 1974.
Steve loved his family, especially his father, who was his best friend. Steve and Daddy Boy (as Steve called him from childhood) fished, hunted, bowled and worked together at the family business, Jackson’s Auto Service.
After Frank’s death in 1995, Steve continued to run the business and provide his customers the same knowledgeable, dependable and honest service he had learned from his father.
When Steve married Mindy Lauder in 1980, he joined the Lauder family, developing a close friendship with his father-in-law, Howard Lee. Steve’s mechanical skills and Howard Lee’s ability to fix anything came together when they built a 1932 Jaguar from a kit, one of numerous projects they shared.
Steve, Mindy and beloved daughter Jennilee were a tight three-some, who loved and supported one another and enjoyed being together. It was important to Steve that Jennilee know about sports and to that end he taught her how to snow ski, shoot a basketball, throw a baseball and hit a golf ball.
Steve was a man’s man. He worked on cars, rode motorcycles, owned a ski boat, played basketball, umpired baseball games, snow skied and could recite stats for the Texas Rangers.
He was a devoted Texas Longhorn fan until Jennilee enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. Steve traded in his burnt orange for crimson and cream and never looked back.
Over the years golf became Steve’s sport of choice. He loved playing with his friends The Hamsters at Amarillo Country Club, where he served as president of the Men’s Golf Association in 2009.
Whatever Steve did he was all in. A cooking class he took with a group of men from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church sparked an interest in cooking, that spurred an interest in grilling, that ignited a passion for barbecuing and smoking.
Steve soon became the cook for every meal – weeknights, family get-togethers and holidays. He was known for his delicious briskets, ribs, tenderloins and hamburgers. But there are no recipes to share, because Steve cooked by instinct and was always tweaking his latest marinade or rub.
Not only was Steve the family cook, he was the family host. Everyone who walked in the door of Mindy and Steve’s home was greeted with a big smile, a special name created and used only by Steve and a hug or handshake.
Steve was the king of his patio. He enjoyed it year-round – relaxing after work, cooking on his smoker, watching baseball with Mindy, hosting family and friends or simply being with his dogs.
Steve is survived by his wife Mindy, daughter Jennilee and son-in-law and barbecue partner Patrick Lovelady and grandson Jackson Vahue Lovelady. Also his mother, Ruth Jackson, brother Mike Jackson and wife Kathie, sister Jeri Farris and husband Tom, and sister Janey Lancaster. Plus his Lauder family: mother-in-law Pat Lauder, sister-in-law Becky King and husband Scott, sister-in-law Amy Edwards and husband Eddie and sister-in-law Lori Williams.
Steve is also survived by a passel of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews who loved his cooking and with whom Steve had a special bond.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1601 S. Georgia, Amarillo, TX 79102, or a charity of choice.