Wallace “Wally” Jackson
November 23, 1930 – November 29, 2015
DURHAM- Wallace “Wally” Jackson passed away early Sunday. He was attended by his loving partner, Waltraud Bernstein. Dr. Jackson was Professor Emeritus of English at Duke University, where he taught and continued his studies for more than 35 years. He was a respected scholar of William Blake and Alexander Pope, among other 18th century poets, publishing three books and numerous journal articles, and accepting invitations to speak and review the work of peers at other academic institutions. He was also a life-long student and published critic of painting and cinema. After retiring from Duke, Dr. Jackson was in demand for many years as an instructor at Duke’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, on diverse subjects including Edward Hopper and Woody Allen. As indicated by endorsements from students young and old, and by the waiting lists for his courses, he was a popular and revered teacher. Like the best ones from our own memories, he challenged his students to excel. Post-retirement teaching adventures included a recurring reading class at the Durham Salvation Army. Dr. Jackson also served as Chairman of the English Department and Director of Graduate Studies while at Duke.
Originally from New York City, Dr. Jackson was the only child of often traveling performers in the vaudeville and burlesque traditions of the 1920s and ‘30s. He was the first person in his family to attend college, receiving degrees from Bard College, Brandeis University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Early teaching stints included the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, VA, and Catholic University, in Washington, DC. Dr. Jackson moved his family to Durham in 1965. His non-professional interests included the (Brooklyn) Dodgers, extensive travel, dining with friends, Frisbee golf, and the Great American Songbook. He is survived by a daughter, Laura Jackson, now of Raleigh.
A gathering will be held at a later date.
The Jackson family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com, Select Obituaries.