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BOWLING GREEN — Faith L. Jackson, an associate professor of communication disorders at Bowling Green State University who studied how children are perceived based on their dialect, died Sunday in the Bowling Green home of her daughter Judith. She was 77.
She had vascular dementia. She had a stroke in December, 2003, and was cared for afterward by her daughter Judith.
Mrs. Jackson also had been assistant director of the school of speech communication, in which she oversaw undergraduate recruiting and helped coordinate undergraduate programs. She retired in 1993 as an associate professor emeritus.
“I admired her so much,” said Janet Parks, a retired professor of sport management. “Faith connected with people. She would look you right in the eye. She was a good listener and actually heard what you said. She was soft-spoken, but she had convictions.”
Mrs. Jackson taught courses in her field and worked with students and student teachers. She regularly presented her research at conferences.
She had stellar diction, said her daughter, also a BGSU faculty member. Differences in dialects fascinated her, and she was disturbed that schools might misjudge children’s intelligence based on how they spoke.
She was born March 5, 1936, in Painesville, Ohio, to Fredella and Clarence Lilly. She was a graduate of Harvey High School and then went to BGSU, where she met her husband, who was a football star. The couple married Sept. 3, 1955.
She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BGSU. Later, while her husband was an assistant coach at Fostoria High School, she was a speech therapist for rural school districts.
“In the 1960s, for this African-American woman to be driving out to these small districts, how pivotal was that?” her daughter said.
The family moved to Bowling Green when her husband took a job on the football coaching staff. She became a teaching fellow and later joined the faculty.
Her husband collapsed after playing basketball with friends on Nov. 14, 1974, and died. He was 44.
“It was horrendous. My mother was a tower,” her daughter said. “She made sure we didn’t skip a beat. She allowed us to grieve, but she didn’t allow us to stop life to grieve.”
She received a doctorate from BGSU in 1987.
She was active in professional groups and in her community, serving on planning and parks and recreation boards for Bowling Green. She moved to Mentor, Ohio, in retirement. She was the first African-American on the Lakeland Community College Board of Trustess, appointed in 1997 by then-Gov. George Voinovich. She was a former member of Bethel Baptist Church, Fostoria.
Surviving are her son, Carlos A. Jackson, Jr.; daughters, Judith Jackson May, Constance Jackson Grieger, and Patricia Jackson Nevils; 10 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Bowling Green, where the family will receive guests after 10 a.m. Arrangements are by the Dunn Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer’s Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter, in Toledo.
Contact Mark Zaborney at:
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