David Jackson has just finished his doctoral work of four years and awarded his Ed.D. at the age of 83

At 83, when most people slow down and relax, David Jackson has just finished his doctoral work of four years and awarded his Ed.D.

Jackson, a 1948 Augusta High School graduate, received his degree from Trinity Bible College and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., and specialized in Biblical counseling.

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1955 and a master’s degree from Baker University in 1993. Jackson is a registered social worker, a certified Reality therapist and instructor.

His employment has included several top positions in court services, mental health areas, probation and rehabilitation facilities.

Jackson was raised in the Bloomington area and attended the Bloomington grade school before going to school in Augusta. After a stint in the service, he returned to parents’ home, near Haverhill. Before attending KU, Jackson attended El Dorado Junior College.

He has many fond memories of his younger years spent in Butler County.

“I played on Coach John Hutter’s basketball team and later for the Augusta Merchants team,” he said. “My last two years of high school I worked as the mail boy at the refinery in Augusta and after high school, I worked construction at the refinery.”

Memories of his teen years in Augusta also include a haunting memory of a tragedy that claimed the lives of two close friends.

Melvin Stroud and Henry Cease, Jr., both 20 and both members of the AHS Class of 1945, died from results of a fatal car crash just east of the Whitewater Bridge on the evening of June 15, 1948.

“Henry was attending Southwestern and studying for the ministry at the time. He was the youth minister at the Augusta Methodist Church. I was with them all the time. It was unusual that I wasn’t with them that evening,” Jackson said.

Also active with the local Methodist youth, Jackson had been participating in activities at the local Teen Town that evening when he received word about the accident. He and others went immediately to the scene and he was shocked to learn that the car’s occupants were his good friends.

“It has always haunted me that Henry said many times that he would never live to see 21,” he said. “He was convinced that he’d die young.”

Jackson went on to serve as the youth director at the local Methodist Church before attending the University of Kansas.

An important part of his impressive resume is working with Dr. William Glasser, who developed Reality Therapy in the 1970s. Reality Therapy is founded on the principles of choice theory. Professionals in education, mental health, social services and even parents have embraced the fundamentals of this therapy. Reality Therapy suggests all human issues derive from a lack of fulfilling relationships with others. The goal of this therapy is to provide a connection for people, beginning with the therapist-client connection.

Jackson is a Reality therapist and instructor. Recently he conducted training in Detroit for more than 80 teachers.

He is the author of six books and recently finished a seventh. He will turn 84 next month and has no plans to slow down.

“I advise others my age to treat it like any other stage in life,” he said. “If something is important to you - go for it. Health may require some modifications, but don’t let it stop you.”

Jackson and his wife Sharon live in Excelsior Springs, Mo., have four children and seven grandchildren. He is currently a member of the Lawson United Methodist Church in Lawson, Mo. He stays in touch with several of his Augusta High School classmates and encourages others to contact him at jave77755@hotmail. com.

Belinda Larsen can be reached at blarsen@butlercountytimesgazette.com.