The Obit For Julian Jackson

Julian Jackson

Published in the Florida Times-Union on November 20, 2011

Mr. Julian E. Jackson, 98, passed away November 14, 2011.

He is survived by his wife, Lolly; 6 sons, Eddie Jackson, Robert Jackson, Victor Jackson, Julian Jackson, IV and Lester Jackson, all of Jacksonville, and Julian E. Jackson, Jr., of Springdale, Akansas; 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Jackson was born October 24, 1913, in Perry, FL, and moved from Palatka to Jacksonville, in 1929. He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, in 1931, after which he began a career in the retail food industry that would span over 64 years.

He worked with Great Atlantic and Pacific Stores from 1934 until 1943. From 1943 until 1958, he was President of Jax Meat Co., a supermarket chain. During this time, he pioneered many changes in the supermarket industry, including implementation of the first 100% air conditioned supermarket in Jacksonville, in 1947.

He sold this chain of ten stores in 1959, to Big Star Grocery Co. That same year, he founded Jacksons Minit Markets with one store and grew the chain into 525 stores, where he served as President and Chairman of the Board until he sold the chain and retired in 1969. He came out of retirement in 1971, when he founded Lil Champ Food Stores, Inc. with a single store, remaining Chairman Emeritus until 1997.

When Lil Champ Food Stores was sold in 1997, it was a flourishing chain with 525 stores located throughout Florida and Georgia, and the brand was recognized as one of the largest and most successful convenience store chains in America.

Because of his industry achievements and many innovations throughout his successful career, Mr. Jackson was honored with many awards, including the Top Management Award of the Sales and Marketing Executives in 1968, Supermarket Man of the Year in 1960, and he was elected to the Food Industry Hall of Fame, in 1995.

His impact as a community leader was widespread as he was a member of many well-respected and recognized organizations including: Past President, United Cerebral Palsy. 1953 - 1954; Member of the Navy League; Member of the Florida National Bank Board of Directors for 26 years; Past President, Gator Bowl Association, 1957 and Member of Trustees since 1957; Past President, Florida State Baseball League, 1958 - 1960; Member of the Arlington Lodge #309, Masons; Member of the Morocco Temple; Member of St. Matthews Lutheran Church; Board of Directors, Jacksonville Marine Institute; Member of the Fraternal Order or Police Associates; Member of the Dolphin Club, Jacksonville University; Named 1992 Citizen of the Year by the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office; Honored as Roastee of the 10th Annual Celebrity Roast for Spina Bifida; Served on the Honorary Board of the Spina Bifida Association of Jacksonville; Member of the Florida State Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee of the Boys Clubs of Jacksonville, 1984 - 1985.

Mr. Jackson was not only a keen businessman, but a talented and successful athlete as well. He began his boxing career in 1926, at the age of 13. He is credited with more than 100 bouts without a loss. In 1929, at the age of 16, he turned professional. He won all of 65 professional fights, with only 2 losses and 2 declared draws. In 1931, he won the Southern Bantamweight Championship, holding the title undefeated until he retired in 1934. He also won the North American Championship, in 1932, and was undefeated until retirement.

Mr. Jackson was elected Chairman of the Jacksonville Boxing Commission, in 1948, and served in that capacity for 20 years. His love of sports continued, as he was very interested in many sports, including boxing, football, baseball and golf.

After his retirement from boxing, he purchased the Jacksonville Beach Seabirds Baseball Team, in 1953, operating it for two years in the Florida State League. In 1955, he was elected President of the Florida State League and served until 1958.

His athletic achievements have been honored in many ways: Elected as the only boxer in the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame in 1978; Recipient of the 1998 Jasper Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Sports Award; Named One of Jacksonvilles Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century in 1999; Elected in 1991 to the North American Boxing Federation Hall of Fame; Elected in 1994 to the Florida State Sports Hall of Fame and received the Governors Leadership Award in 1994 for physical fitness and sport.

Additionally, Mr. Jackson strived to help others and to promote sports programs throughout the community he so dearly loved.

He was a major sponsor and contributor to the Jacksonville Police Athletic League and a major booster to their sports program. He was also a major sponsor of the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Golf Tournament, and major sponsor for the Annual Crop Walk.

Our appreciation is expressed to the doctors at Mayo Clinic, especially Gary Lee, M.D.

As an expression of sympathy, the family requests contributions be made to Community Hospice of NE Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32257, or PAL Police Athletic League, 3450 Monument Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32225.

The family will receive friends Monday, November 21, 2011, from 5 until 7 PM, at St. Marks Lutheran Church, 3975 Hendricks Ave.

Arrangements entrusted to: Hardage-Giddens Town and Country Funeral Home, 7242 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville, 32205, (904) 781-9262, www.townandcountryfuneralhome.com.