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Remembering a mom lost too young

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article about the untimely and unfortunate death of Bobbie Jo Wade Jackson 13 years ago offers an update on the lives of her two children. An article that ran in the Wednesday, June 20, edition about Jackson’s death mentioned her two children, Madelyn Ann who was 3 ½-years-old and Michael who was 2-weeks-old, when their mother was killed after a tree fell across their mobile home in the Sutherlin community on Sept. 16, 1999.)


Madelyn Ann remembers her mom every day; not just on the anniversary of her mom’s death or on her mom’s birthday, which is June 23, but every day. 

No matter what she is doing: chores, school, having fun or enjoying a hobby, she said her mom is always on her mind.

She was only 3½ years old when her mom died. She remembers Bobbie Jo Wade Jackson as “a sweet mom.” 

Maddie is thankful she has had family to remind her of her mom so often. 

Maddie is now being raised by her aunt, her mom’s sister, which is ironic because her mom also was raised by her aunt. 

Bobbie was born to teen parents who were not ready to be parents, but she was fortunate enough to have an aunt and uncle, Sheila and Wayne Lacks, to step up to the plate and raise her, her daughter said. 

“They had her from the time she was 3-weeks-old,” Maddie said. When Bobbie was 3-years-old, the guardianship papers were filed. 

“Bobbie knew who her biological parents were her whole life. Even though they didn’t have a hand in raising her, she did know who they were. Her aunt made sure she knew all about her history,” Maddie said. 

The same thing is happening with Madelyn now. Her aunt is raising her, and they remember Bobbie often and fondly. 

Maddie has a brother, Michael, who was only 13-days-old when the tragedy took their mom away. 

He doesn’t remember his mom, but he does have pictures and stories from family members to help him know her. 

“Michael was in Bobbie’s arms when the tree that took her life fell on them. He spent one night in the hospital for observation, but was for the most part unharmed,” his sister said. 

Michael now lives with his biological dad and his wife who adopted Michael and loves him as her own. Michael enjoys the same kinds of things that most boys do and also enjoys Maddie’s visits to spend time with him.

Maddie said she wants people to remember her mom for being a great mom to her children and a great human being to the world.