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Ray A. Jackson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: M 500

Scope and Content

Series 1: Correspondence Correspondence from Ray Jackson home while stationed in Europe, covering the years 1944-1946. A few early 1946 letters are mistakenly dated 1945. Letters are addressed to his mother, father and/or brother.

Series 2: Photographs. Includes photographs from Jackson's time in the Army during WWII and the Richmond City Public Works.

Series 3: Printed. Includes a memoir primarily concerned with Jackson's WWII experience. It details his childhood, training at a military school in preparation for admittance into West Point, his time in Europe as a GI, and his experiences in France while still in the military in post-war Europe.

Series 4: Awards. Awards given to Jackson during his career.


  • Creation: 1944-2011

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research. Due to the fragile nature of some pieces of correspondence, the fragile pieces have been removed for preservation. Photocopies of the originals have been put in their proper location for use.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Biographical Information

Ray Arthur Jackson was born in 1925 in Evanston Illinois. His father, also named Ray, was a member of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. In 1941, the family moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where Jackson graduated from Maury High School in 1943. Anticipating an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, Ray spent the next nine months at Millard West Point Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. preparing for the Academy's entrance exam. Unfortunately for Jackson, after obtaining the appointment and passing his written exams, he was disqualified from attending West Point by his physical exams, failing the blood pressure test three times. After this great disappointment, Ray enlisted directly into the Army despite his earlier high blood pressure. Jackson was assigned to Fort Croft, SC, for training where he learned the ins and outs of Army life. After 5 months in South Carolina, Jackson reported to Fort Meade, fully qualified for Rifleman, Military Occupational Specialist 745. On January 3, 1945, Jackson embarked for France, arriving in Le Havre on 15 January where he got his first exposure to the toll the war was taking on European towns and cities. He served in Europe until July 1946, and received the Bronze Star for his service.

Upon returning to civilian life, Jackson married his sweetheart Anne in June 1950. They would remain married until her death. The couple had no children, but had numerous nephews and nieces. Jackson studied civil engineering, graduating from Virginia Tech in 1950. He spent most of his career working for the City of Richmond, retiring as the Chief of Utility Operations for the Department of Public Operations in 1987. The Ray A. Jackson scholarship is awarded annually in his honor by the Virginia section of the American Water Works Association. Jackson stayed busy in his retirement, serving as a consultant, and later as an appointed member of the Waterworks Advisory Committee of the Virginia Department of Health.

Jackson was a lifelong Episcopalian, and was very involved in the activities of his church, St. Thomas's in Ginter Park. He led the food service work for the Food Pantry at St. Thomas, providing food in large quantities to those who need it most. In 2013, the food pantry was serving approximately 70 households a week, and Jackson was rightfully proud of his work in this area, and well respected for it.

Ray Jackson passed away at the age of 88 on November 4, 2013


0.89 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Ray A. Jackson, Jr. papers are divided into four series. Series 1, Correspondence, contains each year's correspondence in a separate folder. The materials are arranged chronologically within each folder. Folder 1:5 contains originals of fragile correspondence that have been photocopied; the folder is restricted. Photocopies have been placed in their proper place for use, and the fragile materials removed to a restricted folder for preservation purposes.

Series 2, Photographs, which includes loose photographs and photographs in scrapbooks, follow the original arrangement within their respective folders or scrapbook. Series 3, Published materials, are arranged alphabetically. Oversized items are in a flat box. Series 4, Awards are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Corinne F. Dorsey in September 2014

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2015

A Guide to the Ray A. Jackson papers, 1944-2011
A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library Collection number M 500
Jessica E. Johnson
© 2016 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108