There are people that you meet in this world whom leave a lasting impression, and Bennie Toy Jackson (PaPa) was one of those special people for me. There have been three men in my life that embodied what a gentleman is, and PaPa was one of those three whom I considered a true “gentle man”. He passed away this week and is being laid to rest this afternoon. The family is on their way to Ballinger,Texas, to take PaPa to his final resting place.

For you see, PaPa is not related to me by blood, but he took my daughter Amber into his fold when she married his grandson Jarred, and included my baby grand Landon among the privileged to have had a special place in his heart. I’ve said that his eyes sparkled every time he saw Landon and that would make my heart smile every single time. My two other girls, Ashley and Alisha, were very fond of PaPa as well, and along with my wife and myself, he was our PaPa too.

A kind word for all, a beautiful smile for all, and a story to tell that held you captive because he could share them so well that you imagined yourself there.

In paraphrasing the pastor at the service this morning, “Bennie treated others in a way that caused them to honor him”. That phrase epitomizes whom this man was for us.

He suffered much these last few months, but now there is no more pain, no more illness. There is rejoicing in Heaven because one of the best has been called home. Get some rest now my “gentle man” because your job here on earth is done.

For his family, I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and please know that he will always have a special place in my heart.

My best,






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