Pocahontas Mona Jackson, 100, died on Feb. 20.
She was born April 8, 1922, in Brooklyn, the daughter of William Johnson, a police officer, and Maud Morris, a dancer at the Cotton Club in New York City. She was named to honor her great-grandmother’s Native American ancestry.
After both of her parents died early in her life, Pocahontas and her two older sisters, Sylvia and Gloria, moved to Hopewell Junction, where they were raised by their grandparents on a farm on Route 82. She also had an older brother, John Turner. (For more on her childhood, see a profile published in The Current in April 2022.)
After attending the Little Red Schoolhouse and Beacon High School, Pocahontas worked at Bobrich and Chempreme, from which she retired in 1990. She ended her career as a school bus monitor for the Beacon City School District from 1992 to 2017, and generations of Beacon schoolchildren will recall beginning and ending their days with “Miss Pokey.”
Pocahontas will be remembered by friends and family for her laugh, love of song, and dedication to watching her “stories.” She will be missed by the congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Beacon, where she was a faithful member for nearly 70 years. Beacon, as a whole, will be a less vibrant place without her colorful fashion and, on Sundays, collection of matching hats, her family said.
She is survived by her children, Barbara, Douglas Jr. (Michele) and Kim, along with eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. Her husband of 68 years, Douglas Jackson Sr., died in 2018. Two of her children, Robert Pulliam and Gloria Reed, and her great-great grandson, Roman Haffley, also died before her.
A Celebration of Life will be held Monday (March 6) at 1 p.m. at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, 15 South Ave., in Beacon. Floral and colorful clothing is encouraged. Donations for memorial plants for the spring may be sent to Douglas Jackson, 5 Lamplight St., Beacon, NY 12508.
Information provided by Libby Funeral Home