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Current Obituaries Are Listed Below

DeWayne "Dee" Jackson

Thursday, July 5, 2012
2:00 PM until 4:00 PM
6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Smith & Sons Funeral Home
207 North Main Street
Columbia City, IN 46725

Friday, July 6, 2012
10:00 AM
Smith & Sons Funeral Home
207 North Main Street
Columbia City, IN 46725

DeWayne E. "Dee" Jackson, 80, of rural Larwill, went to be with the Lord at 1:50 p.m. Saturday, June 30, 2012 at I.U.-Goshen Hospital while surrounded by family members.

He was born July 20, 1931 in Monroe County Michigan. He was raised by Florence (Smith) Elston in Bluffton. He graduated from Bluffton High School in 1950.

He worked at Magnavox. For nearly 50 years, he was a member of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 103, working as an asphalt plant operator with Daily Asphalt, Reith & Reilly and retiring in 1993 from S.E. Johnson.

A well known drummer and band leader, he played on the radio and performed with many well known bands and singers including Elvis Presley. Dee was the leader of the King Jackson Trio which performed at supper clubs and social events across Northern Indiana.

On January 25, 1964 he married Donna (Mort) Gradeless. They made their home in Bluffton and later Blue Lake before moving to their home north of Larwill 40 years ago.

He was a member of the Avion Travelcade Club and an associate member of the Sons of the Revolution of the State of Indiana. Dee loved to travel in his Avion Travel Trailer and in recent years spent the winter months in Florida, specifically Frostproof and Sebring.

Surviving relatives include his wife, Donna; a daughter, Sherry L. (Steven) Lee of Albion; three sons, Dr. Donald E. Gradeless of Winona Lake, Steven W. Gradeless of Almond WI and Rex L. (Sally) Gradeless of Auburn; eight grandchildren, Tim (Rebecca) Lee, Cody Lee, Jennifer Lee, Jason (Denice) Gradeless, Wade Gradeless, Wendy (Clark) Leininger, Rex L. Gradeless II and Kyle Gradeless; and four great grandchildren, Jordan, Jared & Caleb Gradeless and Ella Leininger.

The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial will be in Hillcrest Cemetery, Pierceton. The visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.


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