Jackson Thomas Lieber, 21, of Georgetown, Texas, died Jan. 18 in Liberty Hill, Texas.
The beloved son of Matthew Lieber, a U.S. Army Aviator and Erin Lieber, a homemaker, also leaves behind his sister and best friend Hannah Lieber, 23, a chemical engineering student at Texas A&M, and stepsister Brin Lieber.
Jackson was gifted intellectually and renowned for his creativity but is best remembered by friends and family as a peacemaker and bridge-builder nicknamed “Buddha” by close friends.
In a joint letter to grieving family members, several friends wrote: “The most important talent he has, was to stand up and motivate the ones around him. Jackson was the ultimate piece of the friend group. He brought everyone together and would always show the joy and love of his music skills. Jackson would never judge or talk bad about anyone.
He would just motivate and encourage others. A man that was aways curious about what’s going on in his friends’ lives. A man that will ask to help and make everything better.”
Jackson was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Nov. 27, 2001. He grew up on military bases in Fort Rucker, Ala., Fort Drum, N.Y., and Savannah, Ga. before relocating permanently to Texas when his father was assigned to Fort Hood in Killeen.
He also lived in Hardin, Ill. for several years where he attended St. Norbert Catholic School, living the grandchild dream on a 160-acre farm where he was passionate about naming trees and fishing in Grandpa’s pond. Jackson will be best remembered by subsequent generations as the Founder of Fort Lieber, one of several built somewhere in the deep woods.
Jackson had many friends in Texas and around the world and loved visiting his father when on temporary assignment in Seoul, S. Korea. Life as a military child made him determined and project-focused but also gifted him the ability to make friends, change and adapt.
In middle school in Killeen, Jackson tested as “12-note perfect pitch” and made first-chair oboe in district honors band. At Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Temple he was inducted into the National Honor Society, played soccer and football, participated on the forensics team, and worked on the school newspaper.
Jackson was valedictorian of his high school class and was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Texas-Austin, where he planned to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Obviously popular with the girls and endowed with an endearingly goofy sense of humor, Jackson enjoyed an eclectic array of hobbies including playing piano and drums; working on any car engine; riding on skateboards, bikes, and motorcycles; and playing computer games. As a child he was widely respected for his ability to assemble complicated Legos models in just a few hours.
The family is utterly devastated by his passing yet overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support it has received from countless friends and family around the world.
Jackson is survived by his father, Matthew (Stacey) Lieber of Sierra Vista, Az., mother Erin of Austin, Texas, sister Hannah Lieber of College Station, and stepsister Brin Lieber of Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Grandparents are Richard and Edith (deceased) Lieber of Hardin, Ill., Thomas Mullarkey of Golden, Colo., and Terry Fontaine of Littleton, Colo.
Aunts and uncles include Catherine Cortese of Denver, Colo., Stephanie (Joe Massuci) Johnson of Canyon Lake, Texas, Jean Lieber of Chicago, Ill., Michele (Graydon) Martz of Fullerton, Calif., Gretchen (Monte) Zent, Eric (Susan) Lieber of Hardin, Ill., and Anne (Greg) Middleton of Fullerton, Calif.
Cousins include Brett, Page and James Cortese of Golden, Colo.; Brett Johnson of Big Bear Calif.; James Johnson of Kakegawa, Japan; Molly Johnson of Whitehouse, Texas; Alex Sugg of Naperville, Ill.; Trent Lieber of Franktown, Colo.; Stephen Martz of Evergreen, Colo.; Ben Kelley of Georgetown, Texas; Jenna O’Neill of Kansas City, Kan.; Sam, Thomas and Miranda Lieber and Mariko Oshier of Hardin, Ill.; and Lexi, Elise and Trent Middleton of Fullerton, Calif.
A wake is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Ramsey Funeral Home & Crematorium, 5600 Williams Dr., Georgetown, Texas. A funeral mass will be celebrated by the Rev. Thomas Reitmeyer at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan.26 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 9500 Neenah Ave., Austin, Texas.
Jackson will be buried in St. Norbert Catholic Cemetery in Hardin, Ill. A visitation is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Gress Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Homes, 207 S. County Rd., Hardin, Ill. Family and friends will gather there again at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 with burial to follow.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to TexasMusicProject.org, which develops and produces positive, life-changing music education programs and experiences for disadvantaged youth.
Online condolences and guest book may be found at www.kallalandschaaf.com.