Elizabeth Louise Jackson (Betty-Lou Ward), affectionately known as “Liz”, ascended to her heavenly home on Monday, October 5, 2020 after a valiant battle with cancer. Liz’s husband and children were by her side at the time of her passing. Her devotion to her family and her firm belief in the God supported her during her illness and ultimately gave her peace.
Elizabeth was born to the Late William and Lillian Ward, a maintenance technician and elementary school teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 20, 1953. She was immersed in the Christian community that would be her lifelong support from an early age. She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her savior and lord when she was a young girl. Elizabeth, along with her parents and her sisters, attended Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. Her faith in the Lord was the center of her life, she taught Sunday school, as well as adult Bible study later on in her life.
Throughout her life, Elizabeth had a boundless spirit, always growing and achieving new heights. She attended Westinghouse High School and graduated in 1971, magna cum laude. She was awarded a full four-year academic scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh in 1971, where she participated in the Medical Careers Orientation Program and several internships, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. Meanwhile, she maintained an active social life, as a member of the Black Student Union, and also as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority where she served as the Dean of Pledges. She graduated in 1975 and, after working for seven years as a microbiologist and laboratory technician, she began the first arc of her career as a pharmaceutical sales representative in 1982. Over the next eighteen years, she worked at Merck Sharp & Dohme as an executive professional sales representative, earning numerous awards and sales achievements, and two years as a regional district manager at Ventiv Healthcare. In 2001, she made a pivotal turn to the second arc of her career, translating her sales acumen and relational skills to become a real estate agent in 2001, winning rookie of the year at Weichert Realtors. In 2008, she became a real estate broker, and established her own corporation Jackson Premier Properties. Over the course of her career, she sold approximately 250 homes in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia metropolitan area. Elizabeth cherished helping people through life transitions, and helping families find a place to build memories, hope, and love. She made a special effort to work with young adults, people of all nationalities and backgrounds along with underrepresented minorities.
Elizabeth was blessed with a large and loving family. She married her best friend and minister, Cecil James Jackson, on December 10, 1977 in Pittsburgh, PA. Together they raised two beautiful children (Danielle & John) with patience, discipline and humility. From the very beginning, she dedicated her children to God and encouraged them to explore the beauty of the gospels. Elizabeth was an educator at heart. She was a beautiful blessing to all that knew her. She always had time to answer a question or solve a problem, no matter how small. She is dearly missed by her loved ones, who celebrate the fact that she is at peace with her creator.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband, Cecil Jackson; her daughter Danielle Jackson; her son John Jackson; her stepson Tony Jackson; her grandchildren Wesley Smith, Gabrielle (Gabby) Smith, Kiera Jackson, and Ethan Jackson; her sisters, Pamela Ward (Thomas Booker) and Sandra Ward, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. She is preceded in death by her parents William & Lillian Ward and host of aunts and uncles.
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