The Institute Mourns the Passing of Our Friend and Colleague Zona Jackson

November 2014

PHOTO: Zona Jackson
Zona Jackson

For 25 years, Zona worked at the Institute in a variety of roles. She was instrumental in making Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library, a program of the Institute, a smooth operation, from its very beginning, serving Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

Her indomitable spirit and positive outlook will be sorely missed. One co-worker said about Zona: "I could look into her eyes and see straight to her beautiful heart." She indeed had a wonderful heart and a beautiful soul. Zona was laid to rest this morning.

Her Life Story distributed at her service read as follows:

Zona Doria Jackson, daughter of James Simon Hayden and Elaine Hayden (both deceased), was born on December 15, 1960, in Philadelphia, PA and spent most of her life in the west Philadelphia area. She attended Saint Francis DeSales grade school and graduated from West Catholic High School for Girls. While in high school, she discovered many talents and became interested in playing the viola.

PHOTO: Zona Jackson at Institute on Disabilities Expo in Harrisburg
Zona Jackson, left, educated consumers and legislators at the Institute on Disabilities annual Expo at the Capitol in Harrisburg, here in 2007.

After graduating high school, she married and started her family. She later attended the O.I.C. Vocational School for clerical administration. She later landed a job at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University as a secretary. She was later promoted to administrative assistant for Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), a program of the Institute. After years of dedicated service she received a second promotion to Project Coordinator of Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library. While working at Temple, she attended Temple University in pursuit of a degree in Adult and Organization Development. She dedicated over 25 years of service to the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.

During her youth, she enjoyed going to church and singing in the choir. As an adult, she was a devoted and faithful member of Beulah Baptist Church where she began developing her spiritual gifts. On her spiritual journey, she enjoyed her fellowship with many churches and denominations before deciding to become a member of Better Way Bible Church. In pursuit of her degree in theology, she attended Jameson School of Theology. Her studies enhanced her understanding of the Bible. She was a Bible teacher, a Worship Leader, a prayer warrior and the publisher of 'Sound the Trumpet' newsletter and blog.

PHOTO: Zona with collegues at Hurricane Katrina donation event
Zona, front row, second from left, with Institute colleagues at Temple University after collecting and filling a semi-trailer with donated durable medical equipment for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2006.

Zona leaves to mourn three daughters: Shalee Jackson, Danielle Milton, son-in-law Anthony, Niah Martin, and God daughter Tiffany Gilbert. Grandchildren: Modesty Peoples, Dejah Johnson, Mason Stukes, Shafeeq Milton, Hayden Johnson, Ruqayyah Milton and an unborn child. She also leaves siblings: Sharon, Michael, Milton, Gregory, Glenn and Kathleen their spouses and extended families.

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