James Shackson, Class of 1961

Posted Nov 09, 2020

James Shackson Obit Pic

James Shackson ’61 died Oct. 25, 2020. Born March 16, 1939 to the late Lee Shackson and Mary Elizabeth Martz Shackson in Columbus, Ohio. Jim was a lifelong resident of Westerville beginning his life living in King Hall on the campus of Otterbein College where his mother and father served as head residents and had an apartment on the first floor as his father was professor of music at the time. He was a graduate of Westerville High School class of 1957 and Otterbein College, class of 1961, B.A. Math, B.S. Physics. He served as the President of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi (Country Club), and was active in the men’s glee club, band and ROTC.

Jim served in the United States Air Force where he was sent to Stanford University and earned an MS in Statistics in 1963. Upon completion of his master’s program, he worked in the Unmanned Spacecraft Program as a mathematician in Santa Clara, California.

After his service time, he returned to Westerville where he worked in the early days of computerization, eventually as Director of Information Systems for Columbus Children’s Hospital. He later provided IT consulting services with QuickSolutions in Columbus and finished out his professional career as Records Coordinator with Otterbein University.

Jim was a member of the Boy Scouts, during which time he enjoyed travels to the Philmont Scout Ranch in NM and ushered at OSU football games.

Jim was a lifelong member of Church of the Master, United Methodist, beginning his attendance from birth when the church was then United Brethren. As a college student he operated the radio at Otterbein for the church to broadcast services. He was a longtime choir member and frequent soloist. He was active for many years in masonic organizations: Blendon Masonic Lodge #339 (Past Master, Knights Templar, Commandery), Order of the Eastern Star (Past Worthy Patron), and the Aladdin Shrine, serving as Band Secretary for many years. Jim was a member of the North American/Rockwell Concert Band and later became a charter member of the Westerville Community Band, where he continued to play clarinet until 2018. He also served as treasurer for the Westerville South Instrumental Music Boosters in the 80’s.

Survived by wife Carol Simmons Shackson ’63, son James Shackson (Catherine), daughter Laura Thomas (Jeffrey), and son Shannon Shackson. Grandchildren: Joel Shackson, Brett Shackson, Tanner Thomas, Loghan Thomas, Hannah Shackson. Brother Charles William ‘Gus” Shackson ’65. Brother-in-law Thomas Simmons ’76 and niece Elizabeth Mowry ’99.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Otterbein University, Division of Institutional Advancement, Shackson Memorial Music Education Endowed Award, 1 South Grove Street, Westerville, OH 43081. If giving online at https://www.otterbein.edu/give/ please specify Shackson Memorial Fund.