Margaret MacGillicuddy, The Bag Lady, Miss Kitty, and so many other lovable, memorable characters left the stage forever when Karen Orleana Jackson died of complications of esophageal cancer on November 20th.
Karen was a one-of-a-kind woman. She was fabulously talented, gifted with a voice and the ability to interpret a song that could make her audience weep, or get up and dance. She was a consummate comedian, her creativity and execution on par with the likes of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnette. She was a founding member of the Calamity Players, which performed for four decades.
She purchased a craftsman-style house which had fallen into severe disrepair and turned it into a showplace, mostly with her own elbow-grease.
Many of her friends and acquaintances were blessed to eat at her table. Her cooking was of gourmet quality. Beautifully prepared and presented, and plenty of it. She would spend hours with her cookbooks for days before a fete to put together the perfect menu, from luscious oyster stew all the way through to chocolate lava cake.
Through copious study, she achieved the title of Master Gardener II. Each summer her yard was redolent with flowers. She put a fenced herb garden along her driveway and erected a greenhouse to get a good start on the warming early spring days. She used much of her own produce to feed her friends, for canning, and for the unique dishes she offered from her food truck. She built an outdoor theatre in her back yard so that her friends could watch movies on summer nights.
She taught school for almost forty years, affecting, for the better, the lives of so many young children. She received the “Teacher in the Community” award for the many fundraising concerts she and her friends provided. When she retired, she had taken only two sick days over almost four decades. Many of her co-educators were fast friends until she left us.
Karen was born in Rome Georgia June 4, 1950, the middle child of James O. and Amy Ruth Jackson. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Vickie, and brother Lee. She is survived by her life partner, Todd Yeager, her performing friends, and her teaching colleagues.
Karen we will miss you so very much. You have left a hole in our lives. You were the best of friends. Please think of us from time to time. You know we’ll be thinking of you.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Help for Homeless Pets, or any animal welfare organization of your choosing.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday January 18, form 3-5pm at the Columbia Club (Formerly Knights of Columbus).