Duane Everett Jackson, 89

Published 6:29 pm Sunday, July 7, 2013

Born: Oct. 25, 1923

Died: July 3, 2013

Duane Everett Jackson, 89, of Dowagiac, died peacefully in the presence of his family, Wednesday, July 3, 2013, one month and one day after the death of his beloved wife.



Duane was born Oct. 25, 1923, in Eau Claire, to Ernest and Lena (Kent) Jackson. He married Shirley Jean Maschino  May 8, 1948, in Eau Claire.  She preceded him in death on June 2, 2013.

He was also preceded by: his parents; one son, William Jackson; and two brothers, Chester Jackson and Francis Jackson.

Duane served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. He was a dairy farmer and fruit farmer until he and his wife opened Shir-Lee’s Cake and Candy Store in Niles and operated it for more than 20 years. He quickly earned the title “Candy Man.”

Friends will remember his mischievous personality and ability to play jokes on any unsuspecting family member or friends. You knew it was coming, but you still fell for it every time. Being a big kid himself, children loved him and loved playing with him. One year at the Cass County Fair a group of 4-H youth sat him in a chair, surrounded him and sang “Candy Man” to him.

From 1972 until 1977 he was on the Cass County Fair Board, serving as secretary/treasurer from 1974 until 1977.

Duane also served as agriculture advisor for the establishment of Southwestern Michigan College. He was on the board of Community State Bank (now Huntington Bank). His daughter will always remember him as 10 feet tall and made of steel.

Duane will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by: one daughter, Dianne Jackson of Dowagiac; two brothers, Robert (Claudia) Jackson of Watervliet and Franklin (Wanda) Jackson of Benton Harbor; two sisters-in-law, Dorothy Jackson of Benton Harbor and Sandy Jackson of St. Joseph; one unofficial adopted son, Thomas Horrall of Cassopolis; and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Family and friends gather Tuesday, July 9, from 10 a.m. until time of service at noon in Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis. Mr. Jackson will be laid to rest with military honors in Caldwell Cemetery, Eau Claire, beside his beloved wife.

The family prefers memorial contributions to Cass County Fair Association, P.O. Box 56, Cassopolis, MI 49031.

Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.