Jo Bess Jackson

March 7, 1943 – April 3, 2024


Jo Bess Jackson, of Dallas, Texas, passed away on Wednesday April 3, 2024 in Dallas. She will always be remembered as a powerful and loving mother, friend and colleague to all that knew and loved her. She was born on March 7, 1943 in San Antonio, Texas to Joseph and Mabel VanderStucken.
As a young adult, Jo Bess studied music and English at North Texas State University and became a trailblazing professional musician, culminating in her tenure as a clarinetist with the Fort Wayne, Indiana Philharmonic. A student of the legendary Robert Marcellus, Jo Bess served as a teacher and mentor to countless younger clarinetists.
In the early 1980s, Jo Bess changed careers. She was salutatorian in her Southern Methodist University law class, and went on to become a practicing attorney.
Jo Bess is survived by son Joe Jackson of Bowie, Maryland, daughter Liz Donegan of Denton, Texas, granddaughters Olivia and Katie Donegan of Denton, Texas, grandson Jimmy Jackson of Crofton, Maryland, granddaughter Josie Jackson of Bridgeville, Delaware, great granddaughter Lyla Boorse and great grandson Rowan Boorse of Bridgeville, Delaware. She was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Mabel VanderStucken and her sister Jan VanderStucken of Sonora, Texas.
The visitation and funeral service was held on Saturday April 6, 2024 at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas, and was followed by the interment at Hillcrest Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Feeding America.