Our Jackson was a talented, passionate young man who also faced challenges.
Jackson created his website jacksonroeder.com in December of 2016 to build a portfolio of his talents in preparation for graduating and entering the workforce. We added to this site to share his story. In addition, you will see many of his talents: his drawings, paintings and architecture models & projects.
At a young age, Jackson was introduced to painting through a few summer classes led by a local teacher and artist. He did not paint again until his senior year in high school. He painted for a few summers during his first years at NDSU. Upon his acceptance into the architecture program, he started drawing and constructing models.
Jackson liked to work out, whether lifting weights or running. During college, he ran full and half marathons. In the summer of 2016, he completed a Tough Mudder. He also enjoyed biking, both pedal and motorcycle.
A few years ago for a family birthday in Minneapolis, Jackson asked if he could meet us there for the celebration. He said he was biking from St. Cloud. Pedal biking. He GPS'd the back roads and took pictures of city population signs along the way. He called us when he arrived in downtown Minneapolis to tell us he was going to be late since he couldn't find the population sign for Minneapolis.
Jackson started his architecture path at a very young age, beginning with building items with Legos, K-Nex and erector sets. As a fifth grader, he started using home builder software on our home computer.
He was dedicated to the architecture program at NDSU and wanted his work to be the best so he could add to his portfolio for the future. The website was created by Jackson to showcase his architecture work. Jackson's experience working as an intern at HMA in St. Cloud confirmed for him that he had discovered a career that would allow him to share his talents and gifts with the world.
Jackson struggled with mental-health-related issues since 1st grade.In our society, mental health is not accepted like other medical conditions.
We had been with Jackson on the journey of getting him help since 1st grade, navigating multiple setbacks along the way. We elicited assistance from educators, counselors, and health care professionals from St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, and Fargo.
Jackson's last setback occurred in early 2015, and since then, he was doing very well without any indication of a problem.
Jackson loved his family and friends dearly. We are all shocked by his passing in February of 2017. When I heard the news that my son had passed away, I told my close friend that I had lost hope. I had lost Jackson.
At Jackson's wake service, individuals shared with Reyne and I how Jackson helped them or their children in a time of need. Jackson made a difference for many in some way. I also found out Jackson had been attending church services with a friend prior to his passing.
Through others sharing their stories about Jackson, I have realized that hope is not lost. I have hope and we, God's people, have hope.
The Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund has been established at CentraCare Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health where donations can be made. You can also purchase Jackson's artwork; all proceeds go toward this fund. The Memorial fund is focused on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention in central Minnesota.
Our family hopes to raise money for mental health, help those who need it, especially at a young age, and bring this terrible illness into the open. There's no reason to feel shame or discomfort when discussing mental health or seeking support. There is hope – and our hope is part of that.
Jackson had a nickname around our house. We called him The Wind. So on windy days, think of Jackson. Think of hope.
– Jackson Roeder's father