Lon Allan Jackson died unexpectedly but peacefully at home on June 25. He was 69.

He was born on Jan. 21, 1952, the first child of Billy and Blanche Jackson in Los Angeles during an era of difficult race relations in America. After several years, his parents returned to Champaign, Ill., and he became a lifelong resident.

His primary profession was hotel maintenance, and he supported unit 24 of the Champaign American Legion in later years. Lon’s true passion was music. He loved rhythm and blues and rock and roll. He was a talented guitar player whose emotions and sentiments were conveyed through soulful performances. He also was an avid collector of geodes, fossils, megalodon shark teeth and wampum from quahaug shells. He immensely enjoyed his delicious barbeque with an ice-cold beer and a cigarette.

In his youth, Lon spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard with his family and he returned whenever possible. He loved fishing and cherished lifelong friends on the Island and in “Chambana.”

He led a passionate life that could be fiery and boisterous, but at times quiet and contemplative. He had a young and vibrant spirit that stubbornly attempted to defy aging. His spirit enabled him to live life by his rules, and he was fearless in that regard. He had a magnetic smile with a contagious laugh and an intelligent, witty sense of humor, like his father. He could make anyone laugh. At times, he would even chuckle at his own jokes.

When very young, Lon married Claire Michael-Ward and they had two beautiful, smart and talented daughters. Later in life, he married Marcella Padron. Although they parted company, she and her daughter Ashley remained friends with Lon.

Janis Lee Weaver was Lon’s longtime friend who has been devoted, caring and a steadfast support in his life. She blessed him with a handsome, considerate and loving son who shares an uncanny resemblance to Lon. His youngest child is his beloved dog Boo-boo, who was recently adopted into a loving home.

Lon recognized that his greatest gifts in life were his children. He loved them dearly and is proud of who they have become. Moreover, he appreciated their unconditional love during the peaks and valleys of life.

He is survived by his children and grandchildren: Celeste Anne Pleadwell and son Quinn of Seattle, Wash., Adria Dawn Tarleton and son Hart of Oak Park, Ill. and Matthew Douglas Weaver of Champaign, Ill. Other survivors include his mother, Blanche Mary Jackson, sister Sylvia Marie Jackson, brothers Aron Drew Jackson of Aquinnah and Tru Luv Flo of Urbana, Ill., niece Madeline Hodges-Gill of Indianapolis, Ind. and cousin Robert Leroy Fisher of Saint Louis, Mo. and his three children. He was predeceased by his father, Billy Morrow Jackson, in 2006.

There will be no funeral service. Per Lon’s wishes, his ashes will be interred with his dearest friend Connie M. Rogers, who predeceased him in 2007.

The family expresses gratitude for prayers of comfort and peace.

Donations can be made to a local pet shelter of choice.