Theresa C. (Balbach) Jackson was born on May 3, 1924, at home in Dotson, MN, the daughter of Ernest and Sara (Cartin) Balbach. She attended rural schools until high school. She then attended Blooming Prairie High School until her senior year, graduating from Ellendale High School in 1942. She then went on to attend and graduated from the Naeve School of Nursing with her R.N. degree in 1946. She married Jesse J. Jackson on June 3, 1946, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Newry Township, to this union four children were born, Robin, Philip, Vicki and John. Theresa raised her family, helped Jesse in his ambulance business and pursued her passion for nursing as well.
Theresa worked as an R.N. at Naeve Hospital upon graduation in 1946 until 1956 when she went to work for a short time for Garret Folken, MD, in his ENT practice and then went to work in 1960 for Theodore Gill, MD, in his ophthalmology practice until Dr. Gill joined the Albert Lea Regional Medical Group. Theresa then worked as an ophthalmology nurse for Albert Lea Regional Medical Group until her retirement in 1989. Upon retirement, she spent many hours volunteering for various organizations within the community including St. John’s Lutheran Home, Senior Resources, Naeve Partners in Health along with other groups within the Albert Lea community. Theresa was strong in her faith, and had been a member of St. Theodore’s Catholic Church since 1943, where she had served as a eucharistic minister and other roles, and St. Theodore’s Catholic School in numerous and varied capacities. Theresa also provided respite care for several families caring for elderly family members in their homes. Theresa helped establish a grief support group and provided grief support counseling for several years.
Theresa lived her life giving, sharing and showing empathy and kindness for others.
Theresa received numerous awards and recognition for her volunteer work within the Albert Lea Community. Some of the awards included: KATE Radio Career Woman of the Day – 1976, Award of Merit for Outstanding Achievement – United Way of Freeborn County, Inc., Salvation Army Bell Ringer Award – 1999 Seniors Agenda for Independent Living (SAIL) Award, President’s Volunteer Service Award (Jefferson Award) – 2005, Freeborn County Outstanding Citizen Award – 2003, Volunteer of the Year at St. John’s Lutheran Home – 2006, Volunteer of the Year at Thorne Crest Retirement Center, Alliance Pipeline Community Hero for Minnesota award – 2006, Diocese of Winona Bishop’s Medal for Volunteer Service – 2006.
Theresa died on Thursday, October 1, 2020 in Mason City, IA. She was 96.
Theresa is survived by Son Philip (Lavonne) Jackson of Peoria, AZ; daughter Vicki (Mark) Thompson of Lake Mills, IA; son John (Darlene) Jackson of Des Moines, IA; brother Donald (Kay) Balbach of New Ulm, MN; sister-in-law Sharon Balbach of Spring Valley, MN; brother-in-law Kenneth (Donna) Peterson of Canton , MN; and sister-in-law Margie Boelman of Albert Lea, MN. Grandchildren: Veronica (Dave) Little, Brett (Charlie) Jackson, Tammy (John Hewins) Jackson, Joshua (Mariah) Jackson, Erin (Glenn) Jackson, Nathan (Karen) Thompson, Jared Thompson, Jesse Slinde, Andrew (Sarah) Slinde, Matt (Angel Harwood) Lee, Marcus (Amanda) Lee, Jeff (Desiree) Montieth, Sarah (Thomas) Hlad, Rachel (Dan Quinn) Montieth, and Jake (Amber) Montieth; Great grandchildren: Kasara (Russell) Mahlmeister, KayLynn Little, Tim (Valorie) Jackson, Samantha Jackson, Hailey Flynn, Hannah Flynn, Landyn Jackson, Rowan Jackson, Keegan Jackson, Camden Jackson, Noah Thompson, Emma Thompson, Grace Slinde, Owen Slinde, Sullivan Lee, Maddox Lee, Asher Montieth, Sam Montieth, Ellis Hlad, and Silas Montieth. Great Great Grandchildren:Aurora Mahlmeister, Kendra Jackson, and Alisa Jackson. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Theresa was preceded in death by: Husband Jesse; daughter, Robin, and son-in-law, Rodney Lee; parents Sara and Ernest Balbach, Jr; in-laws Grover and Mary Jackson; sisters and brothers-in-law Yvonne and Kenneth Morreim, Kathleen and Roland Knox; Jeanette Peterson; brother L. J. (Jerry) Balbach; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-laws Emory (Buck) and Thelma Jackson; Byron T. Jackson; Philip Jackson; Kenneth and Vivian Jackson; Belva and Jim Glendenning; Kathleen and Ronnie Horsman; Mildred Jackson; Robert Jackson; Leo (Dode) and Lavonne Jackson; and nephew Kenneth O. Morreim.
The family is planning private services with interment in St. Theodore Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials in Theresa’s name be directed to Hospice of North Iowa, 232, 2nd Street SW, Mason City, IA 50401.
Condolences and notes of sympathy may be sent in care of the Jackson family to: Bonnerup Funeral Service, 2210 East Main, Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007