Richard K. Jackson, 64

NSA engineer and manager

February 21, 2007

Richard K. Jackson, a retired National Security Agency engineer and manager, died Saturday of adenoid cystic carcinoma at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 64.

Mr. Jackson was born in Baltimore and raised in Turners Station. He was a 1960 graduate of City College and served in the Army until 1963. He attended what is now Baltimore City Community College.

After beginning his career as a switchboard operator for the National Security Agency in 1964, Mr. Jackson steadily rose through the ranks to become a manager and software engineer.

He also took two assignments in Japan before his retirement in 1997.

"He took many professional development courses during the years through the NSA," said his wife of 20 years, the former Paulette Reed, a retired Baltimore public school teacher.

After retiring from the NSA, Mr. Jackson worked for several years as a contract employee for Lockheed Martin Corp.

A resident of Woodstock in Baltimore County, he was president of the Offutt Ridge Neighborhood Homeowners Association, for which he established a Web site and newsletter.

Mr. Jackson's rare cancer was diagnosed in 1991, and during the intervening years he had rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

"He was a warrior and a fighter, and loved life, even though he didn't feel 100 percent," his wife said. "He embraced traveling, gardening, listening to jazz, and most importantly, his family, with everything he had to give."

Mr. Jackson was a member of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Vaughn Greene Funeral Home, 8728 Liberty Road, Randallstown.

Also surviving are two daughters, Kelly Wilkins of Baltimore and Leslie Tucker of Atlanta; two stepdaughters, Malika Dennis DeLancey of Owings Mills, and Kalinda Dennis of Baltimore; a brother, Gregory Jackson, and sister, Gwendolyn Berry, both of Baltimore; nine grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. His marriage to the former Natalie Thornton ended in divorce.

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