Kadena airman killed in motorcycle crash knew early on he wanted to fly
(TNS) — Quincy Jackson decided in the ninth grade that he wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force, following the lead of several family members who had served in the military.
“He wanted to fly,” said his mother, Lavina Noel Payne of Southwest Greensburg.
Jackson, 21, of Greensburg died Nov. 24 in the Navy Hospital Okinawa at Camp Foster, Japan, of injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident.
Airman 1st Class Jackson had served as a crew chief at Kadena Air Base for the past year and a half, assigned to the base's 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
Her son was to begin online college studies in January, a step in his quest to become an officer, Payne said.
Jackson recently had taken up motorcycle riding and was careful to use a helmet and safety equipment, she said.
“We spoke to him the day of the accident. I actually said something about the motorcycle and being careful,” Payne said.
The family last saw Jackson during the summer, when he met them at Disney World in Orlando.
“He surprised all of the kids,” Payne said.
“Everything was special about him. His high school principal (David Zilli) sent a card that I guess sums him up,” she said.
In it, Zilli said Mr. Jackson “grew to be a young man we could all be proud of. He was doing great things with his life.”
He graduated from Greensburg Salem High School in 2012. He lettered in football, was a member of the senior chorus and ensemble, and was a senior peer mentor.
Frank Lehman, superintendent of Greensburg's parks and recreation department, recalled Jackson and several siblings participating in the football and cheerleading programs.
He said Jackson played for years as a child and moved on to his middle and high school football programs.
“I remember Quincy and his family well. He was a very good youth football player,” Lehman said. “Quincy was always an athlete that was a starter. He was a great kid, very reliable. He was never a kid who wanted to miss practice,” he said.
Jackson's brother, Diante, and several other Stage Right! students will sing at his memorial service, said Christine Orosz, executive director.
“The family requested that they sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings,'” she said.
A second brother, Denzell, will sing, said his mother.
In addition to his brothers, mother and her husband, Brandon, he is survived by his father, Roland Jackson of Uniontown; three sisters, Indigo Payne, La'Yasmine Payne and Kierra Jackson; a half-brother, Roland Jackson; and a stepsister, Savannah Steele-Payne.