John Jackson

Obituary of John Paul Jackson

John Paul (JP) Jackson, 92, of Duluth, MN and University Park, FL passed away March 28, 2021 at his home in Duluth with family. He was born on October 23, 1928 in Duluth to Alex Jackson and Ingaborg (Erickson). He graduated from Central High School.

JP grew up on the family farm in Alborn, MN, three years later the family moved to town to find work to support the failing farm. He developed polio on the first day of 4th grade, but that didn’t slow him down. He was an entrepreneur from an early age, selling flowers on the street and in pool halls in downtown Duluth. As a teenager he began working as a butcher at Bueler Bros along side his brother Ingwahl. He became a manager of 5 stores at a young age. Longing to be his own boss, JP went to a trade show convention in 1953 and came back with a truckload of import items and small tools. He rented a vacant storefront on Superior St. next to a pool hall and started his first retail store. Open three days a week, the other four days he hustled to find merchandise to sell. That store became successful and was moved to Lake Ave and First St. and became the Double Discount. During November and December JP would rent the vacant store next door and fill it full of toys to sell during the Christmas season, naming it Toy Land. Needing to expand, he moved the store two blocks to 2nd Ave. West and First St., the store sold a little bit of everything from appliances to tools, radios to fishing tackle. JP was a fierce retail competitor and always strived to have the lowest prices. The Double Discount would eventually move two more times to Superior St. locations before changing to Sportsman’s Headquarters in the late 1980’s.

When the Miller Hill Mall opened in 1972 JP saw a need in the changing young men’s fashion industry and started the clothing store Suns of Britches, eventually growing to 18 stores in 5 states. He loved visiting all the stores and offering his input. He was close to his managers and employees. He also co-owned the Miller Hill Manor apartment building.

JP married the love of his life, Doreen Markham, in 1954. They had three children, Marchand, Jay and Michelle. JP loved warm weather since his first trip to Florida in 1948 and vowed to retire early to enjoy it. He achieved that dream at age 50 when he and Doreen became snowbirds, wintering in Pompano Beach, FL for 20 years before building a house in University Park (Bradenton), FL. They spent their time entertaining friends and relatives, going to art shows and just enjoying the sun. JP was an avid golfer and spent many days chasing the white ball. You could always pick him out in any golf outing, just look for the wildest outfit and you’d find him. When he no longer could golf he took up gardening instead and worked and reworked his gardens to perfection. He loved to collect hats, watches and coins and was a member of the Lake Avenue Loafers.

JP is predeceased by his loving wife Doreen in 2014, his parents, and brothers Ingwahl, Robert and Kenneth, his sisters Mary Vredingburgh, Betty Manolis and Jewel Kurshoff. He is survived by his daughters Marchand Jackson, Michelle (Jeff) Swartz, and son Jay (Nimet), grandchildren Devona, Heidi, Christine (Patrick), John and Jeffrey (Roxanne). Great grandchildren Alex, Gabriel, Greysyn, Chloe and numerous nieces and nephews that adored him. JP was quite a character and loved to tell stories, he was a generous person and will be missed by us all.

JP and Doreen are drinking wine and watching the sunsets together again.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements by the Cremation Society of Minnesota.