When Roy Jackson and his wife, Patricia, first came to Cape Cod in 1962, they were drawn by the names on the map. Yarmouth and Truro reminded Patricia of her Cornwall, England home. On that visit, they fell in love with Provincetown, where they spent every summer for the remainder of their lives together.
Roy died in an assisted living facility in Southport, N.C. on March 21, 2022. He was 93.
Born on January 29, 1929 in the coal mining town of Woodlands, near Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, Roy was the second child of Monica (Lumb) and George Jackson. According to family lore, at age three Roy tagged along when his father brought his older sister to school and managed to slip into her class, where he proceeded to do the same work as the “real” students. So, when he was old enough to start school officially, he was sent to the fine new grammar school. Academic success followed at every level.
In 1946 Roy became the first in his family to attend college when he won a scholarship to University College London. After earning a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1949, he began work toward a Ph.D. National Service could no longer be deferred, however, and he joined the Royal Navy, serving two years of active duty and three years as a reservist. He completed his Ph.D. in 1952.
Roy was reportedly the only stoker in the Royal Navy who began his service with a First-Class Honours Degree and completed it holding a doctorate, said his son Jonathan. In 1955, he retired from the service with the rank of lieutenant. Those years of service saw the start of his lifelong habit of polishing his shoes every day before work.
Roy’s ship had docked in Cornwall for a few days of rest and recreation in 1952. The locals sponsored a dance, which Roy and his crewmates attended. There he met Patricia Roberts, a teacher. They were married at Treslothen Church near Troon in Cornwall in August 1953.
Roy and Patricia came to the U.S. when Roy was offered a position with DuPont in 1955. They settled first in Parkersburg, W. Va., where their three children were born.
Roy worked in developing monofilament fibers and plastics and would bring home odd prototype materials such as Lucite, which he thought looked cool in his Provincetown garden, his son said.
Twice, DuPont sent the family abroad, first to Northern Ireland and later to Luxembourg, but Roy spent most of his career in Wilmington, Del., where the Jacksons settled and raised their children Penelope, Margot, and Jonathan. Roy retired in 1992, but he continued consulting for DuPont for many more years.
Roy participated in many horticultural societies, which led to lifelong friendships. He took special pleasure in gathering rare species for his delicate rock gardens and generously sharing bountiful raspberry crops.
He also enjoyed a long membership in the Arden Gild and Wilmington Drama League, contributing time, talent, and his famous frugal know-how to setting up the annual Arden Fair.
Roy and Patricia felt instantly at home in Provincetown, as if they were back in Cornwall, said Jonathan. They rented for years at the Dunes Motel when their children were young, and then in the mid-1990s they bought their own summer home on Miller Hill.
Roy loved going to the art galleries and dining at Napi’s and Fanizzi’s. But most of all he loved tending his small garden, socializing with friends new and old, and living a simple Outer Cape life.
Roy is remembered by family and friends as a man with a first-class intellect, a gentle soul, a quick wit, and a respect for all living things.
He is survived by daughter Penelope Parker, her husband Peter, and grandson Ross Parker of Uckfield, England; daughter Margot Page, her husband Peter, and granddaughter Hazel Everett of Provincetown; son Jonathan Jackson and wife Melanie of Southport, N. C.; and grandchildren Jocelyn Pagel and husband David of Winston-Salem, N. C. and Trevor Jackson of Miami, Fla. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren.
Roy’s wife, Patricia, predeceased him by four months, on Nov. 24, 2021, at 93.
A small memorial service is being planned in Provincetown for this spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mary of the Harbor Episcopal Church, 517 Commercial St., Provincetown 02657.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at fulwoodfuneralservice.com.
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