Glendale Heights is renaming senior center for Linda Jackson
Then-Glendale Heights Village President Linda Jackson laughed in 2010 when other local officials called the village's new senior citizen center "the Taj Mahal of area senior centers."
But she was proud of the $3 million Center for Senior Citizens.
"We want our seniors to stay in Glendale Heights and want them to have a place that is theirs," she said at its opening, according to a Daily Herald article at the time. "This is the way to do it."
So after her death on Aug. 30, the village board found it fitting to rename the center in her honor.
Jackson died at the age of 74.
She had been village president for 20 years, ending in 2021 when she was removed from the ballot because of a petition-filing error.
She was a trustee for 10 years before that. That included a year when she was acting president when Village President Ben Fajardo was recovering from a severe stroke in 1999.
"This woman put 30-plus years into this town. This town would not be what it is if it wasn't for her," resident Cheryl Frauen told the board.
Trustee May Schroeder lamented that the village couldn't rename the building while Jackson was still alive to enjoy the honor. "Dead noses don't smell roses," Schroeder said.
But Jackson didn't believe in naming things after people who were still living, Schroeder said.
Jackson moved to Glendale Heights in her mid-20s. Her community involvement began when the mother of four served as a room mother at the former Queen Bee Elementary School. She was a Cub Scout den mother, graduated from the civilian police academy, planned the celebration of the village's 40th anniversary and more.
"She loves everybody in this town. The town was her life," said friend and resident Diane Halvorsen.
Trustee Michael Light humorously recalled Jackson's penchant for talking with her hands. "We will all miss the clacking of the bracelets on her wrist the more passionate she became about something," Light said.
Jackson is survived by her children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
New signage will be placed on the senior center, probably next spring. Douglas Flint, acting village administrator, said the village first must figure out a design and contract the work.