Cover photo for Elmer "Sonny" Robert Jackson's Obituary
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1937 Elmer "sonny" 2018

Elmer "Sonny" Robert Jackson

April 14, 1937 — July 26, 2018

Elmer “Sonny” Jackson of Hinckley passed away Thursday, July 26, 2018 at Fairview Lakes Medical Center at the age of 81.

Sonny” was born on the White Earth Reservation in 1937. Times were hard back then and it seemed even harder for the natives. Sonny was raised by his grandparents and spoke very highly of their love. Sonny, was sent to North Dakota boarding schools. Where they were taught to no longer speak their native tongue and he was forced to learn to write with his right hand. Sonny did not last long in that environment and often found himself on the road back to his grandparents. He ended up in Minneapolis, working odd jobs, he was a boxer for awhile, anything to make a buck.

Listening to some of the stories he would tell of his younger years (and shenanigans he would pull) you would think to yourself how did he even make it to 81 years old! But he did, he made it many, many more years.

He met Karen in the early 80’s, and accepted all of her children as his own. In the upcoming years another life changing decision was made and Sonny quit drinking and did not allow anyone who drank into his family sanctuary. At the time of Sonny’s departure from earth, he had been sober for 34 years- quite a thing to be proud of!

Sonny was always the first person at the birth of all of his grandchildren. DJ (Iggy) Amber, Devin, Ashley and Zach. He loved these children very deeply and did everything within his power to give them everything they ever wanted every time they wanted it. Weekends at the cabin were full of love, food, forts, walking the rocks on the river, dogs, four wheeler rides/races, go-karts, fishing, camp fires and laughter…. Grandpa was always putting a smile on everyone's face. And that also spilled over into the lives of everyone Sonny knew, he would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. If you were short on cash for lunch he would buy it for you no questions asked.

Sonny spent the majority of his career working at the Grand Casino in Hinckley. He literally built the place from the ground up. He spent many years taking care of the pool, maintenance department and finally ended his career as “Thee Painter”,that’s right, not the painter he was THEE painter :) Sonny always had jokes and tricks up his sleeve, he was so sociable with everyone he met- I think he probably knew every person in the state of MN  and beyond. His infectious laugh and his generous heart will be sorely missed by all.

Elmer "Sonny" is survived by his children Kimberley Mattson of Minneapolis, DaVonna LaPlante of Blaine, Gary Mattson of Moose Lake and Jennifer Mattson of Rush City; grandchildren Derak "Iggy" Jr. (Becca), Devin, Amber, Ashley and Zachery; great grandchildren Ethan, Jeremy, Easton and Eliana; sister Betty Price of St. Paul; many other relatives and friends.

Elmer Jr. is preceded in death by his wife Karen; father Elmer Jackson Sr.; mother Leona Roy; brother Melvin.

Pastor Bruce Thompson officiated at a Memorial service for Sonny on Saturday, August 4th at the Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to:  Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City ~ Swanson Chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elmer "Sonny" Robert Jackson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 4, 2018

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Luncheon

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Starts at 12:30 pm (Central time)

The Chengwatana Town Hall

27136 Forest Rd, Pine City, MN 55063

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