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September 13, 2007

Obituary: Beryl B. Haughton Jackson

Former nursing faculty member and Pitt alumna Beryl B. Haughton Jackson died Sept. 2, 2007. She was 83.

Jackson retired from the University in 1991 after a decade as a faculty member in Pitt’s graduate program in psychiatric-mental health nursing.

Born in Cambridge, Jamaica, as a child Haughton dreamed of being a nurse but put aside her study until she was 27 years old in order to help raise her siblings after her mother’s death. Considered too old for Jamaican nursing schools, she studied at Hackney Hospital in London then went to Canada where she practiced as a nurse-midwife for six years.

She came to Pittsburgh to marry McIver Jackson. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Duquesne University in 1970, then went on to earn a master’s degree in 1972 and a doctoral degree in 1982 at Pitt.

She became a clinician in psychiatric-mental health nursing, working with middle-aged African-American women in Pittsburgh’s Upper Hill District as a group psychotherapist. Recognized as an expert in her field, she was internationally known for her study, “Life Satisfaction in Black Climacteric Women in Relation to Specific Life Events.”

Jackson’s contributions to nursing were acknowledged in 1991 with the Honorary Recognition Award of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association. In 1996 she received the Pitt School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award.

Jackson was a founding member of Pitt’s African-American nursing alumni scholarship committee and chaired the School of Nursing’s affirmative action committee.

In 2002 she established the Beryl B. Haughton Jackson Endowed Fund for Graduate Students to Study Women’s Health to aid graduate students intending to work with underserved populations.

“She was remarkable. I have never seen a person so committed to research or to the community,” said School of Nursing Dean Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacobs. “She was a real inspiration.”

Jackson chaired the Lincoln Avenue Church of God scholarship committee and the Functional Literacy Ministry (FLM), which strives to provide literacy skills to the people of Haiti. She is survived by daughters Penny West and Jacqueline Brooks of California; two grandchildren; a sister, Donna Richards of Jamaica; a brother, Henton Haughton of England, and great-niece Minerva Pilachowski of Pittsburgh.

The family requests memorial donations go to FLM-Haiti, 1064 Premier Street, Pittsburgh 15201.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 40 Issue 2

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