John Jackson (MSB ’03) died when a deck collapsed at a Chicago party in the early morning hours of June 29, killing 13 people and injuring 57. He was 22.

The accident occurred shortly after midnight in Chicago’s affluent Lincoln Park neighborhood when the floor on a third-story porch plummeted, crushing partygoers on the bottom two levels. Police said that as many as 50 people – most in their mid-20s – may have been on the porch when it collapsed. Jackson and the other guests had gathered in two apartments on the night of June 28 to visit with high school and college friends.

Jackson, a native of Kansas City, Mo., had begun working only five days earlier at Draper and Kramer, a prominent Chicago real estate firm. Jackson was staying with his sister, who was also at the party but escaped unharmed.

Funeral services were held for Jackson on July 3 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kansas City. Jackson is survived by his parents, Robert, a Kansas City pediatrician, and Linda, as well as two sisters, Lisa and Lindsey.

The Jackson family issued a statement saying that they were “very grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the many friends and others who join them in mourning the tragic loss of their wonderful son, John.”

At Georgetown, Jackson was a walk-on member of the sailing team during his freshman year and graduated in May with a business degree. During his junior year, Jackson studied overseas in New Zealand.

Friends remembered Jackson as an outdoorsman who, while in high school, climbed Mount Rainier in Washington and kayaked in Alaska.

Jackson graduated as a National Merit Scholar in 1999 from Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, where he was a member of the soccer team and the Spanish club.

Despite the tight job market, Jackson had landed a job in the research department of Draper and Kramer. “He had the stuff,” McKim Barnes, vice president for research and analysis at the firm, told KOLR-TV. “There was a lot of competition for this position. He won because of his writing quality as well as his background … I’m devastated.”

All 13 people who died in the accident were between the ages 19 and 30.

The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against the owners and managers of the apartment building for allegedly building the porch without the correct permits.

“There are young people who you know are going to be great adults because of their skills, their personality and their emotional makeup,” Richard Hibschman, principal at Pembroke Hill, told KOLR-TV, a CBS affiliate station in Springfield, Mo. “He’d have been a great family man and a community leader.”

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