The ballplayer’s family urged other children to show up in baseball jerseys to memorialize him and to acknowledge his favorite sport.
And that’s what they did, from children appearing around his age to several adults and the NCAA team from Waukesha’s Carroll University.
The parking lot at BrookLife Church in Mukwonago filled up quickly – and people continued to stream in and out of the visitation at a steady pace on a cloudless, 50-degree evening in December.
Inside, dozens of people at a time lined up to share their condolences with Jackson’s parents at a closed-casket service.
The parents, Aaron and Sheri Sparks, stood beside a wooden coffin adorned with blue and white flowers and a Waukesha Blazers baseball cap and a bat, representing the youth team for which Jackson played.
Images cycled across a large screen above them, including one of Jackson with his dad in a dugout. There were about a dozen elaborate floral displays sent from members of the community.