Gloria Jean Jackson, the oldest of six siblings, spent her entire life taking care of the people she loved. She was kind, always putting their needs before her own.
When her youngest brother was in his teens, the last of the siblings living at home in Northern California with their aging mother, Jackson pooled her savings to buy him a 1964 Buick Wildcat.
“Whose sister buys them a whole car? It got me to school, and it helped me take care of our mother,” Hosea Hopkins recalled in a phone interview on Friday, two days after his sister was struck and killed by a bus in downtown Las Vegas.
The 61-year-old man let out a hearty laugh.
“It was a piece of junk,” he said of his first car, “but it was the thought that counts.”
That’s why Hopkins, who lives in Stockton, California, was upset when he came across reports of the fatal crash that mischaracterized his sister as a homeless woman.
“She’s always had a home,” he said Friday. “Otherwise, how did she take care of everybody?”
Jackson was 75 and Hopkins’ last surviving sibling. Her death came as a surprise to her family, he said.
Late Wednesday, while his sister was crossing Bonneville Avenue at Main Street inside a marked crosswalk, a Regional Transportation Commission bus making a left turn at the intersection hit her, throwing her body to the ground.
And then the bus “rolled on top of her,” according to the Metropolitan Police Department, which identified Jackson as a “transient” woman in a news release on the morning after the crash.
Her death has been ruled an accident by the Clark County coroner’s office.
Originally from Texas, Jackson — and the rest of the family — grew up in Oakland, California. Eventually Jackson ended up in Las Vegas, the place she called home for at least 10 years by the time of her death, according to Hopkins.
Though Jackson didn’t have a mean bone in her body, Hopkins said, his sister was still known as a “straight shooter.” She had a lot of love to give and wanted to save it for the people who mattered to her.
“She didn’t hold back,” he said, laughing again. “If she loved you, she loved you. And if she didn’t like you, she didn’t like you. Whatever it was, you definitely knew it.”
In addition to her brother, Jackson leaves behind her daughter, Lilian, sons Anthony and Bobby, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, one of whom was born just months before Jackson’s death.