With sorrow and regret, we want to inform family and friends of Gisela Jackson's passing on March 6, 2021, due to a long battle with illnesses. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Michael, her sister, Inga Lechner, of Germany, her son and daughter-law, Stephen and Michelle Jackson, her daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and John Rizzo, and three grandchildren Kaitlin, Celina, and Cameron. Gisela Maria Jackson was born on September 9, 1942, in Augsburg, Germany, to Anne and Julius Mueller. Her mother and grandmother initially raised her until the family was reunited with her father's return to West Germany from service in WWII in 1952.
Gisela provided the spark for a wild and wonderful ride through life, never a dull moment. She traveled extensively and enjoyed her friends and family.
Gisela was an achiever at an early age, and her schooling in Germany was on the gymnasium path (equivalent to high school honors in the US). She completed two years of advanced studies which upon completion, she was hired by the German Postal service and was selected for the management training program. Further studies brought her to London, England, as she was accepted to the nurses' training program.
Gisela returned to Germany in 1963, where she married Michael in Bayreuth, Germany. Gisela first came to the United States in 1964 to the Augusta, Georgia, area. While in Georgia, she became the first green cardholder to be hired by Southern Bell. In 1966, she returned to Germany with her son to await Michael's return from service in Korea.
In 1967, the family moved back to the United States and welcomed their daughter shortly thereafter. They moved to various duty stations with their two children. During their time of Michael's military service, she enjoyed the close-knit communities of multiple bases and learned how to play bridge, which became a lifelong passion.
Michael and Gisela and their family returned to Germany in 1973. While Michael continued his military career, Gisela took a position as an official translator for the Commander in Chief of US Army Europe. In 1980, the family returned to the US to the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania area. Gisela started as an executive assistant to the president of Equitable Life Insurance and worked her way up and became the major case unit manager for Equisource, a subsidiary of AXA Equitable Financial Group. After 20 years and many outstanding letters and awards, Gisela attained the titles of Executive Vice President of Subsidiary and Vice President of AXA Life Insurance Company. Gisela retired in 2007 and moved to Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, with Michael in tow.
While in retirement, she continued her passion for playing bridge, swimming in the lake, occasionally consulting for the major case unit, and completing her travels to see the rest of the world. She loved Africa, Alaska, the Panama Canal, India, and Angkor Wat, to name a few.
At 5 feet tall, Gisela was a force to be reckoned with. She was headstrong and generous. She was compassionate to all that knew her. Gisela will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 655, Hardy VA 24101-0655; or to Daleville/Fincastle Lions Club Foundation, PO Box 154, Daleville, VA 24083.
Online condolences may be made to Gisela’s family at www.rader-funeralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gisela Maria Muller Jackson, please visit our floral store.
Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club Foundation
PO Box 655, Hardy VA 24101-0655
Daleville/Fincastle Lions Club Foundation
PO Box 154, Daleville VA 24083