Vets' Home resident dies after contracting Legionnaires' disease - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Vets' Home resident dies after contracting Legionnaires' disease

Gov. Bruce Rauner paid tribute to Ivan Jackson (pictured) on Twitter Monday. Gov. Bruce Rauner paid tribute to Ivan Jackson (pictured) on Twitter Monday.

A former resident of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy was laid to rest this week, months after contracting Legionnaires' disease while living at the home.

Ivan Jackson, 79, died May 23 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, a week after leaving the Illinois Veterans' Home, according to the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.

IDVA confirmed Jackson contracted Legionnaires' disease while living at the home earlier this year.  Spokesperson Dave MacDonna said Jackson was discharged on May 16, but had recovered from Legionnaires' by then.  He said the cause of death the department was given gave no indication that Jackson died from Legionnaires' disease.

A representative from the City of St. Louis Medical Examiner's Office said there was no autopsy done on Jackson to determine a cause of death.  The representative said the office was only notified of the death.  The representative said autopsies are usually only done for cases with traumatic injuries, or if there are suspicious circumstances around the death.

"(Jackson) had other serious heart issues." IDVA spokesperson Dave MacDonna said.

MacDonna said he believed Jackson was staying with his daughter, but there was no indication why Jackson was leaving.  He added that IDVA doesn't track individuals after they leave the facility. 

Sabrina Vance of Jackson Mississippi is a daughter of Jackson. Vance said that she does not believe Legionnaires' was the cause of death because Jackson "had a number of other health issues before contracting Legionnaires."

Vance added that she did not ask the doctor the cause of death.

Officials with both IDVA and the Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday that there are no active cases of Legionnaires' disease at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.

"U.S. Air Force veteran Ivan Jackson was a man of rare quality," Gov. Bruce Rauner said on Twitter Monday.  "Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, his service will be remembered, his memory cherished forever. Rest in honor, my friend."  

Jackson was one of two Vets' Home residents who were in the Illinois Capitol House Chamber when Rauner delivered his State of the State speech January 31, promising change at the Quincy home.  Officials said they didn't know if Jackson had Legionnaires' disease when he made the trip. Legionella bacteria had also been found in the Capitol building.

"Even though research shows that Legionella is everywhere, including this very Capitol, our goal is to prevent Legionella infections at the Quincy home," Rauner said during his State of the State speech.

Jackson was born June 22, 1938 in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Lanphier High School in Springfield, and attended Western Illinois University in Macomb.

He served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years.  He also worked with the Youth Challenge Program in Springfield, and was a member of VFW Post 7686 in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  He also played and coached basketball, and was inducted into the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jackson had six daughters, sixteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Jackson was laid to rest in Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield on June 11.

You can read his full obituary here:

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