Ocean Lakes Family Campground founder dies at 89 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Ocean Lakes Family Campground founder dies at 89

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Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson (Source: Ocean Lakes Family Campground) Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson (Source: Ocean Lakes Family Campground)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A founder of Ocean Lakes Family Campground has passed away Monday morning, according to a campground spokesperson.

It was announced Nelson Jackson, 89, passed away Monday at 11:30 a.m. Nelson would have turned 90 years old on February 26.

Jackson moved to Myrtle Beach in 1970 to develop the Ocean Lakes Family Campground with his wife, Mary Emily Platt Jackson, of 61 years. Ocean Lakes opened on July 2, 1971 with 30 campsites and one boathouse, expanding to 893 campsites and 2,554 annual leases in 2010.

The lease sites sit on 310 oceanfront acres with nearly one mile of beachfront. The campground includes four bathhouses and more than 360 employees during the height of camping season. Ocean Lakes received the National "RV Park of the Year" award in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009.

"The Jackson Companies and its 500+ teammates are feeling a tremendous loss today with the passing of our co-founder, Nelson Jackson. We appreciate the outpouring of kindness and concern of so many that knew him. In the meantime, we ask everyone for their understanding and respect for the Jackson family during their time of loss," states Dennis Wade, CEO of The Jackson Companies.

While in Myrtle Beach, Jackson served as a past member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the Conway Hospital Board, Nations Bank Board, and was involved in the Myrtle Beach Campground Owners Association.

"[Jackson] was the consummate southern gentleman who always had a kind word and healthy dose of optimism for anyone he met," said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Brad Dean. "He built a successful business empire by simply listening to his customers and treating his employees well."

Jackson was also heavily involved in the development of The Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values at Coastal Carolina University. Developed in 2004, the center was established to recognize and celebrate the history of the Jackson Family. The primary focus, according to a spokesperson, is to "cultivate awareness throughout the academic and surrounding communities of importance and lifelong rewards of personal and professional integrity.

The Jackson Family Center achieves its goals with four on-campus programs, including the Jackson Scholars, Junior Scholars, Visiting Ethicists and the Jackson Resource Center.

Born and raised in Tryon, NC, Jackson was the son of the late John Nelson and Laura Chapman Jackson. The 89-year-old was a graduate of The Darlington School and Clemson College in 1942. Years later, Jackson served in the Army during World War II and was discharged as a first lieutenant.

Visitation will be held Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ocean Lakes Recreation Building, located at 6001 S. Kings Hwy. A memorial service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the same location.

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