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Jackson Roos 'made it count,' friend says of boy's zest for life at funeral service

A friend comforts Julie Roos, left in pink,  while Bryan Roos, back to camera, hugs a friend during today
A friend comforts Julie Roos, left in pink, while Bryan Roos, back to camera, hugs a friend during today's funeral for their son, Jackson, 12, who died in a zip-line accident last Wednesday. The funeral took place at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center in Redmond.
— image credit: Andy Nystrom / Reporter

Jackson Roos was a competitive boy who loved to play baseball. And the 12-year-old pitcher was joyously proud of himself when he made the Redmond North Little League All-Star team last summer, said his father, Bryan Roos.

Speaking at his son's funeral service today at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center in Redmond, Bryan noted that coaches told him that Jackson was a good player, friend and an inspiration to his teammates.

"Good kids make good people on and off the field," Bryan told the hundreds of people who attended the service for Jackson, who died in a zip-line accident last Wednesday in the family's back yard near Redmond.

"I take solace to know Jackson was clean, pure and without malice," added Bryan, who owns Roos Orthodontics in Redmond. "He truly was amazed by the world and what it had to offer him."

Members of Jackson's baseball team were in attendance at the funeral, as well, all wearing their uniforms. Last weekend, some of the players hit memorial baseballs for Jackson into a nearby lake adjacent to where his grandparents live and where the avid wakeboarder spent a lot of time.

Jackson's uncle, Brett Clark, briefly donned a baseball glove while speaking to the crowd and said, "When you've got your hand in your glove, you can do all kinds of wonderful things."

Jackson also enjoyed scouting, mowing the family's large lawn for $10 each time, fishing, playing soccer and basketball, spending quality time with his family and friends and participating in church services.

"He was naturally and instinctively kind," uncle Gary Folkman said during his eulogy. Folkman noted that Jackson received that trait from his parents, Bryan and Julie, who graciously thanked the Redmond Fire Department first-responders at the funeral for attending to Jackson on the day of the accident.

"You did not give up on my boy; you did everything you could and more," she said.

Grandmother Patty Folkman said that a friend once told her that Jackson always included that man's boys in sports activities.

"If I was little, I would have wanted to be picked on his team," Patty said. She added that her grandson was sweet, obedient, cheerful and forgiving, and "because of Jackson's many qualities in his 12 years, I am trying to be a better person."

Recently, Jackson gave a talk at church about being friendly to everyone, Patty said. Family friend Jeff Hansen noted that "when it came to being a friend, he made it count" and he asked funeral attendees to share his "zest for life" by being kind to people. To the young people in the crowd, Hansen encouraged them to start paving their paths to be upstanding men and women.

Looking back to last Wednesday, Julie Roos said that Jackson spent an extra 10 minutes in the morning saying his prayers in his room, and then the family said a prayer together at breakfast.

Filled with emotion, Bryan Roos said, "The last words I said to Jackson were, 'I love you,' and he said he loved me back."

 

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