Dr. Melvin Langston Jackson was a noted physician who conducted his own practice for the last 29 years.
Jackson died Sept. 11 at Hahnemann University Hospital. He was 77.
He was the only child born to the late Langston Jackson and the late Doetha Gilliam Jackson Young on Feb. 22, 1935 in Baltimore. At an early age, he relocated to Skippers, Va., to live with his aunt. He was baptized at Diamond Grove Baptist Church. He attended school in Greensville County, Va., from first to 11th grades. He returned to Baltimore, where he graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1954.
He graduated from Morgan State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1958. He was a member of the MSU marching band, where he played the trombone.
He was employed as a research assistant at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore before and after being drafted in the United States Army. While in the army, he served as a research assistant in medical research and was honorably discharged in 1961.
He relocated to Philadelphia in 1963 and worked at the U.S. Naval Air Development Center. Jackson was the first African American employed as a biochemist at the U.S. Naval Air Development Center in Warminster.
Jackson became a member of Zion Baptist Church shortly after arriving in Philadelphia. In 1965, he married Jacquelyn Bernice Martin at Wayland Baptist Church in Baltimore. They were blessed with twins in 1974.
Jackson was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Philadelphia Alumni Chapter in 1968. He was a member of Philadelphia and Baltimore alumni chapters. He had a special relationship with the Alpha Iota Chapter at Morgan State University. He was affectionately known as “Dr. Kappa.” One of his proudest moments was when his son, Melvin, II was initiated into the Alpha Iota Chapter. He will be most remembered for his love of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and his rendition of “Invictus.”
In 1976, he graduated from Hahnemann Medical University with the doctor of medicine degree. Jackson completed his residency in internal medicine at the Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Md. in 1979. In addition, he was the first African American resident in internal medicine at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Md.
Jackson started his own medical practice in 1983 after an externship with his fraternity brother, the late Dr. Leonard Johnson. Jackson practiced medicine in his Germantown office until his death. He was on the staff at Temple University Hospital and Hahnemann University Medical Hospital. He was one of the few physicians to make house calls. He spearheaded many health fairs and seminars in the Philadelphia community.
“Dr. Jackson was an exceptional physician, highly regarded as a friend and confidant, whose always been there when needed,” his family said.
Jackson had received numerous awards and citations for his outstanding contributions to the community. Such recognitions include the Special Achievement Award for publication of a technical article titled, “Variation in Brain Nucleotides as an Experimental Probe for Cerebral Control Factors in Anoxic-Fatigue Stress,” Philadelphia Alumni Chapter—Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Chapter Award, Past Polemarch’s Award, Northeastern Province—Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Service Awards, Grand Chapter—Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Elder Watson Diggs Award in 1999, Morgan State University—Philadelphia Chapter Achievement Award, Morgan State University—National Alumni Association--Special Achievement and Alumnus of the Year Awards, NAFEO Award, Spruce ACE Service Award and Distinguished Service Award and many letters of commendation.
He was a member of various organizations including the Morgan State University National Alumni Association, the NAACP, West Mt. Airy Neighbors, Upper Wissahickon Civic Association, the Philadelphia Epicureans and the Philadelphia Chums.
Jackson also served as past president and corresponding secretary of Chi Delta Mu Fraternity; chairman of the deacon board at Zion Baptist Church, board member of Zion Day Care Center and medical consultant to the Nurses’ Unit at Zion Baptist Church. He was a member of the health committee for the Northeastern Province and Grand Chapter since 1999.
In addition to his wife of 47 years, Jackson is survived by his children, Melvin Langston Jackson, II of Tampa, Fl. and Dr. Melanie Lynn Jackson of Bowie, Md.; one grandchild, Sasha Alexandria Wells; mother-in-law, Bernice Martin of Baltimore, Md.; three sisters-in-law, two brothers-in-law; a devoted and loyal employee, Maxine Johnson and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held September 15 at Zion Baptist Church, 3600 N. Broad St. Viewing will be held at 8 a.m. The Kappa service will be held at 10 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.