Laura Y. Davis Jackson, a community activist spurred into action by the murder of her son, died Wednesday at Hospice Buffalo in Cheektowaga after a brief illness. She was 59. Mrs. Jackson was a Buffalo native and graduate of East High School. She received her associate's degree in business at the Kensington Business Institute and took classes at Empire State College and the University at Buffalo.
In 1991, her 17-year-old son Torriano was killed and her 20-year-old son Aaron was critically wounded in a machine-gun attack. She was founder and executive director of Dealing Effectively After The Homicide, or DEATH, which offers support to families who have lost loved ones to homicide. In 1996, she established the Common Ground Exhibit, dedicated to her slain son, in order to put a face on violence. Mrs. Jackson also served as director of the Student Action Phone, a crisis hotline to help students deal with quality-of-life problems, and was a counselor with the Lollie & Danielle Memorial Fund for Crime Victims Support. She also organized the Toy Gun Buy Back project to warn children about the dangers of weapons.
The Buffalo chapter of the NAACP honored her in 2000 with its Daniel Acker Community Service Award. Several organizations, including the United Way, established honors in her name.
Mrs. Jackson was the former chairman of the Kensington-Bailey Community Center, and worked for the Census Bureau and as a researcher for the Buffalo Perinatal Center.
Besides her son, she is survived by her husband, Frederick E. Jackson Sr.; three daughters, Fredina Brooks, Gerri Jackson and Laura Jackson, all of Buffalo; two brothers, Leon Davis Jr. III of Buffalo, and Kenneth Lydell of Mason, Tenn.; a sister, Margaret Davis Brown of Buffalo; her grandmother and stepgrandfather, Ella Mae and Leon Davis of Tallahassee, Fla.; and seven grandchildren.
Funeral services are at 11 p.m. Monday in Jordan River Missionary Baptist Church, 440 Leroy Ave. Burial will follow in Forest Lawn.