James Jackson, a firefighter and Army veteran, was 50 years old
Jordin Sparks‘ stepfather has died, PEOPLE confirms.
The American Idol winner’s stepdad, firefighter and Army veteran James Jackson, died on May 7 after suffering a stroke. He was 50 years old. Following his death, Jackson was an organ donor through organ donation organization Life Gift. Jackson is survived by son Zachary (and his wife Dawajeane); wife Jodi; stepdaughter Jordin (and her husband Dana Isaiah); and stepson P.J. Sparks (and his wife Jessica).
A funeral is planned for Tuesday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church in Kingwood, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Houston-based ministry The Forge for Families.
Sparks’s mom Jodi shared her heartbreak on social media last Thursday.
“James and I had a big beautiful love. We loved out loud. He took nothing for granted and gave of himself everyday to everyone. We adored each other and every minute he wasn’t working we were together loving our crazy, blessed life,” she wrote in the emotional post. “He spent his life saving lives and will save many more through this tragedy. That was just who he was.”
Jodi married Jackson back in March 2014. The singer served as maid of honor at their wedding.
On Thursday, Sparks, 29, alluded to her grief in an Instagram story, reposting the quote: “The more my heart expands, the less offended I feel by other people working out their particular stage of being a human.”
Sparks added: “We’re all just trying to make it.”
Back in 2015, Sparks took to Instagram to wish the couple a happy first anniversary.
“Happy 1 Year Anniversary to my Mommy, @jodijax& Step Dad James! Your love is so incredibly inspiring,” Sparks captioned selfies with the pair at the time. “I love you both so much! Here’s to many more!”
Sparks’s loss comes just 15 months after the family faced another heartbreak: In January 2018, Jackson’s 16-year-old daughter — and Sparks’s stepsister — Bryanna Jackson-Frias died of complications from her lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia.