Hundreds of mourners packed St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Seattle on Monday, April 7, for the funeral mass of Forest Jackson, who was fatally stabbed on March 29 in Mountlake Terrace. Jackson, who was 20 at the time of his death, was a 2011 graduate of Mountlake Terrace High School and worked as a pharmacy technician for Mercury Pharmacy Services in Lynnwood.
Attendees included family and friends of Jackson, former and current students and staff of Mountlake Terrace High School, and friends of the Jackson/Boulanger family. Forest’s grandparents, Larry and Arlene Boulanger, are 50-year members of the St. Catherine of Siena parish.
“This is not how it’s supposed to be,” said Victoria Ries, the St. Catherine Parish Pastoral Coordinator during a reflection message. “We should not have to gather for a funeral of someone so young.”
Also speaking during the mass were Jackson’s mother, Cathy Jackson, his sister and member of the MTHS Class of 2014 Micha Jackson, his uncle Steve Boulanger, his grandfather Larry Boulanger, and friend Ira Wahlmeier.
Cathy Jackson told childhood stories of her son during her Words of Remembrance portion of the mass. She also thanked the many who attended, saying, “I feel truly blessed on this, the worst day of my life.”
A recording of Jackson on the saxophone played prior to the 11 a.m. mass, then members of the 2011 MTHS Jazz 1 band performed during the reception that followed. Jackson was a member of the MTHS Jazz 1 band that placed third in the 2011 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition in New York; he was also recognized at the event for his saxophone solo performances.
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski