Lunch outing causes a stir

EVERETT – Police launched a four-hour search for Helen Jackson, widow of Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, Thursday after a caregiver reported she was missing from her north Everett home.

Jackson, 73, was having lunch with a friend in the La Conner area, unaware of the stir caused in Everett by her reported disappearance.

Michael V. Martina / The Herald

Helen Jackson waves to reporters outside her Everett home after returning from lunch with friends on Thursday.

She arrived home about 3:35 p.m. to police cars lined up outside her house on Grand Avenue and a crowd of reporters across the street.

Everett Police Chief Jim Scharf and Mayor Ray Stephanson, who were waiting inside with Jackson’s children, greeted her with hugs.

“Obviously, this is special attention because of who Mrs. Jackson is and what she and her husband have done for this community and nation,” Everett Capt. Mike Campbell said.

Henry Jackson served in the U.S. Senate for more than 30 years, until his death in 1983. The Everett native twice ran for president and is credited with bringing the Navy base to Everett.

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation, started in 1983 and led by Helen Jackson, has provided millions of dollars to organizations that support projects addressing human rights, international affairs and environmental issues.

“Mrs. Jackson is a highly visible public figure. (She) faces a different personal safety risk” than the average person, Everett police Sgt. Boyd Bryant said. “We have to be very sensitive to any potential harm.”

Anytime an elderly person is reported missing, police immediately initiate a search, Bryant added.

Jackson was reported missing about 11:15 a.m. after a caregiver couldn’t locate her. Police were concerned because Jackson typically tells her caregiver or children where she is going, Campbell said.

A note was later found indicating that Jackson planned to meet with a friend, Campbell said.

Everett police asked police from Mount Vernon and La Conner to look for the women.

Helen Jackson’s son, Peter Jackson, said his mother looked “healthy and embarrassed” upon her return. He said he was grateful for the calls of concern he received, and appreciated the police effort.

“Our family is very grateful for the love and support of the community, and I especially want to thank Scharf and the terrific members of the Everett Police Department,” Peter Jackson said.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or

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