HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — This week, loved ones and students remembered the life of a Henrico County music teacher.

Kirkland Jackson, who was the band director at Tuckahoe Middle School, died from cancer on July 1.

Dozens of family members, students and community members attended the service celebrating his life at the Grove Avenue Baptist Church on Tuesday afternoon to honor him.

Students described him as passionate, dedicated and more than just a faculty member.

In a previous interview with 8News, one student said Jackson understood the need to put his students first. “I just really enjoyed it (Jackson’s class),” the student said.

“It was something that I could spend a lot of time doing and I could see myself doing in the future for a long time,” he said. 

Jackson with the students in his class at Tuckahoe Middle School. Credit: Brandon McGuire

Jackson told 8News back in 2017 that teaching his music students throughout the school year was rewarding.

“When students first start in September and October it’s a lot of noise at first. But just to see how far they progress within just a short few months… their growth through the first few months it’s really astounding.” he said.

Jackson in an interview with 8News in 2017.

Jackson was a twin to his brother, Kelvin. Jackson’s brother-in-law, Brandon McGuire, said the two brothers were very close and bonded over their love for music.

“Him and his brother Kelvin loved going to New York City and just going jazz club hopping, so I was always jealous of that bond they had with that,” he said.

McGuire added that his life and legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

“Instantly it was just like we were brothers,” he said. “Always a smile on his face and a great laugh. He was just so easy to be around. “

The tragic loss comes just months after Jackson’s battle with cancer. He was diagnosed in November, McGuire said.

“It was all very fast. We’re still in shock,” he said.

The outpouring of love from the community demonstrates Jackson’s impact.

“The support is…it’s unbelievable. He really touched a lot of people’s lives,” McGuire added.

Loved ones say Jackson taught music for more than a decade. He used music to build relationships with his students who adored him.

Jackson leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Jackson spoke with 8News in 2017 — check out the footage below: