SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A man who spent more than three decades helping to feed families in need was laid to rest Monday afternoon.
E.J. Jackson, founder of Jackson Limousine Service, died Nov. 1, after suffering a heart attack. He was 66.
Approximately 1,000 family members, friends and staff celebrated Jackson's life during a funeral service at Crenshaw Christian Center.
"We want to say we love you, we thank you for the phone calls, we thank you so much for the emails ... the words of encouragement," said TyRon Jackson, one of Jackson's seven children.
The South Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist owned Jackson Limousine Service. In 1982, he started a turkey giveaway for senior citizens, which became an annual event.
"In that line that wraps around about six blocks, you will see people who are in desperate need," said Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Waters was among several dignitaries in attendance, including retired Congresswoman Diane Watson, Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier, TV talk show host Tavis Smiley and Inglewood Mayor James Butts.
Last year, an estimated 12,000 families received holiday meals at Jackson's annual giveaway.
"We had the potatoes, we had the vegetables, we had the fruit, we had everything," said Waters.
"He lived a life and left a legacy that many of us celebrate, and that's why many of us are here today," said Smiley.
Jackson's family says the 34th annual Turkey and Grocery Giveaway will continue as planned Nov. 22. For more information and to donate, visit http://turkeygiveaway.org/.
Jackson was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
EJ Jackson, organizer of massive South LA turkey giveaways, laid to rest