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Watch: Rep. Carter Honors Life of Kevin "Catfish" Jackson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Earl L. "Buddy" Carter today reflected on the life and legacy of beloved Georgian Kevin "Catfish" Jackson. Kevin will be remembered not just as a college football champion, but also as a community leader whose hard-work, leadership, and service blessed lives both in Savannah and throughout the broader Georgia community. 

Watch Rep. Carter's speech honoring Kevin "Catfish" Jackson here:

"I rise today to commemorate the life of my dear friend Kevin 'Catfish' Jackson.

"Kevin grew up in Cartersville, Georgia. Those who knew him recognized his talent and motivated him to pursue a future in athletics and academics. He actually wanted to quit high school and wanted to become a lineman for Georgia Power. His coaches saw his athletic ability and encouraged him to continue on, and he did.

"He'll be remembered, among many things, as being a member of the 1980 University of Georgia National Championship football team. He played under Coach Vince Dooley and Coach Erk Russell. In fact, Coach Russell told the story about how he got his nickname Catfish. Some people say it was because Coach said he fought like a cat, and he drank like a fish. Coach also said that it might have been because one day in practice he was waddling around in the mud and looked like a catfish.

"Due to his dedication, his teamwork, and his love for the sport, he was voted by his teammates as co-captain for the Georgia Bulldogs in 1983. Later, he was selected by his coaches for the Coach Wally Butts Award for 'the player who pays the price' a title that recognized his willingness to sacrifice for others without any ends.

"After graduating with a degree in Business Education, Kevin moved to the city of Savannah  my hometown  and he became a very prominent businessman and a very important member of our community.

"He applied what he learned both in the classroom and on the field to his business ventures, and he earned a reputation for treating staff with the respect that he hoped to receive in return.

"His sales career started in 1985. He first worked as a salesman for the Georgia Fastener and Safety Company in Savannah. Then, he went on to serve as Vice President of Marketing at Scapa Group.

"In 1999, he founded his own business EnviroVac Holdings – a company committed to environmental and industrial cleaning services. As President and CEO, he successfully expanded his company across the Southeastern region of the nation.

"Kevin was a man of many passions. He lived life like he was. He lived life big.

"He was known for giving his all in everything he worked on.

"He served as Chairman of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. He served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Ports Authority, the Georgia Economic Development Authority, the Lottery, and so much more.

"Despite his many obligations, he always looked out for his community, and his strong faith guided him tirelessly to serve others.

"He lent his talents to many wonderful organizations including the Alzheimer's Association, Bethesda Academy, CASA, Leukemia Society, Cure for Cancer, Feed the Hungry, United Way, YMCA, and Savannah Christian Prep School.

"And I would be remiss if I did not mention his involvement in the organization of the Band of Brothers. In fact, for a while, we met at his business. The Band of Brothers is a prayer group – a Bible study – that meets every week on Friday mornings at 6:30. Kevin was a big part of getting that started.

"He was always there when you needed him, both in his career and his personal endeavors. His heart was always filled with gratitude, and his personality brought joy to all he met.

"More than anything, he loved his family. I loved following him on Instagram, seeing all the different posts that he would have enjoying his grandchildren. He even built them a zoo, practically a zoo – a farm with all the farm animals.

"Words cannot express the profound impact that Catfish has left on his community. He'll be missed, but his career and his service have created a legacy that will never be forgotten.

"The Savannah and broader Georgia community are praying for Kevin's family. His memory will live on in our hearts forever.

"We suffered a great void in our community with the loss of Kevin 'Catfish' Jackson, but his memory will live on forever."

Watch Rep. Carter's full floor speech here.