George Howard “Jake” Jacobus, age 82, of Delray Beach, FL and Edgartown, MA, died peacefully surrounded by family and close friends on January 8, 2013, in Delray Beach, Florida. His death was a result of a long illness due in part to heroically battling chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) for twenty-nine years. He was born in Caldwell, NJ, at the height of the Great Depression on January 5, 1931, son of Hester Todd Jacobus and George Russell Jacobus. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell, NJ, class of ’49, where he served as student body president and captain of the varsity basketball team.
Jake graduated from Dartmouth College with the great class of 1953, where he was a Government major and a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. In the mid 1950’s, he trained young pilots to fly T-33s as a First Lieutenant in the US Air Force and was stationed at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas. A consummate entrepreneur and businessman, he was a founding partner and CEO of Fairfield Communities Land Company, Inc. which built resort communities throughout the South and Southwest. It was headquartered in Little Rock, AR, where he lived from 1966 until 1976. His first marriage to Elizabeth Jones ended in divorce. He and his second wife, Catherine Hohenlohe and family moved to Delray Beach, FL in 1976. He was the founder and General Partner of Connark Company, an investment and real estate development company located in Delray Beach. In the 1980’s, Jake served on the board of trustees of Newmont Mining Company. He has been an active philanthropist along with his wife, including serving on the Foundation Board for the Achievement Centers for Children and Families of Delray since 1998.
Jake was an avid sailor, as well as a pilot. He savored time with his family on any body of water in any matter of non-motorized floating vessel (Boston whalers were an exception). These included sailboats (large and small), kayaks, dinghies, and row-boats. He was especially fond of the Atlantic Ocean off of Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts and Southeast Florida. Jake was a lifelong student of European and North American History and an unswayable Republican, though many tried to sway him. In his great respect for education, he and Catherine awarded private scholarships for higher education to numerous deserving young people. He was a natural athlete and always fit, walking and swimming daily until within weeks of his death. He loved the game of football and was a long-term Miami Dolphins fan.
He is survived by his wife of thirty-nine years, Catherine H Jacobus, six children and their families; daughter Ann Jacobus Kordahl and husband Jim Kordahl of San Francisco; son William R. Jacobus and wife Crystal Jacobus of Tallahassee; daughter Sarah Lacy Jacobus of Dallas, TX; daughter Alexandra Cook and husband John Conforti of Boston, MA; son Todd H. Jacobus and wife Shana Jacobus of Chevy Chase, MD; and son Christian H. Jacobus of Saginaw MI; twelve adoring and devoted grandchildren; one great-grand child; a brother, Todd Barry Jacobus and wife Patty Jacobus of Little Rock, AR, and three nieces.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 188 South Swinton Boulevard, Delray Beach, FL, at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 12, 2013, with a reception immediately following at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations will be gratefully accepted at the Achievement Centers for Children and Families of 555 Northwest 4th Street, Delray FL , 33444. http://www.delraychild.org
Lorne & Sons Funeral Home (www.LorneandSons.com) Delray Beach, FL in charge of arrangements.