Joseph William Jacobs, 1941 – 2017

LEBANON, N.H. – Joseph William Jacobs, age 75, of Stoddard, N.H. died on Monday, May 29, 2017 after succumbing to complications from leukemia. He was born on October 18, 1941 in Columbus, Ohio, the son of William and H. Pauline (Peterson) Jacobs, and older brother to Robert and sister, Pamela. He lived his entire growing-up years in the “Hilltop USA” neighborhood of Columbus and graduated from West High School there in 1959.

After three years of college, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a German language specialist until his discharge in 1967. Following his stint in the service, Joe completed his undergraduate degree at the Ohio State University and went on to work in the fields of probation, social work, and outdoor advertising. In 1981 Joe became a licensed insurance agent with Northwestern Mutual Life, for which he worked for twenty years. He also worked for Mass Mutual and continued to advise clients on insurance and financial matters with New York Life at the time of his death.

Joseph William Jacobs
Joseph William Jacobs, 1941 – 2017. Photo provided

Joe’s hobbies included hiking, sailing, camping, cycling, singing and playing the piano. In recent years he returned to taking piano lessons to hone his skills. He and his wife, Alison, loved to bike camp and took several lengthy and memorable tandem bike vacations together. Joe sang bass with the Keene Chamber Singers until he was diagnosed with lymphoma and leukemia in 2012 and had to cut back on his activities. Joe was also a member of the Keene Chamber of Commerce and the Elm City Rotary Club, as well as many other civic organizations over the years. He was a member of the United Church of Bellows Falls (UCC) in Vermont and an associate member of the Nelson Congregational Church (UCC) in New Hampshire.

On September 5, 1987 at the Fifth Maine Regiment Community Center on Peaks Island, Maine he and his wife, Alison, exchanged wedding vows as family and friends gathered around them in a circle of love. Joe was a constant support to his wife as she attended seminary and then served churches as an ordained minister. He followed her career from South Dakota and Minnesota to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, always pitching-in when he could to help in their shared ministry.

Joe was a man of many talents including being a master baker. He loved to cook and try new recipes and he participated for many years in the “Men Who Cook” fund-raising event in Keene for Monadnock Family Services. You could always find Joe in a crowded room by following his hearty laugh, and it was hard to resist his big smile and sparkling eyes. One of his friends recently wrote he was “calm, kind, and ageless” and that seems a very fit description.

Joe will be sorely missed by his beloved wife, Alison, and his children: son, Christopher (Carolyn) Broering-Jacobs of Cleveland, Ohio; daughter Anne (Dana) Kenyon of Efland, North Carolina; step-sons Ian Markwood of Madison, Wisconsin and Christopher (Ashley) Markwood of Watertown, Massachusetts; foster son Michael (Tanya) Damon of South Portland, Maine; his brother Robert (Kay) Jacobs of Middletown, Maryland; his sister, Pamela (Jim) Highfill of Columbus, Ohio; and his grandchildren, Henry Jacobs, Joseph Jacobs, Maya Jacobs, Sierra Kenyon, Taylor Kenyon, London Markwood, and Evalyn Damon. He will also be missed by his “borrowed” daughter and granddaughter, Tracy and Ashleigh Krenzien of Keene, N.H.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 11 at the United Church of Bellows Falls (8 School Street) Vermont with the Rev. Dawn Garrett-Larsen officiating. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial gift to the “Equal Access Fund” of the Nelson Congregational Church, 830 Nelson Road, Nelson, NH 03457 or to the “Lift Fund” of the United Church of Bellows Falls, P.O. Box 310, Bellows Falls, VT 05150.

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