Ray R. Jacobs

March 29, 1936June 10, 2018

Raymond Ragel Jacobs, 82, passed away peacefully at home and stepped into heaven on June 10, 2018 to be reunited with his loved ones waiting for him. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Ray was born in Almond, NC on March 29, 1936 to the late Dora and Byrd Jacobs. The family moved to Bryson City when The Fontana Dam was built. He and his dad were baptized in the creek together. That day was always very special to Ray. He moved to Jacksonville in the early 1950's and lived in Mandarin until 2000 when he moved to St. Johns County.

Ray was devoted to his family. To know him, was to love him. He will be remembered for his warm smile, his humor, always placing others before himself and unending love for his family and friends. He had many jobs over the years and his talents were immeasurable. He could always fix anything that was broken. His hands were one of his biggest assets. He could hold a tiny baby or help build an addition onto a church; hold a child's hand and make them feel safe or repair a car. His handshake was a bond not to be broken. Ray fought stomach cancer in 2009 and was cancer free. Due to all of his medical conditions he lost the battle and his body grew too tired to fight anymore. We are so thankful for the time God allowed us to have him to love and be loved by him.

Ray joined the Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Department in its early years helping to grow it to what it is today. He was in the documentary "Sirens in the Night" about the early stages of the fire department. On January 1, 1979 he was among the first group of professionals ever officially certified as paramedics by the state of FL. He received many awards for his service. In 1972 he received an award from the Salvita Corporation for saving a life by using the "Choke Saver." He was the first rescue unit man to use this instrument. A painting hung in Memorial Hospital that included Ray along with other members of the Fire/Rescue personnel. Due to chronic back and heart problems, he had to take a medical retirement in 1991. He always regretted having to retire.

He was a faithful, dedicated husband to Rachel for 43 years. They were married May 2, 1975. They enjoyed traveling in their motorhome to Alaska and around the country. On May 6, 2000 they renewed their wedding vows at Fruit Cove Baptist Church where they are both members.

He was a wonderful, loving dad to Raymond Clinton (deceased), Connie (Troy) Jenkins, Mike (Ginger), Jerry, Candy, Nathan (Teri) Jacobs, and Jason Phillips. He was an adored "Poppy" to 16 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. Ray was so happy to be a four generation family and have so many named after him. It's a good name, be proud! He was a loving brother to LeaVena Corbin and Betty Hoffman (both deceased), and Sue Soffield and JB Jacobs. He was predeceased by several step-siblings. A Visitation Celebrating Ray's Life will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018 in Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin where Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Interment to follow in Greenlawn Cemetery, 4300 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Ray and his family are appreciative of Community Hospice for their care and allowing him to be home, they ask that memorial gifts and donations be directed to Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257 or or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by HARDAGE-GIDDENS FUNERAL HOME OF MANDARIN, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223. (904) 288-0025.


  • Visitation Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, June 23, 2018
  • Graveside Service Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ray R. Jacobs

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Rachel Jacobs

June 30, 2018

My dearest Ray. Thank you for loving and sharing 43 years with me as man & wife. Memories are so precious to me now. There is a bridge from earth to Heaven above, it keeps our loved ones near us. It's the bridge that everyone calls LOVE. Your love was beyond measure. I miss you so much. I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds my future. Right now though it looks so lonely without you. I will carry on to honor you. I will hold your name in highest regards so people will remember your good name and remember you as the good man you were, HONORABLE! TRUST WORTHY! FUNNY! LOVING! And so much, more.
Words can never say what is in my heart because these pages could not hold them. My tears flow freely from missing you so much. I will see you another day when God calls my name and I join you in Heaven. Always and forever, Rachel

Harold Hollander

June 23, 2018

My deepest condolences to Rachael and the family. Ray and I rode together for several years and he was my friend, one who was always ready to help in times of need. He helped me build an addition to my house and refused to be paid for his help. I thank my Lord that I had the privilege to know Ray and his family. The stories we shared riding Rescue 1 out of Baptist Hospital are too numerous to tell; both funny and interesting. The award Ray and I received in using the "Choke Saver" saved the life of the father of one of my schoolmates and near neighbor. That incident is merely a glimpse of the many memories I treasure of my time with Ray. Rest in peace old friend. All the best to your wife and family.

Larry Osborne

June 18, 2018

Ray was an outstanding fire fighter, and one of the early members of the Rescue (EMS) Division. He was a fine friend with a great sense of humor, and quick to laugh. He always had his friends and colleague's backs, looking out for them and helping in so many ways.

Ashley Jacobs cruz

June 13, 2018

Papa ray I had the honor to be called your granddaughter. I will cherish every moment I ever had with you. You will be so deeply missed I am so glad I was allowed to spend these last few weeks when I was able to with you. I will never forget the times you came down here and camped I always got so excited to see you, us visiting you at your old house I have a lot of memories there and mos5 of all the trip me you and my dad took to ga to see josh graduate from boot camp. I am adding this picture because it is a picture that captions so much love and it was your first time meeting my daughter your great granddaughter that I named after you. I will make sure I carry on your memory with my kids..I love you papa ray !!!!

Kay (Dotson) Houck

June 12, 2018

The Dotson family in Fairview, NC, are saddened to hear of Ray's passing. Our mother, Mayme Jacobs Dotson, who passed in 2002, was very fond of him and all her brothers and sisters. May God give you peace.

Sharon Ruby

June 12, 2018

I am so sorry to hear of Ray's passing but I know he is in God's arms and free of pain and suffering. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Sharon (LaFond) Ruby

Nancy Hoffman

June 12, 2018

My dear sweet Uncle Ray. I love you so much. I’ll see you soon.

Connie Jenkins

June 12, 2018

I love you Daddy.

Joe and Pat Dotson

June 11, 2018

Rachel and all the family,
We are sadden by the passing of uncle Ray. He was a special gentleman. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love you and may God sustain you, as only he can during this difficult time.

Ginger Jacobs

June 11, 2018

Poppa Ray you are so loved. You made people feel right at home and respected everyone. I am so blessed to be able to call you my father in law. I am glad we were able to spend so much time with you over the last 3 weeks. I know that you are in a place where there is no pain and no worries. Love and miss you