September 9, 1926January 22, 2022
William L. Jacoby (Bill) died January 22, 2022 at his home in Palos Park, Illinois, at the age of 95, surrounded by his family. Born September 9, 1926 in Chicago, Bill was one of three sons born to the late Chester and Mayme (Mary Catherine) Jacoby. Bill grew up in Chicago and early on it was obvious that he was an outstanding athlete. Growing up he spent his summers at a family farmhouse in Hagaman, Illinois where he rode horses, fished, swam and got into a lot of mischief. In Hagaman, Bill was able to practice the full extent of his athletic abilities which would serve him well into this high school and college years. Bill was small in stature, but he played all sports and excelled in every one of them. In high school at Saint Ignatius, Bill destroyed existing track, basketball and football records. Many of Bill’s records stood unbroken for more than 65 years. Admitted to Saint Ignatius hall of athlete fame, Bill went on to earn a track and football scholarship at Loris College and Indiana University. Bill ran the 200m dash at the famed Drake relays and recorded a time just milli-seconds off the Olympic trial time in that era. Bill’s life vocation was to teaching…English in particular. He spent several years at Mount Carmel, teaching and coaching football with the likes of Terry Brennan who went on to be the head coach at Notre Dame. He had a passion to coach and mentor students, helping them reach their full potential as athletes and students. In the mid-1950s, Bill attended graduate school at night at DePaul University and took on a new role at Carl Sandburg high school where he would teach English for nearly 40 years. In those four decades, Bill was the sponsor of the annual prom, where he and his wife chaperoned more than 35 prom events. He also coached many sports, but most importantly, care for and taught many thousand students. Bill’s devotion to teaching was unequaled. For decades after his retirement former students acknowledged his impact on their lives, a few naming their kids after him, and so many more who often reminisced about how he made learning fun… While there are many legendary stories of Bill’s time at Sandburg, we will now officially confirm a few. YES, he got the bands Chicago, STYX and REO Speedwagon to play live at his Proms. And YES, he did actually throw the poet Carl Sandburg out of the school when Carl came to the dedication mistaking him for a vagrant trying to enter the school…. In 1954 Bill married the love of his life - Geraldine – his equal in athletics and love of horses. Bill and Geri bought a home in Palos Park with a barn and together they enjoyed nearly 60 years of horseback riding. Bill and Geri raised two daughters Lisa and Catherine, who they taught to ride before either could walk. The only thing Bill took more seriously than his teaching, was his role as a Father. Bill was a true renaissance man – he was home every night for dinner and was a huge positive influence on his daughters. The fun never ended with Bill as a dad and among family members, the stories of his mischief will endure generations into the future. Bill lost his dear wife Geraldine in January 2021 but is survived by his daughters Lisa Jacoby Reeder (Frank Walczak) and Catherine Jacoby Conroy. Bill has four grandchildren that he adored, Lauren Reeder (Robert) Wawrzyniak, Eric Reeder (Alicia Karczewski), Claire Conroy and Cole Conroy. Bill was also fortunate to live long enough to know his two great grandbabies, Theodore and Eloise Wawrzyniak. Among all the gifts that Bill cherished in his life, the greatest was his devotion to God and his family. Bill was a devout Catholic and was known for his deep and unwavering faith in God. He was also a founding member of Our Lady of the Woods Catholic church. Bill prized his close and loving family – daughters who are best friends, who remained nearby always, with grandkids and great grandchildren that will carry on his legacy of faith in God and devotion to family. Due to COVID there will be no wake. A celebration of his life will take place on Monday February 7, 2022 at 10:00am at Our Lady of the Woods Catholic Church located at 10731 W 131st St, Orland Park, IL 60462. The mass will be live streamed for those who would like to see the service but cannot attend in person. Press on the link or copy and paste into your browser: Interment will be private at the family’s burial plot located at Saint Catherine’s cemetery in Hagaman Illinois. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the JACOBY family.

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Monday, February 07, 2022

Funeral Mass