OBITUARY

Phillip Donald JACOBSEN

October 5, 1927January 9, 2020

Son of Norwegian immigrants Phillip “Jake” Jacobsen was born in Seattle October 5, 1927 and died peacefully January 9, 2020. Growing up in Medina, he graduated from Overlake (Bellevue) High School in 1945. At Al Ulbrickson’s invitation, he attended the University of Washington, suiting up for both Hec Edmundson (basketball) and Pest Welch (football), until he was drafted, joined the U.S. Navy and served as a Pharmacist Mate. On completing his service, he attended WSC briefly before returning to the UW to study fisheries. He went to sea for the first time with his father on the Paragon at age 16. So began an over fifty-year career as a deep sea fisherman and boat owner in Alaska and the Bering Sea. In 1952 he married the girl next door, Artie Ulrich, his lover, best friend, and partner in joy until she died in 2005. They had one child, Tina, in 1955 completing their trio.

Pragmatic, Jake embraced life on its own terms. His respect for nature was profound. He joyfully celebrated the ordinary, such that nothing ever was. Whether golf, bridge, or mah-jong, you would always find him playing something. Believing knowledge is power and always focusing on the positive, Jake’s immediate response when his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the early 1990’s was to enroll not only Artie but himself in the U of W Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. Jake was proud to be recognized as the longest serving member in the program, continuing his participation even after death, by donating his brain for research in the hope of helping those who come after.

Kindness was Jake’s charisma; his smile, Jake’s trademark. There was nothing the least bit “mean” about him except his martinis. His teammates respected him; his shipmates trusted him; and his wife and daughter adored him. He smiled broadly, lived joyfully, and loved so profoundly it changed you—so much so that most people he knew considered him “their best friend.” People like this really do exist. Find one. Better yet, be one.

Jake’s life will be celebrated on Feb. 8 at 11:00am, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bellevue. Remembrances can be made by performing an intentional act of kindness, with a smile, every day until it becomes the way you walk through the world. #BeMoreLikeJake

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Phillip Donald JACOBSEN

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