Archive for October, 2009

Obituary for Scott Van Jacob

19 October 2009

Scott Van Jacob was born 16 July 1956 in Klamath Falls, Oregon and grew up on cattle ranches in Klamath County. Scott was a devoted husband and father who loved his wife and daughters deeply and took great delight in their lively spirits. A devoted father, he rarely ever brought work home and spent his evenings playing and reading aloud with his family.

Scott attended Oregon College of Education where he earned a B.A. and an M.A. and co-founded a chapter of Big Brother/Big Sister; after his studies in Monmouth, he taught at an American school in Medellin, Colombia for 18 months. Scott then earned his Masters in Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he met and wooed his wife. Professionally, Scott was a highly regarded Latin American bibliographer who was awarded both the President’s Award and the Foik Award at the University of Notre Dame during the 14 years he worked there. Beyond Notre Dame, he forged strong professional relationships with Latin American bibliographers around the country and with librarians and book dealers in Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain.

An accomplished amateur runner, Scott won the Harrisburg Mile at the age of 38 and had a personal best time of 4:07. Scott dabbled successfully in the yeast arts, producing delicious beers and breads. A summer’s barbecue on the porch with family and friends was his idea of a perfect evening. He was a voracious reader who had an encyclopedic knowledge of running statistics and an impressive collection of track and field biographies. He had the great fortune of overseeing the acquisition and study of an important collection of manuscripts of his favorite writer, Jorge Luis Borges.

Scott loved to travel, and he and Elizabeth and their daughters explored North America from sea to shining sea, much of South America (particularly his beloved Argentina), and lived for a short time in Barcelona where Scott studied Catalan-language publishing.

Scott is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his daughters Nina and Gemma, and his step-daughter Amy. He has joined his mother, Lois Field, who passed away over a year ago. Scott is also survived by his father Norman Jacob, step-mother Jacque, brothers James Jacob and David Jacob, and step-brothers Robert Edwards, Mark Wolter, Phillip Wolter, and Gregg Jacob, as well as dear friends Norman and Maureen Eburne. He will be deeply missed by his wife’s family and the many dear, dear friends he leaves behind.

A celebration of his life will take place on Thursday 15 October, from 1:00 until 4:30 at Pinhook Park Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana.  In Oregon, a celebration of his life will take place on Sunday 15 November from 1:00p.m. until 4:00p.m. at Gentle House 855 Monmouth Ave N in Monmouth, on the campus of Western Oregon University. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Van Jacob Family Education Fund at Notre Dame Federal Credit Union.

Scott Van Jacob was well loved by many. He had seemingly infinite patience and kindness, was gentle and loving, ready to help anyone who was in need. He was the kind of person who not only saw the glass as half full, but who also appreciated the beauty of the glass itself and the contents therein. Though he called the Midwest home, Oregon and its saw-toothed horizons, its mountains and fields and rivers, reigned in his heart.

He was also a great kisser.