Obituary for Scott Van Jacob

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.

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4 Responses to “Obituary for Scott Van Jacob”

  1. Ellyn Stecker Says:

    This is the first time that I have seen your site. I am so sorry to read of the death of your husband. I wish you sun and warmth and peace in your grief. Best regards Ellyn Stecker on Niles Ave.

  2. Terry minix Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss
    I lost my wife of 21 May to a heart attack
    We were meant for each other and the envy of all of our friends
    Our love for each other was so evident
    The pain is so strong no one can imagine unless they had this kind of love
    You search for ways to honor their memory for fear people will forget
    I am helping to start a new church with the pasted that performed my
    Wives ceremony
    It is our 3rd week and we had 56 guests
    Even though it is helping the loneliness and pain never takes a break
    I watered my wires grave ever day with a mobile system I made
    And still rake it almost ever day
    I never loved anyone so much in my life and maybe never will again
    No words can help and time is not doing well either but while I am on this earth she will always be honored
    May God join us all again

  3. Michael Hoy Says:

    Elizabeth, you are wonderfully expressive – with very touching thoughts at such a profoundly sad time – your remembrance is extraordinary and so moving. The log (later posts) is uniquely complex in emotion but so simple in design. I’m very sorry for your loss. It seems so clear, in your ongoing writing, that you’ve found a place and some space to recover and take stock of your life in a such very positive way – and, as such, a very likely benefit to your whole surviving family, to the memory of Scott. And now, I too, have benefit from his life. Thank you.

  4. Elizabeth Van Jacob Says:

    Thank you, Michael. Not only are you a talented woodworker, but you are an excellent writer yourself. Do you have a blog?

    I would like to report that I have recovered/am recovering from my loss, but the truth is that year two without Scott is much more difficult and painful than year one. Life is chocked full of challenges, but they seem so much more difficult without the distinct pleasure of Scott’s company that made it all so bearable.

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