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Eino M. Jacobson

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Eino M. Jacobson Obituary
Jacobson, Eino M.
Those who knew and loved Eino Matti Jacobson remember his humor, his brilliant legal mind and his love of a good story, especially if it was shared while enjoying the company of close friends, family and colleagues. Eino passed from this life on October 13, 2013, after suffering from a long-term respiratory and heart condition. He was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Patricia; children Melanie Gail Jacobson, Marcus Eino Jacobson, Robin Lynn Jacobson, Monica Jo (James) Beck, and Dianne Louise Jacobson; grandchildren Dylan and Justin Cook, Tessa Milosevich, and Colin and Sophia Levy; great-granddaughter Adelaide Cook; cousin Donald Puente (Miki); and companion Muffy Vallely. His parents, Eino Matti and Josephine Frick Jacobson, and grandson Nathan Daniel Milosevich predeceased him. Born in his grandmother's home in Globe, Arizona, on January 18, 1933, Eino was an only child. His father was a first generation American of Finnish parents who immigrated to Minnesota in 1904 and eventually settled in Miami, Arizona. His mother came to Pearce, Arizona in a covered wagon when she was a small child in the early 1900's. During his high school years in Globe, Eino spent his summers on the Navajo reservation, working at trading posts in Wide Ruins, Sanders, and Chinle, where his parents worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1951, Eino graduated at the top of his class from Globe High School. He once said "When you've only got to compete with 48 others, good class standing is not hard." In 2012, he was inducted into the first Globe High School Hall of Fame, along with former Arizona Governor Rose Mofford. String-bean thin and fast, he was an All-State end on the Globe football team as well as a basketball and track star, all of which got him a track athletic scholarship, along with a Baird scholarship, to the University of Arizona. It was there, in September 1951, that he met his future wife, Patricia Collier, a graduate of Miami High School, near Globe. They were married in the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Globe on August 16, 1952. Eino continued his studies at the U of A, majoring in English, with the intention of becoming a teacher, although this was not his passion. However, he decided to enter the U of A law school in his senior year and graduated with a law degree in 1957. In those days, the U of A law school took all comers and flunked most of them out their first year, but Eino excelled, making "book" - the highest test score - in Secured Transactions and Corporations as well as receiving the award as the outstanding third-year student. During law school, he supported his wife and their children, Melanie and Marcus, delivering for a printing company and then later, as assistant manager of a gas station. Summers were spent in Globe where he worked in the concentrator at Miami Copper Company. In his last summer before graduating law school, he worked in the legal department of the Navajo Tribe and he and his little family lived at Fort Defiance. Upon graduation in 1957, the Jacobsons moved to Prescott, where Eino joined the firm of Favor & Quail. Prescott then had roughly 8,000 people with ten lawyers and one judge. Two years later, he and Hugh Kingsbury formed their own firm, specializing in general civil litigation and criminal defense, with offices in the Masonic Temple Building on Cortez Street. In 1960 at age 27, Eino became a sole practitioner. Over the next nine years, he was known as a highly ethical lawyer who took "can't-win" cases regardless of the usually low remuneration. He refused to sue his clients for non-payment of his fees, but was willing to accept "in-kind" payments; for example, a race horse or the contents of a bar from a bankrupt client. In 1962, Eino and a small group of like-minded friends worked to reinvigorate the Republican Party in Yavapai County. They succeeded in electing the first Republican sheriff, Al Ayars. Two years later, Eino ran for Yavapai County Attorney. In a vote of 3,000 people, he beat his Democratic challenger, Kemp Wilhelmsen, by roughly 200 votes. Kemp, a close friend, thereupon served as his deputy for three years. Eino and Kemp did county business in the morning and then focused on their individual private practices the rest of the time. In 1969 at age 36, Democratic Governor Jack Williams appointed Eino to a new three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix. Eino had been recommended to the Governor as an outstanding Northern Arizona attorney and the best man for the job by a committee consisting of Harold Wolfinger, a prominent Prescott attorney; Irving Jennings, senior partner of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon; and Frank Snell, senior partner of Snell & Wilmer. He was sworn in on July 11, 1969. Eino and Pat wanted to raise their children, now including daughters Robin, Monica, and Dianne, in Prescott. Consequently, Eino chose to drive roundtrip to Phoenix three days a week for the next 26 years, until his retirement in 1995. He kept an office in the Yavapai County Courthouse for his Tuesdays and Thursdays in Prescott. Judge Eino Jacobson is regarded as one of the outstanding legal scholars in Arizona jurisprudence. During his 26 years on the bench, he produced 782 opinions, 28 dissents, and virtually no concurrences. While in later years, the volume of cases necessitated the use of law clerks to help draft opinions, Eino always read the briefs himself, made extensive notes, and then read the final draft opinion to verify that it met his standards. It was the rare opinion in which he did not do the major editing and revisions. As a member of the National Judicial Committee on Uniform Rules of Civil Procedure, he made a significant contribution to Arizona's procedural rules. Thomas Kleinschmidt, the appeals court's Chief Judge, wrote at Eino's retirement, "There is something that stands out about Eino Jacobson, something that judges who served with him recognize and appreciate more than anyone else. It is his swift and seemingly effortless ability to isolate an issue in a case and identify the facts and law which bear on it. Eino knew what was at the heart of it. His was the estimable service of focusing the dialogue." Fellow appellate judge Mary Schroeder, now of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, also wrote at his retirement, "One who has never known Eino might ask why I considered myself so fortunate to sit with him. There were many reasons, not the least of which was that Eino delighted in intellectual disagreement. He could see the humor in everything, and he prevented anyone from taking himself or herself too seriously. In an appellate judge, this is a rare trait and one to be treasured." After retirement, Eino continued to sit on the appellate and superior courts as needed. He was asked by the San Carlos/White Mountain Apache Nation to sit on its Supreme Court. He also joined the American Arbitration Association, where he was chosen by both plaintiff and defense counsel to arbitrate some of the largest commercial legal disputes in Arizona. He was on the board of the University of Advancing Technology for 18 years, and served as Chairman of the Board from 2002 through 2012. Though his service was so different from being a judge, his board appreciated that he knew how to run a meeting, moving through the agenda by staying on topic. He became an ombudsman for the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Agency on the Aging and joined the Sons of the American Legion in honor of his father's military service. Eino's life outside the law was filled with civic service. He was active in the Prescott Lions Club; the YMCA; the U of A Alumni Association; the Republican Party; and the Prescott Jaycees. An alumnus of Boys State, he was later a long-time annual Boys State advisor. He became a member of Smoki in the mid-1960's and served a term as chief. His leadership was instrumental in helping the membership decide to end the traditional Smoki dances in deference to Hopi representatives' requests that they stop. No one liked a good time more than Eino. He enjoyed telling a good joke and usually knew them before anyone else. He loved to golf, hunt, and fish. When Eino became a judge, he and Judge Frank Gordon of Kingman, Judge Larry Wren of Flagstaff and Judge Jack L. Ogg, formed the "High Line Judicial Conference," an annual trout fishing trip to Lee's Ferry for Arizona judges and lawyers that continued through the 1990's. New Year's and Fourth of July parties included Jack Ogg in cavalry uniform, playing the bugle, his wife Mary Fran on piano, Prescott attorney John Favour on the bass, and Eino banging the tambourine while leading the singing at top voice. Eino eventually taught himself how to play a small chord organ so he could practice and sing old songs at home, after dinner. Eino's favorite hobby was art. He created impressive works of art in ceramic mosaic tile and became a master ironwood carver. He eventually developed an allergy to the wood dust, so turned to collages with American Indian motifs, using broken pottery and various found objects. When the handwork fell by the wayside, he continued to add Native American and Western art to the collection begun by his parents and his uncle, Leonard Frick. Eino was a proud native Arizonan, born, raised and educated in the state he loved. His contributions to Arizona's jurisprudence will continue to shape state law for years to come. We, his family, remember him as a loving husband and father. We cherish the memories of our yearly vacations at Hermosa Beach, where he loved teaching his children the art of body surfing, and side-trips to all the wonderful historic sites of California. Eino had a passion for la dolce vita, a love of the outdoors and travel, and was blessed with a wealth of deep and abiding friendships. His passing marks yet another loss of the old Prescott and Arizona of which he was such an integral part. A celebration of Eino's life will be held on November 9, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Yavapai County Mounted Sheriff Posse House, 1495 South Sheriffs Posse Trail off Copper Basin Road in Prescott. In lieu of flowers, please donate to . Our thanks to Butch Hampton of Hampton's Funeral Home. Please visit to sign Eino's guest book.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 27, 2013
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