Mary J. Jacobs
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Emigrant —Mary J. Jacobs, 101, of Emigrant, ascended into heaven from her own bed in her own home Monday morning, April 24, 2014. She passed away as she lived, with grace and love, surrounded by friends and family.
Mary was born August 19, 1912 to Frank and Emma Urbanitch in Saskatchewan, Canada. They moved to a farm near Great Falls when Mary was a small child. Life was hard and Mary moved to town in 1916 to work for a family so she could attend school. She met Theodore (Ted) Jacobs at a Christmas program, and married him on October 27, 1928.
Ted worked for Nielson-Smith as an equipment operator and mechanic. Mary cooked for the crews from their small trailer. In 1930, Mary and her sister Helene were proud to become naturalized U.S. Citizens. The same year, Mary and Ted had a daughter, Shirley, and Helene married Ted's brother Bill. The Depression made a huge impact on Mary's life, and she learned to save and scrimp and make do with style. Bill and Ted hauled coal and Mary and Helene took care of kids, gardens, chickens, and their homes.
Ted and Mary had a son David in 1943. Mary was a beautiful seamstress, and sewed drapes and did fine needlework. A staunchly religious Catholic with a huge heart, she cooked for the Parish Priests and sewed for orphans. When elderly relatives and friends were sick, Mary was always the one to volunteer to care for them. She spent many hours at bedsides and in hospitals, sharing her loving skills and compassion. Ted could build or fix anything, and he built his family a wonderful home on 26th Street in Great Falls. Mary furnished it with lovely antiques, and they began to travel around the country. She played bridge competitively many years. Mary tended her garden and always had gorgeous flowers. She loved doing her charity work.
In 1968 Ted died suddenly. Mary rebuilt her life and her family. She went whitewater rafting in Alaska, rode horseback into the mountains, submarined, fished, walked on the beaches of Maui, and went on a speedboat in Georgia. She was always up for adventure and cared about the land, the animals, and especially the people. In her 101st year, she could be found on horseback, or spending time with Laura Bush, Baxter Black, Roy Rogers, Jr., or her great great grandchildren, or riding in parades. Mary also made the cover photo of a national mule magazine riding in a surrey.
Mary always had her embroidery in hand, creating hundreds of fabulous dish towels for family and friends. She loved to read and was still learning something new every day. She moved to Emigrant to be closer to family in 2010, and still lived in her own home, welcoming visitors daily. Her kindness and joy created an entire new circle of friends in Park County. She played bridge every Tuesday at the church, and she won again just before she passed away. Mary enjoyed a wonderful Easter with family.
Mary is survived by daughter Shirley (Seaton) of Emigrant and son David (Sue) Jacobs of Jardine. She had five grandchildren, Scott (Jean) Seaton, Sue (Warren) Johnson, Sandy (Scott) Sallee, John (Julie) Jacobs, and Daniel Jacobs. She was so proud of her five great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren. She was the family matriarch who held everyone together with stitches of love.
Mary's Rosary and Vigil Service will be May 6th at 6 p.m. at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 201 44th Street South in Great Falls. Her Funeral Liturgy will also be there at 11 a.m. May 7th. Mary will be buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery next to Ted and alongside her sister Helene. Luncheon will follow at the Parish Hall at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Everyone is invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to two of the Great Falls organizations dear to Mary: Poor Clares, 3020 18th Street South, or the Great Falls Rescue Mission, 317 2nd Avenue South. Memorial donations may also be made to the organization who helped her to stay in her home for her final days, Livingston Health Care Hospice, 523 S. 13th, Livingston, MT 59047.
Condolences to the family may be shared at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com
Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory
1307 Central Avenue Great Falls, MT 59401
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 27, 2014