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John JACOBS III Obituary


John Jacobs, III, 92, of Essex died peacefully at Essex Meadows on Saturday (October 6, 2012) surrounded by his nine children. John "Jake" Jacobs was an entrepreneur, inventor, aviator and equestrian of distinction and a devoted husband and friend. He was born on May 30, 1920 in Marion, PA the son of Dorothea Grauer Jacobs and John Jacobs, Jr. He attended the Episcopal School, Middlesex School and Williams College class of '43. He joined the Army Air Corp in 1941 and earned the rank of Major. He remained active with the Air Force Reserves until 1957. On Feb. 2, 1946 he married Mary Louise "Greta" Molony and began a love affair that spanned over 60 years. After the war, he completed his studies at Williams, moving to Boston in 1947, to enter MIT as one of the first doctoral candidates in Experimental Aeronautics. At MIT, he continued to serve as a test pilot for the Army. His class and those that followed were eventually to be known as astronauts. He left MIT to join ElectroCue of New York City as a founder and investor, which invented teleprompting. As a pioneer in early television, he was often called to take on any number of activities including serving a stint as the cameraman for the Howdy Doody Show. His next entrepreneurial activity was to start an ultrasonic company, Sonic Engineering, which pioneered advanced homogenization. Sonic was sold to Conwed Industrial in 1972. He retired in 1974 and moved to Old Saybrook, CT. A life-long love of nature led Jake to become active in land conversation and helped start the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, serving as its treasurer, and the Surfside Association for the protection and restoration of the dunes. He was active in High Hopes Therapeutic Riding organization, which helps disabled children and adults through interaction with horses. He and Greta were long-term summer residents of Nantucket and Bantry Bay, County Cork, Ireland. He led an extraordinary life, had a remarkable wit and a kind heart. He loved adventure, travel, technology and people. He is survived by his children, Dorann Cafaro, Caroline "Kie" Johnson, Louise "Wezi" Swift, John Jacobs, IV, Marcia Hooper, Nanci Starr, Jane Flynn, Susan Jacobs, and Jacqueline "Jackie" Mitchell; 21 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 14 Prospect Street in Essex on Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made in his name to the John Jacobs, III Scholarship Fund of Middlesex School, 1400 Lowell Rd., Concord, MA, 01742, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, PO. Box 13, Nantucket, MA 02554 or to F.I.S.H. (Friends In Service Here) C/O Robert Westgate, 85 River Road, Essex, CT, 06426. To share a memory of Jake or send a condolence to his family, please visit www.rwwfh.com, Arrangements by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Oct. 8, 2012
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