Jacob Jonah Trachtenberg, 89 a righteous man passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 27, 2014 on his 13th wedding anniversary to the second love of his life Beverly Levin Beck Trachtenberg. He was born November 16, 1924 in New Orleans Louisiana. His parents David and Muschel were immigrants and came to America to make a better life for their children. He was blessed with a big sister Fannie Green of blessed memory and a little brother Issac Trachtenberg of Dallas, Texas. In the early 1930's times were tough and Dave took the family on another adventure to Galveston to open a dry goods store where Jake helped by making deliveries in the afternoon. Religion was a cornerstone in the Trachtenberg home; both boys were Bar Mitzvah at Beth Jacob in Galveston where the family was active members.|
Jake graduated from Ball High School in 1941, with honors, and received a scholarship to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M) where he was part of the Corps. Jake was immensely proud of his alma mater and passed his Aggie spirit down to his great nephew, Jeff Goodmark and his bonus grandchildren, Rachel Dominguez and Elizabeth Beck -Johnson.
Duty and honor called before he could graduate with the class of 1945, Jake enlisted in the Army to fight in WWII. Jake was so passionate about serving his country that he fought to enlist when the Army told him that he did not qualify. Jake was assigned to the 1567th Engineer Depot Company, which participated in the Battle of the Bulge. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, Jake returned to A&M to finish his chemical engineering degree.
After graduation he made his way back to New Orleans and received a masters in chemical engineering from LSU. He was a member of the Forum Masonic Lodge in Arabi, LA; the civic participation of his lodge was a source of great pride for him. He met Edith Massin, the first love of his life, in Galveston. Jake and Edith were married in 1953 and moved to Arabi, Louisiana where they lived until Edith's passing in 1995. He worked at Kasier Aluminum for 35 years, where he spearheaded several projects near and dear to his heart.
Jake moved to Houston, Texas where his sister-in-laws Mable Massin (Hyman) and Lillian Spivack (Max) resided to be closer to his family. Jake made many new friends and rediscovered his love of dancing, which is probably how he wooed his second wife Beverly Beck. Jake and Beverly met on a trip hosted by Beth Yeshurun to Branson, Missouri. The two fell in love and Jake proposed to Beverly in Israel while on a Jewish Federation mission trip. The two spent the next several years traveling the globe to: Hong Kong, China, England, Alaska and many cruises which they enjoyed with family and friends.
Jake did not have any children of his own, but acquired 3 children: Jay Beck, Gary Beck (Suzanne), and Melanie Beck-Rosenberg (Gregg) when he married Beverly. Jake was an amazing grandfather to: Elizabeth Beck-Johnson(Craig), Lauren Beck, Deborah Beck, Rachel Dominguez, Lindsey Dominguez, Sarah Cole (Wade), Cameron Markoff, and Holden Markoff. He later officially became "Zaydie" when his great grand children, Erin Beck-Johnson, Eleanor Beck-Johnson, Raiden Cole, and Zion Cole were born.
Jake was loved by his extended family members. He had seven nieces and nephews: Maurice Green (Joyce), Michael Trachtenberg (Laura), Michele Goodmark (Bob), Shelley Brodecki (Joe), and Hank Spivack. Joseph Trachtenberg, Larry Massin, and Martha Green that preceded him in death. Jake also had several great nieces and nephews that meant the world to him: Joey Trachtenberg, Jeff Goodmark (Sandy), Steven Goodmark (Christina), Ashley Goodmark, Morgan Goodmark, Peter Joseph Serna, Stephen Epperson, Aaron Green and Kaitlin Green.
Jake was treasured by all who knew him for is kind heart and giving spirit. In the last years of his life Jake was cared for by a group of amazing women who ensured he lived his final days with dignity. The family would like to thank the following people: Brenda Bowers, Vinicia Peavy, Patricia Sharp, and Mary Williams Jawn McCleskey Lillian & Nana Siaw, Shirley Owens, Janet Devereaux, and Janette Brown.
He was a devoted member of Beth Yeshurun and the Jewish Community of Houston. Jake's legacy of giving will live on at Texas A&M Hillel. In lieu of flowers please send contributions to Texas A&M Hillel at:
800 George Bush Drive, College Station TX, 77840.
A Graveside Service will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, May 30, 2014 at Beth Yeshurun Post Oak Cemetery, 1037 N. Post Oak.
Published in Houston Chronicle on May 30, 2014