Karl Jacobs

Karl M. Jacobs, 102

Karl M. Jacobs, 102, a widely known lawyer from Fowler and Benton County, died Wednesday, March 20, 2013, of natural causes at the Heritage Healthcare Nursing Home in West Lafayette. He was born August 9, 1910; he was 102 years old.

Karl is survived by two sons, three daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren, spread throughout the country from Washington State to Main to Florida to Arizona. He is also survived by two ex-wives.

He was preceded in death by his first wife of 55 years Frances (mother of their four sons), by their third son Jon, and by their second son Phil.

He and Frances married in 1934, shortly after he graduated from Indianapolis Law School. Karl grew up in Derby, in Perry County, and received his elementary through high school education in the proverbial one-room schoolhouse common to Southern Indiana in that time period. Frances was raised in Boswell, Indiana - the daughter of the Boswell town doctor - where she was valedictorian of her graduating high school class. They met while he was in law school and she was attending nursing school in Indianapolis. They married and together raised four sons - Mike, Phil, Jon, and Kent - that process defining their lives. In a time period where such was not so widely accepted, Karl would facetiously claim that Mike (No. 1) was born September 1st and Frances and he were married September 30th - conveniently omitting the respective years, 1936 and 1934.

Frances stayed home to raise their sons while Karl worked long hours in a struggling economy to provide for his family. He practiced law in Fowler and Benton County for over sixty years where he prospered and gained success as an aggressive advocate for the underdog. This ideal was no doubt inspired by his early years as an underprivileged youth in Southern Indiana. He greatly enjoyed do-it-yourself projects; he was an accomplished woodworker and photographer. Among many projects, he developed a table with integral sliding benches which he trademarked "Chair-Away". Chair-Away tables were eventually manufactured and sold as a side business venture to his law practice.

In addition to his woodworking and photography avocations, he was enthusiastically committed to activities with his four sons. These included hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and water skiing. They also included occasional Cub games in Chicago. He and Frances would never miss a high school basketball game where Phil and Jon were, in particular, standout players. These were constant activities for Karl and Frances for over twenty-five years as their sons grew, matured and, one by one, left home for college and careers.

Karl was born to Michael and Mud Jacob, raised on a farm just north of the Ohio River, and never forgot his roots. He would return frequently and loved to reminisce about the old farmhouse, schoolhouse, church and other places of interest from his earliest years. After he retired from the practice of law, he wrote an autobiography, which included details from his early life and included numerous photographs from many years ago for which he composed detailed descriptions. His descendants will always treasure this document. Special thanks to Karen Jacobs for her devotion and daily visits which provided him immeasurable comfort and companionship over the last few years of his life.

Karl was a lifelong Catholic. Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the Church of The Blessed Sacrament, West Lafayette with Father Ambrose Ziegler officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, P.O. Box 515, Northampton, MA 01061; Phone 1(888)622-8527. Simplicity Funeral Care entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences at www.simplicity-funeralcare.com.

Published in the Journal & Courier from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2013