Terry Jakubowski

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Terry Jakubowski September 30, 1929 ~ January 25, 2014

On Jan. 25, 2014, and in typical Terry fashion, our Mom started on her new journey with offerings of love, hugs, and humor. It was a precious day. Each of her grandchildren had the good fortune to tell of their love for her while they shared their own latest adventures. She was tired and while she slipped away, she was not alone as her three children were by her side.

Born Theresa Marie Wozniak to Polish immigrant parents, the 2nd of 3 children. They lived in a Polish ethnic neighborhood on the south side of Chicago known as "The Back of the Yards." Family, school, church, and Girl Scouts were her main focus in her youth. She attended Gage Park High School and participated in non-competitive sports through the Girls Athletic Association (GAA). After graduating she worked for the Polish Roman Catholic Union (PRCU) doing general office work. It was there where she helped organize a women's basketball team. While traveling to tournaments, she met her husband to be, Gene Jakubowski, who played on a men's basketball team.

They married in 1951 and a few years later bought a summer cottage in Wonder Lake, Illinois, about 70 miles northwest of Chicago, near the Wisconsin state line. Enjoying life in the country and tiring of city life eventually led to the building of a year round home and moving July 4, 1959. Terry described it as "the Oasis, a wonderful place to raise our 3 children." Typical summer lake activities like swimming, boating, and water skiing with winter as a wonderland for sledding, snowball fights, snowmobiling, ice skating, and hockey on the frozen lake.

Once the kids were older, Terry ventured into the work force and soon became the cafeteria manager at nearby Greenwood School. "The best job I ever had in my life," she said. Not just a place to go to work, rather, an environment she created to make lunch time a special time EVERY day for the students. Truly, leaving her job and Wonder Lake was one of the saddest times of her life, as she moved to Reno, Nevada, in 1988 to be near her two daughters.

Reno brought an entirely new set of opportunities: a job at a preschool in their nutrition program, precious time with grandchildren, and TRAVEL! Terry attended every athletic and academic event possible in which her grandchildren participated and weddings in New York City and New Orleans, including her son's wedding in Scituate, MA. With family and/or friends she visited Hawaii, Alaska, Poland, and Italy, took a cruise on the Atlantic Ocean to Maine and Nova Scotia, and also made several road trips.

In 1999 Terry joined the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). They eventually organized a group known as The Clown Arounds and visited hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and senior centers. She enjoyed most of all interacting with the children. Always wanting to be a clown - her dream came true. Another dream which came true was a family reunion in Zephyr Cove at Lake Tahoe celebrating her 80th Birthday. The entire family gathered for a fun-filled week of summer activities. An additional highlight was meeting her 1st great grandchild!

Terry was preceded in death by her parents and brother. She is survived by her 3 children: Karen (Bart) Mowry, Rick (Cheryl) Jakubowski, and Jan, aka Jake, Jakubowski; 7 grandchildren: Jenny (Mike) Best, Jim (Stephanie) Jakubowski, Katye (Jake) Schneider, Peter Jakubowski, Todd (Laura) Mowry, Michelle Mowry, and Caroline Jakubowski; 2 1/3 great grandchildren: Stella Jakubowski and Joe Jakubowski, with one on the way; sister, Chris Brenza, several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and 1 grand dog: Wilson.

February 15, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. there will be a celebratory Mass at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church (Reno, NV) with a luncheon immediately following at the Santa Fe Hotel.

February 22, 2014, at 9:15 a.m. there will be a celebratory Mass at St. Stephen Deacon & Martyr Catholic Church (Tinley Park, IL) followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery (Justice, IL). Afterwards a luncheon will be held at The Landmark nearby.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of Terry's favorite charities: St. Vincent's Dining Room c/o Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, P.O. Box 5099, Reno, NV 89513 (www.CatholicCharitiesNorthernNevada.org) or supporting homeless youth at www.covenanthouse.org by downloading the form and mailing to Covenant House, Times Square Station, P.O. Box 731, New York, NY 10108.


Funeral Home
Walton's Sierra Chapel, Reno
875 West 2nd Street
Reno, NV 89505
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Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12, 2014
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