Jacob "Jake" Matijevic passed away in his home in Los Angeles, CA on Aug. 20, 2012, after a life-long battle with asthma and other upper respiratory ailments. He was born on Nov. 3, 1947, the first of four children to the late Jacob and Helen (Nastav) Matijevic, in Chicago, IL. He is survived by his mother and his sisters, Maryhelen of Chicago, Patricia of Loveland, CO; and brother, Paul (Judith Wolf) of Park Ridge, IL. After teaching mathematics at the University of Kentucky and the University of Southern California, Jake joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena in 1981. His latest assignment was Engineering Operations Chief Engineer on the Mars Science Lab ("Curiosity") project. Jake touched the lives of many at JPL, as a trusted mentor to many young members of the engineering teams and as an exceptional colleague to numerous peers and scientists. A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, at noon at St. Cajetan Church, 2445 West 112th St., Chicago, IL 60655. Memorial gifts may be made to the Mount Carmel High School Educational Foundation, 6410 S. Dante Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.
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Published by Chicago Tribune on Aug. 31, 2012.