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.
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24 Entries
-Just Caricaturist and illustrator from the UK who's always looked to the stars. Thanks for helping me do that.
October 26, 2012
Bog te blagoslovio.
Ron Cindrich
October 16, 2012
My condolences to the friends and family. I went to high school w/ Jake at Mt. Carmel. I had not seen him since then, but I remember him as being so intelligent and a most decent young man.
Mike Donaghue
October 15, 2012

Never met you Jacob,thank you for helping us explore the stars
frank bevan
October 12, 2012
As a colleague of Jake's at JPL, I was honored to work with him during the development phase of the MSL (Curiosity) mission. I learned a tremendous amount of technical info from his vast experience in robotic Mars mission development. He was very approachable and always willing to spend time to impart his knowledge to me.
I will always be grateful for his contributions and I'll miss him very much. He is well deserving to have features on Mars named after him.
Chuck Baker
October 8, 2012
The latest tribute to Jake is that the Opportunity Rover team operating the 2003 rover has named a hill that they are exploring after Jake. He is now memorialized at two places on Mars.
Donna Shirley
October 1, 2012
May you, the people of America, continue your exploration and pursue the outer boundaries of the universe, in the same way that brave explorers have done on Earth and put this knowledge to the good of mankind, in the generous way that your country has done in the past.
Mark Bailey
September 28, 2012
It is sad that Jake had such a short life yet he did so much good with it. It is befitting that he name is borne on Mars.
faroq khan
September 25, 2012
It's so sad to know that such a people are going in a such productive and important for all mankind age. I didn't know the guy, but I'm just so sad...
Victor Geisherik
September 25, 2012
Rest in peace, new generations of scientists will continue your exceptional work in Mars
Eduardo Pulver
September 25, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
September 22, 2012
Am an ardent follower of Martian missions, all the way from Africa.Rest in peace after having enabled humanity conquer the skies.
Vitalis Mungayi
September 21, 2012
I am so sorry you are gone. But I am so pleased that the Mars rock is named for you. What a great and deserving tribute.
Linda Fahlberg-Stojanovska
September 21, 2012
Just another great that has passed into the history books. Sad to hear he left so early
September 20, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Alexis Dames
September 20, 2012
Like Donna Shirley, I had the honor of working with Jake on the Pathfinder mission. He was always kind, patient, and understanding to this non-engineer, non-scientist. My sincere and deep condolences to the family.
David Dubov
September 20, 2012
To Jake's Family - I worked with him for several years when I managed the first Mars Rover, Sojourner Truth, and appointed him to replace me when I was promoted. Jake was a lovely person, very kind and hard working and he was a pleasure to work with. Even with all his health problems he did his job very well and never complained. I know you will miss him, but you should know what a great contribution he made to the exploration of Mars.
Donna Shirley
September 20, 2012
Congratulations on all of your successes. Now is a time to reflect on your contributions to ground-breaking science. Thank you and rest in peace.
Scott P
September 20, 2012
Offered a Plenary Indulgance for him at OMGC. Chuck
September 20, 2012
I remember my cousin Jacob from when we were children. His career and achievements were well known by us and he was a tremendous source of pride to us all. His amazing accomplishments will never be forgotten. You have our deepest sympathy.
Dick & Linda Nastav
September 19, 2012
My sincere sympathies to the loss of your brother and son, Lisa Oppenheim
September 10, 2012
Our sincerest sympathy on the recent passing of your brother Jacob.
Sam & Eileen Salah
September 2, 2012
We were very sorry to hear of Jacob's passing. Our sincerest sympathy to the Matijevic Family.
Dorothy and Ron Nastav
September 2, 2012
To Maryhelen and Family,

Know of my prayerful support for you during these days. May Jacob rest in peace.
Father Jim Lewis
August 31, 2012
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