Mary Jane Jacobs
1940 - 2021
BORN
1940
DIED
2021

Mary Jane Jacobs

Mary Jane Jacobs, 80, of Fort Sumner, New Mexico passed away at her residence of natural causes on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. One of seven children born to Esther and Albert Riley, Mary Jane was brought into this world on March 23, 1940 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. A graduate of Aquinas High School, she also attended the University of Minnesota, and Laney College. Mary Jane was a variety singer and entertainer. She performed regularly in the 1960s and 1970s and was known for her renditions of songs from the Great American Songbook. A statuesque beauty at 5'9" tall, she wowed audiences with her lavish, custom-tailored costumes and glamorous stage presence. In 1971, Mary Jane moved to California with her two kids and settled in the Bay Area. She attracted a coterie of artists, musicians, and writers who visited her home and formed a salon of sorts. She was the kind of woman who wore go-go boots and mini-skirts, and played a mean game of pool, but she also loved animals, planted swiss chard and chives, and kept chickens for organic eggs. Living life as a walking contradiction, Mary Jane fascinated many. It's the memory of her fearless beauty and strong spirit that will live on in all who crossed her path.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert Francis and Esther Marie Riley; sisters: Margaret Hilliker, Patricia Moore, and June R. Martin; a nephew James A. Ritter; and husband Ralph W. Jacobs. She is survived by her two daughters: Holly Tempo of Inglewood, California and Jade Maze of Westchester, Illinois; a sister Helen (Ron) Naysmith; brothers: William (Susan) Riley and Michael (Renate) Riley; brother in law Gerald Hilliker; numerous nieces and nephews; and Robert Cocca.

Mary Jane was cremated at the Chavez Funeral Home.

A private, family memorial will take place during Summer 2021 in Wisconsin.


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Published by La Crosse Tribune on Apr. 25, 2021.
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Funeral services provided by:
Chavez Funeral Home - Fort Sumner
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