Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Robert “Bob” John Jacobson, 87, of Poquoson, Virginia, passed away serenely in the evening on Sunday, 17 February 2019. Bob slipped the surly bonds of earth at his home in Poquoson with a sublime view of Easton Cove to his right and Bennet Creek to his left. He was surrounded by the loving embrace of his children and comforted by a final utterance of love and peace from his life-long companion and wife of 64 years, Ute Jacobson.
Bob was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 14 October 1931. He was preceded in death by his mother Harriette Cunningham Pittman Jacobson, a tough and Spartan child of the rugged wind-swept shores of Newfoundland, Canada, and his father John “Jack” Jacobson, a Brooklyn newspaper man who himself immigrated from Iasi, Romania.
Bob Jacobson was a proud and dedicated Airman who put service to country and dedication to duty second to nothing but his love of family. Bob culminated a distinguished 30 year career in the U.S. Air Force in 1979 when he retired at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel from Headquarters United States European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, where he had served as a “Cartographic Geodetic Staff Officer” assigned to Strategic Targeting of Soviet Forces on the Joint Staff, J2-Intelligence. He enlisted in the Air Force at Brookline, MA, on 24 November 1950. He advanced to the rank of Staff-Sergeant before commissioning as a Second Lieutenant at Lackland Air Force Base on 20 March 1959.
Throughout his Air Force career Bob served expertly in assignments as a cartographic technician, imagery analyst, and strategic targets officer that took him to bases in Omaha, Nebraska; Southeast Asia; Hampton, Virginia; Sumter, South Carolina; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Stuttgart, Germany. In addition to his invaluable contributions as a liberator of Europe as part of the post-World War Two U.S. Occupation Force and later Cold War warrior, Bob was also a Veteran of the Korean Conflict and Vietnam. During his tour in Southeast Asia Bob was part of the team that identified North Vietnamese infiltration routes through aerial imagery and acoustics as part of Operation Igloo White.
Bob was an honor graduate from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Air Force Squadron Officer School, and the Armed Forces Staff College. Later in his career he was a lecturer at the NATO Officers School at Oberammergau, Germany. Throughout his career he was recognized with significant commendations including: the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and World War II Army of Occupation Medal.
Following his military career Bob continued to proudly serve his country as a defense contractor at various firms for the next 30 years. Bob spent most of his time in the defense industry with Prosoft as a Senior Institutional Training Analyst where he contributed to the wholesale modernization of the U.S. Army’s weapons ranges for everything from personal side-arms to Main Battle Tanks. In hindsight, his most touching post military employment was as Main Assistant to his entrepreneurial wife at Ute’s Gift Shop in Poquoson, Virginia. The years with his wife at Ute’s were the ones with the most smiles and memorable events.
Bob Jacobson was a man of many interests, hobbies, and accomplishments outside of work. For 16 years of his life Bob was a dedicated leader in the Boy Scouts of America where he provided mentorship and guidance to a next generation of leaders in American Society. One of his proudest Scouting accomplishments was his completion of the Wood Badge program and receiving its highest volunteer award, the Silver Beaver. Later in life Bob was honored to be invited to join the Kiwanis Poquoson Chapter and be inducted as a member of the George F. Hixson Fellowship. Bob rarely missed a breakfast meeting and was a steadfast member of the barbecue pit crew and road clean-up crew.
Bob was a golfer, skier, bicyclist, horseback rider, and boater. He loved camping and hiking and enriched his family by taking them camping throughout Europe and on weekly “volksmarsches” in the autumn in Germany. But his greatest loves were his books and his model wooden ships. Bob leaves behind an extensive library of books and collection of hand-built wooden model ships. Each model represents hundreds of hours of focus, concentration, perseverance and creativity and is imbued with his soul. Undoubtedly, his magnum opus was his model ship, the Adler of Luebeck, a two-mast war galleon with rigging so intricate it boggles the mind.
Bob Jacobson was the patriarch of a large family and advances to the hereafter as our stoic and fearless scout. The matriarch of the family, Ute Jacobson, is left to shepherd the flock in his absence as he prepares the way for his family: Sandra Jacobson Hood and her husband Bob; Christopher Peter Jacobson and his wife Karen; Catherine Suzanne Hopkins and her husband Jerry; Deborah Jeanne Duell and her husband Roger; Patricia Anne Owens and her husband Cornell; Michael Arthur Jacobson and his wife Sabine; and Eric John Jacobson and his wife Andrea. Bob Jacobson was the proud grandfather of 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Bob's life will be held Sunday, Feb. 24, 2:00-4:00 PM at his home (for directions call 876-5582). The family will also receive friends for visitation at Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Poquoson Monday, Feb. 25, 12:00-1:00 PM, followed immediately by his funeral service at 1:00 PM led by longtime family friend, Reverend Bill Erbach, of Strasburg, VA. Interment will follow at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk with full Air Force Honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Poquoson Volunteer Rescue and Fire Squad, P.O. Box 2099, Poquoson, VA, 23662. Online condolences to claytorrollins.com Claytor Rollins Funeral Home, Poquoson, is in charge of arrangements.
Poquoson Volunteer Rescue Squad
P.O. Box 2099, Poquoson VA 23662