Kenneth Richard Jacobs, 83, of Bozeman, Montana, a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend went home to meet his Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday, August 18, 2019. Ken was surrounded by family and dearly loved right up to the moment he passed away from Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Kenneth Richard Jacobs was born to Lucy and Nick Jacobs on January 1, 1936 in Harlan, Iowa. Ken was the 12th of 14 children. He grew up surrounded by a loving and hard-working family with a strong Catholic faith. Ken was 14 years old when his father Nick passed away, leaving his mother Lucy to raise 14 children by herself. Shortly after his father’s passing, a Social Services worker came to their home offering government assistance. Ken’s mother announced they would not accept any government assistance, and to get out of her home! She then turned to her children and said, “Well now, we better get to work, or we are going to starve!” She told them later, had she accepted government charity she would have ruined their lives. This laid the foundation for Ken and the rest of the family to have a tremendous work ethic and unwavering integrity.
In spite of all the hard work, Ken loved athletics and lettered 16 times in high school. After graduating, he was not planning on furthering his education, but an altruistic member of the community encouraged him to attend college and offered him a loan so he could get started on a degree. Having someone help him see his potential was a life-changing moment. He played college basketball and earned a bachelor’s degree in Education and Industrial Arts from Missouri State University and a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Colorado State University.
In 1960 Ken met the love of his life LaVern Ludwig in Denver on a blind date. Their shared Catholic Faith and love for one another led to their marriage in 1961. A loving marriage that would last 58 years! Soon they had four rambunctious children running around. Ken loved working with the youth and positively impacted many young people’s lives, but It became difficult to support his family on a teaching salary, so he also worked in construction, hydroponics and sales & marketing at Colorado City during the summers. Ken discovered he was quite gifted in selling real estate, so when some friends in Montana called with an opportunity he decided to move his family to the small town of Bozeman. A place that would help him realize his gifts as a salesman and enjoy his love of the outdoors. (A decision for which his family would be eternally grateful).
When Big Sky Ski Resort was first being formed Ken was asked to be the head of the sales department for the Resort Condo projects and lots, allowing all of his children to learn how to ski on the weekends while he worked. After enjoying several years on Lone Mountain he started a new business with partners at Century 21 in Bozeman so he could be closer to home.
In 1977 he opened his own farm and ranch real estate firm called the Old West Company. Here he was truly in his element being in the outdoors and enjoying the fellowship of ranchers and farmers. Ken was the first person in the state of Montana to specialize in farm and ranch real estate. He was highly successful and in 1984 Ken was named real estate broker of the year. Later he went on to form a Brokerage called Jacobs Western Land, Inc.
Ken enjoyed serving others through his involvement in Resurrection Parrish. He was also involved in a prison ministry called T.E.A.M. mentoring, Promise Keepers, Knights of Columbus, and serving on the board of directors for Liberty Place: an extended care facility for the brain injured.
Dad was an excellent father and always fun to be with, he made everything an adventure and gave us many fond memories including camping in our tent trailer and playing Yahtzee by the light of an old kerosene Coleman lantern. Ken loved Montana’s great outdoors. He was a lifelong bird and big game hunter.
He taught us how to float, row and navigate the rivers. He taught us how to fly fish and read the water for the sure catches. His stories were often told as parables that included a moral lesson we could grab hold of and use as a guide for our life. His discipline was always firm, fair and done in love, but seemed awfully scary at the time. The worst though were the long talks where we had to actually think about what we had done…
As he grew older he loved spending time with family and friends, golfing, fishing and taking hikes on Bozeman’s many trails. He stayed fit his whole life, working out at the gym almost daily up until just weeks before he died of cancer. One of our funniest memories is of him walking into the gym with shorts, cowboy boots, suspenders, and a cowboy hat.
Ken is preceded in death by ten siblings, he is survived by three siblings Rose Ann Larsen (Gary Larsen) Jim Jacobs and Nick Jacobs (Mary Helen Jacobs). He leaves behind his loving wife LaVern Jacobs, daughters Kathy Derby (Dean Derby) and Jennifer Vert (Mark Vert), sons Eric Jacobs (Stacy Jacobs) and Randy Jacobs (Janet Jacobs), grandchildren Bailey and Logan Derby, Anthony Fopp, Breanna Jacobs, Ava Vert, Max Jacobs and step-grandchildren Ashtyn, Alec and Alivia.
Dad we will miss your hugs, shoulder rubs, wild stories of mischievous mayhem, your bravery and valor, your wisdom through experience and laughter through funny mistakes. Most of all we will miss your unwavering integrity and strength of character that continues to inspires us all. Thank you for your laughter, love and encouragement, your deep faith in us and the selfless sacrifices you made over the many years. We have learned much from your lessons and know you will be ever looking upon us to make the world a better place. We love you dearly, Dad. So, wait in the peace that only, heaven can provide, we’re going to see you someday, on the glorious other side!
Your Loving Family
In lieu of flowers please consider making a monetary donation to Catholic Relief Services, Resurrection Parrish, Knights of Columbus, or Relevant Radio. Donations in the name of any of the aforementioned charities may be mailed to LaVern Jacobs, 3504 Good Medicine Way, Bozeman, MT 59715 and she will distribute them to the proper charity.
A visitation will be held at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Praying of the Rosary at 5:30 p.m. and vigil service at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, August 25th at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center. A Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 a.m. Monday, August 26th at Resurrection University Catholic Parish with a graveside service immediately following at Sunset Hills Cemetery, followed by a reception back at the church.