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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Michael Jacobs would agree that there was never a dull moment with him around. He had a contagious zest for life, and he was the sort of person who never met a stranger. Mike worked hard, but he played hard, too, and he was well respected in his work as well. Although he accomplished so much of which to be proud, there was no greater source of pride and joy in his life than his family that grew to include the grandson he adored. Although he was taken from his loved ones without warning, Mike leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
It only seems fitting that Mike’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the 1950s when James Dean and Marilyn Monroe became household names and Elvis introduced the world to rock ’n roll music. Televisions were becoming part of our homes in record numbers, and by the end of the decade Alaska and Hawaii became our 49th 50th states. It was in 1954 that Cleo and Doris (McClure) Jacobs were pleased to announce the arrival of the baby boy they named Michael David on June 6, 1954, in Hastings, Michigan. He was the younger of two Jacobs children as he was raised in the family home on Algonquin Lake alongside his sister, Julie, who was two years older. Mike’s father worked at Vikings while his mother was a switchboard operator.
In many ways Mike was a young boy of his generation. Growing up on the lake meant that there was plenty of swimming, boating, and waterskiing, but he was never really one for fishing. Mike attended Hastings schools where he played baseball as well as the clarinet in the band. He was also on a radio show called, “Your Mother Should Know,” which was something he enjoyed.
After graduating from high school in 1972, Mike was eager for all that life had in store. Always up for an adventure, he hitchhiked across the country and went to Hawaii for about three months. Mike had a great time, and while there he stayed at the home of the person who wrote the theme song for The Pink Panther. A bit later, he took some general classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, but after about two years he knew that school wasn’t really his thing. Mike did off jobs including working as a salesperson at Burkes Shoe Store in Hastings for a few years.
It was while selling shoes that Mike’s life was forever changed as it was through that job that he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Sue, and her father owned Cinder Pharmacy, which was located next door to the shoe store. They struck up a conversation and started dating in June of 1978. It wasn’t long before the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Mike and Sue were married on September 29, 1979, at St. Rose Catholic Church. The newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon touring around in the Upper Peninsula.
The newlyweds then returned home and settled into their new lives as husband and wife. In 1981 they started their family, and they soon moved to Kalamazoo. Together they welcomed two children including Andrea and John into their hearts and home. When Sue’s father opened the Hallmark store in Maple Hill Mall, both Mike and Sue worked there. In 1998, he took a job with Rite Aid, and that is where he spent the remainder of his career. He had currently been working as the assistant store manager. Mike liked his work there, and he loved meeting all kinds of new people. With his warm and outgoing personality, everyone seemed to know him through his work as well.
As a father, Mike was actively involved in the lives of his children. Andrea was more into sports while John was into music. Mike took Andrea to Tigers training camp and also played and attended many events with her. They could often be found out playing catch together as well. In fact, just this past Saturday Mike and Andrea were watching the Lions play from his hospital room. Mike also came into John’s world of music, and it was Mike who got John his first guitar. They both enjoyed similar music genres, primarily classics from the sixties and seventies. Mike and John also loved playing video games together, and car shows. They also took some family trips including a trip to Disney World and Busch Gardens. There were also plenty of memories made as a family on the lake. Mike was there to support his kids in all their school and sporting events, and Mike was a strong supporter of Kalamazoo Central sports.
Throughout his life Mike was one to keep busy. His passion was Harley riding, and he made a point of getting to Sturgis with his buddies, and at times Sue also took some trips with him. Mike was also happy to just head out on the open road. There were some tips to Vegas to play the slots as well as to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Mike looked forward to deer hunting up North with Sue’s family each fall, and together Mike and Sue played some sports. A sports fan, he enjoyed following Michigan State University sports as well as the Lions and Tigers. Mike was willing to eat anything, but he especially enjoyed grilling out. For years he played slow pitch softball and primarily played first base and pitched. Mike did enjoy going out for a good steak, and he liked trying a new place a month.
Happy, positive, and easy going, Micheal Jacobs lived a rich and rewarding life while holding his loved ones close to his heart. He could talk to and befriend anyone, and he really had no idea how funny he truly was. A devoted family man, Mike was loyal and honest, and it was impossible to have a bad day if he was around. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Michael David Jacobs, of Kalamazoo, passed away January 9, 2017, in Kalamazoo. Mike’s family includes his wife, Sue Jacobs; 2 children, Andrea (Matthew) Cook and John Jacobs (Ryan Cook); grandson, Adam Cook; father and step-mother, Cleo “Jake” and Doris Jacobs; sister, Julie (Jon) Eddy; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Doris DeVos, and step-father, Jack DeVos. Cremation will take place. A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. Please visit Mike’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to American Cancer Society or charity of choice. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900