Cameron, North Carolina – Jeffrey Phillip Jacobson, beloved father, grandfather, and brother passed away on June 26, 2022, surrounded by his family.
Jeff was a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and a son to Norman and Eunice Ostreich Jacobson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, First Lieutenant Mark Jacobson, and brother-in-law, Jim Harding.
For nearly 40 years, Jeff provided care for United States servicemembers as a dentist at the Detroit, Fayetteville, and Durham Veterans Administration Hospitals. Patients remembered him for his kindness and off-beat sense of humor, and for the models of military planes he hung over his exam chair to spark conversation and put people at ease.
Throughout his career Jeff earned a reputation as someone who would go the extra mile for patients, advocating for them and helping them navigate the V.A. system.
Jeff’s older brother Mark was killed in action in Vietnam and posthumously awarded a Silver Star. This heroic sacrifice had a profound effect on Jeff and inspired him in his decades-spanning mission to help veterans.
Jeff also served in the military himself: he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and was called up to active duty stateside during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
His dedication to service sometimes took Jeff far from home. In 2001 he traveled to Honduras with a military-led medical team to provide dental care to people in need. And in the wake of Hurricane Katrina Jeff volunteered with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) to help identify victims in New Orleans using dental records.
As a lifelong lover of animals, Jeff (along with his cherished wife Susan) rescued countless dogs and cats, providing them with unconditional love and care. Jeff seemed happiest at home in the sandhills of North Carolina, resting on the couch with a dog by his side.
Jeff was a fan of the Green Bay Packers and his alma mater Marquette University, but his biggest pride in life was family. He relished a recent trip to Norway with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law, where he visited the land of his ancestors and saw the dramatic fjords. The weekend prior to his passing, Jeff had the privilege, along with his brother, Tom, to attend the dedication of the Vietnam War memorial at Veteran’s Freedom Park in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was one final chance to pay tribute to his brother’s memory.
Jeff is survived by his wife of 50 years, Susan Jacobson, of Cameron, North Carolina; daughter, Maris Jacobson, of Sanford, North Carolina; two sons, Scott Jacobson, and his wife, Rebecca, of Los Angeles, California and Ryan Jacobson, and his wife, Jennifer, of Clyde, North Carolina; brother, Tom Jacobson, and his wife, Carol, of Onalaska, Wisconsin; sister, Kay Harding, of Trempealeau, Wisconsin; and two grandsons, Wells Jacobson, and Leo Schiffman-Jacobson; three nephews, Paul Jacobson (Kaley), Michael Jacobson, and Mark Harding (Daya); and two nieces, Kersten Bryne (Lee) and Kelli Harding (Gehweiler).
A private celebration of life will be held at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Memorial donations may be made to the organization Doctors Without Borders.
The care of Dr. Jacobson has been entrusted to Fry and Prickett Funeral Home and Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com