Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Leo Jacobs Jr. remembered for pool game, trivia skills


Leo Jacobs Jr.

A memorial service for Leo John Jacobs Jr. will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, at the Haines ANB Hall, with a potluck reception to follow. Jacobs, 62, died Feb. 18 in Anchorage at the St. Elias Specialty Hospital of complications from a stroke suffered two months ago, said Sandy Williams, his girlfriend of 12 years. He also had lung cancer.

Jacobs was born on June 23, 1951 at St. Anne's Hospital in Juneau to the late Leo Jacobs and Agnes Martha Thlunaut (Bellinger) of Haines. His father was a highly regarded master carver who worked at Alaska Indian Arts, and his mother was a cultural anthropologist. His grandmother was Chilkat blanket weaver Jennie Thlunaut. Jacobs was Kaagwaantaan of the wolf house and his Tlingit name was Neech Khuoowu.

Jacobs grew up in Haines and attended Haines schools through the eighth grade, when his younger brother Joe said he earned acclaim for a top 10 score on a statewide academic achievement test. He quit school and took up setnetting. He fished commercially, used a family skiff to salvage logs that had broken free of rafts headed for area sawmills and re-sold them, and he played pool.

"We'd give him what we earned, and then he'd go start a pool game and double and triple it for us," Joe said. "He was ambidextrous, and when his opponent was getting frustrated he'd say 'Let's double it and I'll play with my left hand,' and he was even better with it than (with) the right." When he was about 18, his family moved to Juneau.

In Juneau he worked in construction, at a moving company, and for cold storage, before becoming a hazardous material removal specialist. He was a member of the Laborers Union 942.

Sister Marianne of Juneau said her brother had a passion for trivia and liked to watch and engage in game shows like Jeopardy!, Jokers Wild and Wheel of Fortune.  "Leo frequently had the correct answer before the contestant on TV or other people in the room."

He also liked to cook and bake and he sportfished for king salmon. Joe said that after Leo retired, "If he wasn't playing pull-tabs or home watching game shows, you'd find him fishing."

Jacobs is survived by a son, Leo John Fawcett, and two grandchildren, Ariana and Grayson, all of Juneau. Brother Joe Jacobs lives in Haines and sisters Marianne Jacobs and Donna Bellinger live in Juneau. He also leaves girlfriend Sandy Williams and numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews in Haines and Juneau.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Marianne Jacobs, 4549 Kanata Deyi, Juneau, 99801.


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