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In Memory . . . William Richard Jacobsen (1932-2006)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
William Richard Jacobsen died at home on November 2, 2006 at the age of 74. He was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada to immigrants Jacob Jacobsen (Denmark) and Alfhild Larson Jacobsen (Norway) on January 28, 1932. 

Bill took an early interest in the church and as a teenager began studying to become a Lutheran Minister in the Missouri Synod. He graduated from Concordia College in 1953 (BS). By then he had found the Unitarian tradition to be more in line with his evolving beliefs and attended Meadville/Lombard at the University of Chicago, 1959 (BD). He was ordained in 1959. He served as Unitarian Minister in Brooklyn, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Canton, MA, and Bloomington, IL before moving to Palo Alto, CA, in 1974. He served the Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist Church for 16 years. After his retirement in 1990, he went on to serve as Executive Director of the Humanist Community in Palo Alto.

Bill had a keen sense of humor and a true joy for life. He had an ongoing enthusiasm for knowledge. He was an avid reader and enjoyed sharing his extensive knowledge of the many subjects he studied for his sermons over the years. He was a truly gifted speaker. An enthusiastic participant in life, Bill believed in social change as a way to benefit all of humanity. Bill loved nature and hiked all over the Bay Area. He was particularly fond of Mount Montara in Pacifica.

He is survived by his daughter, Juli Jacobsen (Joe Corollo) of San Lorenzo; his son, Eric Jacobsen of Pacifica; and former wife and dear friend, Dianne Jacobsen, of Palo Alto. He also has family in Canada.

A memorial service will be held at 7:30 pm, Sunday, November 19, 2006, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto. There will be a reception at the church following the service. Contributions may be made in memory of William R. Jacobsen to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

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