Memorial for Capt. Jake (Walter Franklin) Jacobs, Pilot and South River Environmental Champion


Family and friends of Walter Franklin (Jake) Jacobs celebrated a memorial on Sunday (11 January, 2015) morning commemorating the late Captain Jacobs, who passed away this past Thursday. Jake’s family asked that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the South River Federation, in which he had been a stalwart for the past 15 years or more.

Here is the short obituary for Jake, followed by a downloadable version of the memorial booklet:

Walter Franklin Jacobs, 85, of Cape Saint John died January 8, 201 5 in Annapolis, Maryland

Bom March 12, 1929, the son of Carl B. and Ruth McGinnis Jacobs, of Linthicum Heights,

“Captain” Jacobs was a Chesapeake Bay Ship Pilot for 44 years. He gradu ated Glen Burnie High School in the class of 1946, attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and served in the Marine Corps before beginning his six-year pilot appren ticeship in 1952.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Betty Merle Smith Jacobs and his brother George C. Jacobs. He is survived by his wife, Claudia McLaughlin, daughters Martha S. Jacobs, Jean E. Cronan and her husband James, granddaughters Sara E. Cronan and Angela C. Laxson, and numerous nephews and nieces.

A life-long citizen of Anne Arundel County, Jacobs was a fierce opponent of the return of slot machines to Maryland. He was active in Democratic politics and environ mental groups, including the Severn River Association, the Magothy River Land Trust, South River Federation, and the Lower Western Shore Tributary Team.

He had been a long-time member of the Parole (Annapolis) Rotary Club until health issues forced him to resign.

Captain Jacobs was repeatedly recognized for his environmental activities: he was named a Pearl of the Chesapeake for his ground-breaking gift of a parcel of land (Kurrle Knoll) to the Magothy River Land Trust. In 2006 The Severn River Association presented the Captain the “Blue Heron Award” as “the embodiment of the benevolent volunteer” and in 2012 again expressed gratitude to him for his “dedication to SRA” as a “model participant” at meetings of the Association.

The Association of Maryland Pilots, in 2012, presented Captain Jake with the honor ary title “Commodore of the Chesapeake” in recognition of his “noteworthy career as a maritime professional and a community volunteer,” citing his distinguished service to a number of organizations devoted to the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.

Walter was a consummate gentleman, known for his generosity and good humor. He will forever be singing whilst “Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay.”

Jake Jacobs

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands and the Chesapeake Bay; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see President of the now-sunsetting Island Resources Foundation.
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