John W. Jacobson

Passed away on September 11, 2015
John William Jacobson, 99, of Harwich Port, formerly of Melrose, passed away peacefully at home on September 11th. Mr. Jacobson was born in Newark, New Jersey to Eleanor (Gertrude Weidman) Jacobson and Erik Hugo Wilhelm Jacobson on June 26, 1916. He received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Newark College of Engineering and worked for General Electric for 42 years, retiring in 1981. During his career at GE in Schenectady, NY and Lynn, MA, he worked on the design, manufacture and test of controls for aviation products. For 27 years he led GE's aircraft engine division controls section, successfully designing all of GE small engine commercial and military engine controls. He received 8 patents, won GE's prestigious Charles A Coffin Award in 1941, and was inducted into GE's Propulsion Hall of Fame in 1987. John was truly one of the genuine pioneers of Aero Engine development in America.John was an avid sailor and enjoyed skippering The Dipper with family and friends. He enjoyed many afternoons with friends fishing off the shore and his boat or just being on the beach and swimming with family. John loved gardening and all the beautiful flowers, vegetables and birds it brings to life. Ever the Engineer, one of his passions was to work on all types of projects in his workshop including building elaborate dollhouses and creating inventive solutions to household problems. Even though he was raised a Yankee fan, after moving to New England he became and remained a faithful Red Sox fan.Following retirement, he and his wife Jane expanded their summer house in Harwich Port and lived there year round. His activities included membership in the Allen Harbor Yacht Club, bowling and stamp clubs and much dedicated volunteer work at Christ Church Episcopal. He and Jane shared many years traveling and socializing with friends until her passing in 1990. Most of all, he looked forward every year to sharing summer visits at the Cape with his children, nieces, nephews and extended families to whom he was known simply as "Papa".John became the beloved husband of the late Helen Jane Jacobson in 1948 and enjoyed 42 years of marriage. He then married the late Jean Weeks Jacobson in 1994 and they were married for 12 years. He is survived by his son Bill and his wife Cathy of Simpsonville, SC; daughter Ellen Marieni and her husband Dave of Marlborough MA; son John and his wife Lisa of Melrose MA; 7 grandchildren Amy, Peter, Christy, Amanda, Dan, Michelle, Brian; 4 great grandchildren Scottie, Cody, Austin, Brooke; was preceded in death by his daughter Nancy and his sister Eleanor McCann; and was the loving step-father of Jolie Clark, Lynn Arner, Jim Westgate, and Bob Westgate. Special thanks to John's caregiver Fabia Brown for her many years of devoted service.Visiting hours will be held on Friday, September 18, from 4-7 pm at the Doane Beal & Ames Funeral Home, 260 Main Street, West Harwich, MA. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 19, at 11 am at the Christ Church Episcopal, 671 Route 28, Harwich Port, MA. Donations in John's memory may be made to Christ Church Episcopal. For online condolences, please visit