E. Lois Jacobsen

Monday, October 31, 2016 4:28 pm

E. Lois Jacobsen, 99, of Decorah, passed away peacefully Tuesday evening, Oct. 25, 2016, at Barthell O.E.S. Home in Decorah, where she had resided since 2003. Memorial services were at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah with Rev. Chad Huebner officiating. Visitation began at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7, one hour before the service, at First Lutheran Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah served the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com. Organist was Marcia Engebretson. Congregational hymns were “When Peace Like a River,” “Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear Me,” “God Whose Giving Knows No Ending” and “Crown Him with Many Crowns. Private family inurnment was at Lutheran Cemetery, Decorah.

Edna Lois Moe Jacobsen was born June 23, 1917, in Chicago, Ill.,  to William Henry Moe and Dorothy Ramsten Moe, the oldest of six children. Lois grew up a girl of the Depression, in Chicago; she lost her mother to post-partum suicide at age 8, with a younger brother Bill and sister Shirley. She lost her step-mother to infection when she was 14, with two more brothers, Arthur and Laurence. Lois graduated with honors from high school in 1934. Lois worked in Chicago for two years, received a scholarship to St. Olaf College and stayed for one year. She then worked in Chicago for 3 1/2 years before coming to Luther and graduating magna cum laude, in June, 1943. Her brother, Bill, was lost in the south Pacific as a Navy pilot. She was hired at Luther as a substitute for Clara Paulson as Dean of Women and taught English, and served as secretary for President O.J.H. Preus and for Dr. Pip Qualley. In 1946, she married Robert S. Jacobsen in Chicago. To this marriage, four children were born: David, Karl, Theodor and Anne. In 1947, Lois obtained her M.S. degree in English from the University of Washington. In 1949, Lois lost her brother, Artie, a senior at Luther, to polio. Lois was first treated for depression her freshman year at St. Olaf, and thus began a lifetime of coping with mental illness and pursuit of treatments and cures. She received electro shock therapy for depression twice in the 1960s and received ongoing treatment and counseling.  She also spent many years caring for a husband and three sons with type one diabetes, weighing food and recovering and trying to prevent hypo-glycemic episodes. Lois graduated from hospice in 2013 after three months and losing over 50 pounds. She lived for many years needing to be fed thickened liquids but was still able to cognitively function and respond when one showed patience with her efforts. She benefited from social media and asked to have it explained to her to try to understand it. Lois taught throughout her career of raising a family. She taught English as a second language, substituted in the Decorah School system, supported foreign students in her home and in the community, was active in the library of First Lutheran Church and received three Governor’s awards: one for teaching ESL, one for helping found the National Alliance of Mentally Ill in Iowa and one for conservation for the solar-heated house they built with Reg Laursen and Bruce Willis at 403 Ohio St.  Lois served on the Care Review committee at Oneota Riverview Care Center, where her oldest son, David, lived off and on for 37 years; and she also served on the auxiliary board. She is a past president of A.L.C.W. and West Side Study Club, for which her mother-in-law was the founding President, in 1932. She taught residents and loving staff and visitors at Eastern Star a lot about life, living and dying with dignity; and she taught everyone who knew her the miracles of living in faith with grace, as she suffered three bleedings on her brain in her eighties and still could communicate despite physical dysfunctions to the very end. Lois passed, while sleeping, with the Cubs World Series game on, with no pain.  

Lois is survived by two sons, Karl (Jerrine) Jacobsen of Decorah, and Ted Jacobsen of McKinney, Texas, and his children, Emily (Shamus) Freeman and Eric Jacobsen of North Liberty; her daughter, Anne (Lars) Clausen of Chelan, Wash., and her children Kari Anna and Kai Clausen; one great-grandson Jackson Freeman; and by two brothers: A. Laurance (Lucille) Moe of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Paul R. (Judy) Moe of Prospect Heights, Ill.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert, Oct. 23, 1992; one son, David William Jacobsen, Oct. 31, 2015; one sister, Shirley Anne Posson; and two brothers, William Henry Moe Jr. and Arthur Whiting Moe.

Soli deo Gloria.

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