George Fred Jacobs Junior

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 5:47 pm

George Fred Jacobs Junior, 90, of Decorah, passed away in his sleep early morning Oct. 7, 2016, at the Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah. A memorial service is Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. Burial of the urn is in Sioux City at Memorial Park Cemetery, at a later date. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

George was born Aug. 18, 1926, on the farm in Yellow Medicine County, Minn., to George T. and Lilly Ann (Gronholz) Jacobs. In 1932, the family moved to the Jacobs’ family farm in Carroll County. George was baptized at home at the time of birth and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Carroll. He attended school in Carroll, where he was an all-state athlete playing football. In 1944, George enlisted in the Army Air Corp serving basic training in Biloxi, Miss., then on to gunnery school and training in Las Vegas, Nev. He was sent overseas to Istres Army Air Base in Southern France. He later was stationed in Germany before being discharged in 1947. That fall he enrolled at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, where he graduated with a degree in teaching and also played football. He met Betty Louise Markusen in 1948 at Buena Vista College and they were married in Aug. 1949, and to that union were born two children, Mark and Jody. George graduated from college in 1951, taking his first job as principal at Linn Grove Junior High School. He then taught at Holstein. In 1954, the family moved to California, where George was teaching Junior High at Norwalk, Calif. The family lived in Anaheim, Calif. and he worked one summer at Disneyland. The family moved back to Sioux City, (Morningside) in 1960, where he taught math, art and woodshop at East Junior High School. He received his master’s degree from the University of South Dakota and had many hours toward his doctorate. In 1972, he was appointed principal at the Individualized Learning Center, Alternative High School, run jointly by the Sioux City Public Schools and Western Iowa Technical College. He was in charge of that program until retiring in 1988. George and Betty (his first wife) were members of St. Luke Lutheran and later Morningside Lutheran churches in Sioux City. Betty passed away in 1981. George married Genevieve Hunnel in 1982. They moved to Decorah in 1997. George and Genevieve were members of Decorah Lutheran Church. George had an amazingly strong faith and all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have learned from that. George always enjoyed woodworking and building projects. He loved gardening, growing both flowers and vegetables, most of which he shared with others. He was an avid artist, creating unique and whimsical works of art from craft projects to paintings. He enjoyed being outdoors and loved to fish. His favorite meal he would prepare for all his children and grandchildren was his amazing pancake receipt, which all enjoyed. He really liked watching sports, mostly college football and basketball. He was a big Iowa Hawkeye and Minnesota Vikings fan.

George is survived by his children, Mark (Pat) Jacobs of West Des Moines and Jody (Keith) Forde of Decorah; stepdaughter, Jaclyn (Keith) Vollstedt of Dakota Dunes, S.D.; two step-sons, George (Deb) Hunnel of Rosemount, Minn. and Gary (Dannette) Hunnel of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; two sisters, Lois Rogers and Betty (Ken) Hard (both of Madras, Ore.); half-brother, John Jacobs of La Havra, Calif.; half-sister, Gloria Shelton of Needles, Calif.; a step-brother, Richard Jacobs of Grants Pass, Ore.; 21 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

George was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty; his second wife, Genevieve; sister, Mary Alice; stepson, Glenn Hunnel; grandson, Eric Jacobs; half-brothers, Edward Jacobs and Ted Jacobs; brothers-in-law, Buzz Thomas and Howard Rogers; nephews: Carey Thomas, Casey Thomas and Doug Hard; sister-in-law, Ruby Gordon; step-mother, Alice Jacobs; his parents and grandparents; and uncles and aunts.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice, 901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101, and Aase Haugen Senior Services, 4 Ohio Street, Decorah, Iowa 52101.

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