In Memory

John Edgar Jacobs

Edgar Jacobs was a teacher of Industrial Arts at South Pasadena High School for 22 years from 1934 until his sudden death from a heart attack on March 25, 1956.

"Jake", as he was affectionately known by both staff and students, taught woodshop, stage craft, mechanical drawing, radio, and government, and was Radio Club advisor.  He and his students carried out many projects for the school and he was in charge of the lighting and sound systems for football games.

Born in 1906 in South Pasadena, John Edgar Jacobs graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1925 and then attended College of the Pacific in Stockton and Santa Barbara Teacher's College before returning to South Pasadena as a high school teacher.  His grandfather, John H. Jacobs was a pioneer of South Pasadena and his father, John Carpenter Jacobs was active in civic affairs having served on the City Council and as mayor for several terms.

Mr. Jacobs was survived by his wife, Pearl Slater Jacobs; two daughters, Marilyn ('57) and Elaine ('58) both students at SPHS; a son Carl who was attending Carver Elementary School in San Marino; and his mother, Margaret Wilson Jacobs of South Pasadena.

Principal, Dr. Elmer J. Erickson, made the following statement regarding Mr. Jacobs and his many years of work at SPHS:

"The great loyalty of Edgar Jacobs to South Pasadena High School goes back to the years when he was a student here in 1921 and a graduate in 1925.  Twenty-two years of service as a teacher of industrial arts demonstrated his great desire to serve the student body along the lines of his many fine aptitudes.  Mr. Jacobs was a capable and versatile teacher, his students admired him, and he liked them.  His many contributions while a teacher at South Pasadena constitute a perpetual memorial to him."

Albert J. Adams, long-time music teacher at South Pasadena High School was the organist at Ed's funeral and interment was at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.

The following poem was published in The Tiger on April 26, 1956.



"Dear Editor:

Just thought you might like my thoughts about a fella, name of "Jake" who I had for a teacher in Radio I about ten years back!  Was saddened to hear of his passing and know that in this humble poem are echoed many a grad's thoughts of "Jake" as I knew him.


To all who came his way,

A friendly face-wide grin came.

For all who sat and faced him,

Were teachings about 'hot-bites' and "Sparks" and radio tidbits to know;

Into every lecture and talk he gave,

Jake tossed his gentle wit and humor.

Dead serious as he was,

You could see the man behind the talking,

You could see the Jake behind the Mr. Jacobs.

After many a lecture came his lab periods,

When to each group of struggling amateur hams,

Jake went to watch this welding of grids.

This man, this teacher, in his humble way,

He showed the way without glory,

Without any showboat; yet every grid game,

Every football game that So Pas ever played,

Jake made the lights work.

Jake made the mike work so all could enjoy the game.

From the days of Ray Sparling,

To the rambling wrecks of Reese Cave,

Tommy Fleishman, Bud Robertson, Conn and Anderson,

Hank Wright and Bobby Garret to Sammy Morley,

Jake stood by to serve these heroes of Green and those flankers of Swart, Williamson and Eacutt,

Jake served his turn at bat and the sparks are quiet.

The vacuum tubes rest and the soldering irons grow cool and cold.

A radioman has rambled on across the skyways."


Sincerely, John Westerdoll, Winter '46