G. Jacobs Jr., 26, Navy seaman, salesman

November 27, 1995|By Patrick Hickerson | Patrick Hickerson,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Former Navy Seaman George Frederick "Jake" Jacobs Jr., who once plucked people from the shark-infested waters of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, died Wednesday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center from injuries suffered that day when his pickup truck struck a tree.

Mr. Jacobs went off the road after swerving to avoid hitting a deer on Harrisville Road near his home in Mount Airy. He was 26.

Mr. Jacobs, a Baltimore native, served four years as a Navy seaman. He was stationed at the Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay from 1991 to 1993 and served in Puerto Rico from 1993 to January, when he left the Navy.

He was part of the Navy's physical security law enforcement detachment. His duties included inspecting planes for contraband and keeping the peace during the influx of Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Bay last year.

Mr. Jacobs, who swam competitively in high school in Wyoming, was part of a team that rescued Cubans who attempted to swim to the U.S. naval base.

"He was a strong swimmer," said his mother, Dottie Jacobs, of Mount Airy. "We don't know the total number he saved. He would just call and say, 'Hey, I went swimming again.'

"We know there are people alive today because he was there."

Mrs. Jacobs said her son revived a few of the swimmers using cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which he taught to others in the Navy.

By the time he left the Navy, he had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Nav-marine Overseas Service Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and a Navy Good Conduct Medal.

"He was a very giving man," said his brother, Mark B. Jacobs of Westminster.

Mr. Jacobs was an organ donor. "He donated everything that was retrievable," Mrs. Jacobs said.

In 1980, Mr. Jacobs moved with his family from Baltimore to Glen Rock, Wyo., where he was graduated from Glen Rock High School in 1987.

The next year, he entered Marine Corps basic training, but fractured his foot and was discharged because his leg would not heal in time to complete basic training.

From 1987 to 1990, he was a security guard at the University of New Hampshire and a cadet/special duty officer for the Northwood, N.H., police force.

Recently, he was a salesman at Jitters in Cranberry Mall in Westminster while he applied for jobs with law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Jacobs, described by his mother as "very bright and very funny" with "a strong faith," once told her that if he died, he wished any mourning to be upbeat.

"He said a couple of weeks ago he wanted no black and no long faces because he was going home to the Lord," Mrs. Jacobs said. "He wanted people to be happy for him because he was going home."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Loring Byers Funeral Directors, 8728 Liberty Road in Randallstown. Burial will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Gamber.

Besides his mother and brother, Mr. Jacobs is survived by his father, George Frederick Jacobs Sr. of Mount Airy; a sister, Melody A. Jacobs of Mount Airy; his grandparents, Marie Jacobs of Woodbine and George and Peggy Williams of Cockeysville; his great-grandmother, Clara Yeager of Cockeysville; and two nieces.

The family suggested memorial contributions to his mother's employer, Carroll County Hospice Inc., 95 Carroll St., Westminster 21157.

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