Samuel Jacobson, 9, Deerfield pupil, Pokemon collector

May 31, 2002|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Samuel Tucker Jacobson, a pupil at Deerfield Elementary School in Edgewood, died Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a nine-month battle with leukemia. He was 9.

Tucker, who was born in Towson and lived in Edgewood, had completed third grade at Deerfield Elementary School when diagnosed with leukemia in August.

An avid video game fan and Pokemon collector, Tucker was a rambunctious and energetic child who could at times be delightfully mischievous, said his mother, Dawn Jacobson.

"He was the kind of child who always made you laugh. I remember one day he cut the telephone cord because he didn't want me talking to the doctor. Another time, he took a hammer and knocked a hole in the door.

"He was very kind-hearted and wanted to help people. He loved helping the neighbors and would carry things for them. An affectionate child, he was always giving hugs," his mother said.

Tucker liked playing football and basketball and riding his bike, as well as working with tools and helping his father and neighbors with home improvement or automotive projects.

He collected Pokemon cards and decorated his bedroom with posters. A favorite was from the pupils at Deerfield Elementary School, who had sent a get-well poster signed with their names.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation surprised Tucker and his family with gifts for his bedroom -- a new carpet, an adjustable bed, a 32-inch television and VCR, and a stock of newly released videos and games.

"He was a wonderful kid, and his smile always lit up the room," said Maureen S. Baxter, his third-grade teacher at Deerfield. "He was such a hard-working student who was very good at math. I really only have nice things to say about him."

After receiving the diagnosis in August, Tucker wasn't able to start the fourth grade. He spent most of the school year in and out of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"It was an extremely hard struggle. Last November, with his dad being the donor, he went through a bone marrow transplant," his mother said. "It was a fight from the beginning, and he was very courageous."

"Tucker knew what he wanted. If he didn't want something done, he'd say, `No, not now.' And he rarely complained to us about things," said Dr. Meghan A. Higman, his primary pediatric oncologist.

"I think Tucker knew his situation, and he wasn't feeling better. Many of our kids are mature beyond their years, and Tucker was one of those," she said.

Services will be held at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 W. Padonia Road, Timonium.

Memorial contributions may be made to Make-A-Wish Foundation, 17 Warren Road, Suite 22-A, Baltimore 21208.

Tucker is survived by his parents, John and Dawn Jacobson, and two brothers, Curtis J. Jacobson and Kyle S. Jacobson, all of Edgewood; two sisters, Erica R. Jacobson of Cockeysville and Harley A. Jacobson of Edgewood; paternal grandmother, Anneliese Jacobson of Fridley, Minn.; maternal grandparents, Melvin and Carolyn Tracey of Cockeysville; maternal great-grandmother, Florence Counts of Baltimore; and several uncles, aunts and cousins.

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