Jeanne Jacobson

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Jeanne Jacobson

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Jeanne Jacobson

Jeanne Jacobson, 82, of Billings, passed away Friday, June 12, 2020, at her home.

Jeanne Jacobson was born to Ludwig and Magdelena Rieger on Nov. 10, 1937, in Trail City, South Dakota. Jeanne passed from this life on June 12, 2020, at the age of 82 years, in Billings.

Jeanne graduated from Mobridge High School with the class of 1955. She then attended business school in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for one year. After completing business school, she moved to Billings. Jeanne (Rieger) and Ron Jacobson were married in January 1957. They had three children from their union. Jeanne was a wonderful and dedicated mother of her children throughout their lives. They later divorced.

Jeanne was an excellent secretary at Yellowstone Electric for 30 years. She was a very organized and faithful worker, and a very fast and accurate typist. She retired in 1999. For most of her life, Jeanne was a member of the Lutheran Church. Later in life, Jeanne and her son were filled with God’s love and hope by watching Pastor Joel Osteen on Sunday mornings. Jeanne really enjoyed seeing in person Billy Graham, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump.

Jeanne loved animals. Her love of animals was acquired when she was growing up on the farm near Trail City, South Dakota. Since she was the last of 11 children, her animals became her best friends because all her brothers and sisters had left the farm. During her time in Billings, she had several dogs, ferrets, rabbits and birds. Her favorite living pet is Misty, an African Grey Parrot. Jeanne enjoyed many RV trips throughout America with her animals.

Jeanne’s son, Mark, moved back with her and her husband in 2002 to retrain to become a math teacher. Mark was blessed to be selected for a math position at Montana State University Billings. Mark lived with Jeanne until the end of her life.

Jeanne will be remembered for her love of our Lord Jesus Christ, special love of her son, love of her daughters, love of animals, enjoyment of cooking, love of education, being a hard worker, love of RV trips, enjoyment of driving her Lincoln MKS car, and love of decorating her homes outside and inside.

Survivors are Sherry (Randy) Jones of Manhattan, Montana, and their children, Courtney (Mitch) Dean of Hazen, North Dakota; Jessica (Andy) Benson and their son Micaiah of Bozeman; Christopher Jones of Granada Hills, California; Jennifer Jones of Bozeman; and Chelsea Jones of Manhattan. Mark lives in Billings. Nadine (Jeff) Cysewski of Kirkland, Washington, and their children, Peyton of Kirkland and Siena of Kirkland.

A celebration of life service for Jeanne will at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary and Crematory, 1001 Alderson Avenue, Billings, MT 59102.

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  1. Reflections of my mother, Jeanne Jacobson (by Sherry Jones)

    “The world should be a better place because someone has lived,” is a quote I have heard and believe it is true. I also believe that because Jeanne Jacobson lived, the world was a better place for me, my brother, my sister, and many others.
    Our lives on this earth are short but many things happen during that short-lived time. That being said, I struggle to write details of what I remember most about mom in two short pages. Several things about my mom I treasured. Some of them helped shape my life into who I am today and those things I want to describe.
    As my brother and sister will attest, mom loved animals and believed in taking good care of them. She once told me that animals are your best friends. They are devoted and loyal, always forgiving, and ready to love. I remember one of our favorite dogs, Cuddles. She was a Pekingese and mom assigned her as my babysitter. Because I often wandered away from the house, mom entrusted Cuddles to follow me wherever I went. One time, when I was a toddler, I went out the front door and down the street. Cuddles ran ahead of me, wagging her tail in my face, as mom recounted. I grabbed her tail and Cuddles turned us back home safely. I grew up loving that dog as much as mom did. Since then, I’ve tried to raise my kids with dogs in their lives.
    Mom believed in cooking good food as a way to bring the family together. She loved to spend hours in the kitchen trying new recipes, canning fruit and pickles, making mouth-watering pies, and baking the best bread in town, in my opinion. But cooking was not just about the food, it was about bringing people together. We kids grew up eating a hot breakfast every morning, usually together. Then, after a full day at work, she made sure a meal was prepared for dinner, a sit-down dinner at the table together at the end of the day where we could eat and talk and eat some more. I loved that because I knew it was the time of day when I could tell the family about my day. She made it a place where I felt free to talk. I usually talked too much, as my brother and sister know. I remember one time, after I finished explaining something that happened at school, mom spoke up. She kindly reminded me that I needed to give Mark and Nadine a chance to talk.
    “Oh yeah,” I thought. I knew she was right. She made sure that we all had a chance to talk, giving us a sense that each of us were significant in her eyes.
    Something else that mom believed strongly in was education. Since she grew up in a poor family, her mother, a German-Russian immigrant, impressed upon her the vision of making something of yourself through hard work and education. That was the ticket out of poverty. My mother followed the advice of her mother and received an Associate degree from a business college in Billings, Montana. That is where she met Ronald Jacobson, our father. She was a hard worker and one of the fastest typists around. Between the money she and dad made, they paved the way for me, Mark, and Nadine to go to college. Often, she modeled and taught us to persevere in school, never give up, and work faithfully at whatever task we were given. Her mother was the same way, living the attitude that when the chips are down, you stack them up. My siblings and I worked in some way as soon as we could and each of us went to college. She was very proud of that!
    Valuing motherhood was a role Jeanne believed in at the core of her heart. Although she worked full-time, she was diligent to try and stay in tune with each of our physical and emotional needs. It was priority and she guarded us like a mother bear. She loved planning holiday meals and family vacations. She also did things just so she could spend more time with her children and her grandchildren. For instance, although it wasn’t her favorite thing to do, she backpacked, camped, and fished with the family. She even learned how to ski and swim. There were times when she strategically made suggestions to help us kids care for one another better, too. I remember a time in high school when I made plans to go out with some of my friends. It happened to be the same night as my sister’s family birthday party. That was a big NO-NO!
    Another time, Nadine needed an outfit for a school performance. Mom highly recommended that I sew it, which I did.
    While I was busy making friends in high school, mom had to remind me that Mark often spent his weekends at home. Again, with encouragement, I began to introduce my brother to several of my friends. Before long, he had more friends than I did, and we even shared parties and after school dances together with our friends. We had a lot of fun.
    There was one time that I especially remember that really showed her mother’s heart. I was a senior in college and struggling to graduate. She and dad made a trip to Missoula to visit me. I will never forget how she sat and listened to me as if we were back at the dinner table. She didn’t make suggestions, she didn’t argue about my ideas, or admonish me for not doing well in school. Instead she simply listened and encouraged me to do my best to finish. She believed in me and reminded me of the potential I had to become a good speech therapist. Because of her encouragement, I was encouraged, and I did finish school well and later even went on to graduate school for my M.A. in speech pathology. That singular moment with her impressed up me to do the same for each of my five children, to give encouragement to each of them when it is due and to remind each of them of the potential they have to do whatever they believe God has gifted them to do.
    And finally, one last important memory of mom was her belief in God. She grew up regularly attending a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran church with her family. She continued that practice for her family. Going to church was a priority and a routine. She needed God and wanted us to know that we did, too. I am forever grateful to her for raising us to know Jesus Christ. My faith was solidified when I was in graduate school. Memories of sermons and Sunday school lessons came back to me when I most needed God in my life. I recognized that I was a sinner in need of a savior. I remembered the pastor at our Lutheran church telling us that God the Father sent His son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life on earth and to die on the cross paying the penalty for my sins and the sins of the world. The Bible promises that anyone who receives Him as Lord and Savior in their life is forgiven of their sins and is promised a home in heaven for eternity with God after death (John 3:16). That mom believed in the promises of God and confessed to be a Christian gives me and my siblings hope that we will see her again in heaven someday.
    I learned a lot of principles from my mother that are valuable for my own family. If I were to hold one last picture of mom in my mind, it would be this: she would be sitting in a lazy boy rocking chair in our first home, the Pink House on Stone Street, holding her little Pomeranian dog. As she pets Cocoa Bear and rocks the squeaky chair back and forth, she listens to me ramble about my day’s events. She listens intently because she loves hearing about my day. She would do the same for Mark and Nadine. She loved seeing her children grow because she loved each one of us. Yes, she loved us – that is what I will remember.

  2. Reflections of my mother, Jeanne Darlene (Rieger) Jacobson (by Nadine Cysewski)

    Mom learned shorthand early on in her career, it was a much needed skill. She was very proficient at it but even more important, she was also a very fast and accurate typist. I know she still loved her typewriter, she always kept one at home, it was something she preferred in the computer age. Those typing skills put her at the front desk of her long time job at Yellowstone Electric. She greeted clients to the main business office and worked there until retirement. She liked her job and loved to dress nice for being the greeter at the front desk.
    Mom balanced a full time job as a young mother of 3 children. She knew how to organize all of our schedules and be thrifty with every dollar. I never felt like we were lacking in anything, and we always had enough. She took her church attendance seriously in her weekly routine. Sunday was a feast day and often we shared it with family friends, the Dino family. I remember large spaghetti dinners and the parents sharing their stories of work and family. One of Mom’s favorite spaghetti recipes came from Charlie Dino, and she made it often.
    Mom definitely had a gift for preparing a feast for many occasions. From my younger years I remember it was fun elaborate dinner parties where she and Sherry would collaborate on a theme, staged under our patio tiki lights, for a Hawaiian Luau and drinks served out of pineapples. Later years, on visits home from college or jobs away, she made a Thanksgiving feast for all. She made everything from appetizers to dessert, and drinks if you wanted some. Cooking was second nature for her and probably comforting for her to provide for her loved ones. Some of my favorite foods were the thin pancakes, waffles , Kase Knefla, fried bread dough, and Apple Pie, she made the best pie crust I every had. She also carried on the tradition of canning and pickling. I think I had a whole jar of pickles once, they had just enough spice to them to make them better than any store brand. And many afternoons of picking chokecherries in surrounding Billings area resulted in so many jars of delicious chokecherry jelly.
    Mom and Dad treated the family to many outings and camping trips. I remember in our younger years doing the Dusk to Dawn movies in our old Dodge Polara family car, which also served as our go to hunting vehicle. And a big family trip to Disneyland, shortly after it opened. And of course the obligatory trip to Yellowstone Park in the truck camper. Parking illegally overnight must have stressed Mom out because she woke us up yelling “Its the Park Ranger”. I still think of that whenever I visit Yellowstone, as well as the beach ball floating down the FireHole river. She must have loved Yellowstone because of all the visits she continued to make. She planned the family gathering when the Joneses visit back to Montana on furlough. It was a big deal to plan for all those people especially on a Holiday weekend. Some other memories of our family trips in our younger years were all the weekends at Chippy Park on the Boulder River. Driving all night Friday after Dad got off of work, to wake up to pancakes in the mountains is a wonderful memory. Also, looking back, I don’t know how fond Mom was of backpacking, but she did it and it was a family event that I am grateful for. It showed that she wanted to do things as a family.
    Growing up, she scheduled us kids for summer activities like summer movies, swimming lessons and bike riding. And during school to keep us busy, she had us learn a musical instrument, I think to keep us out of trouble. High School can be such a difficult time, but having the school band to be part of was such a great natural fit, I look back on those days fondly and am so glad Mom introduced me to music.
    I remember when Mark graduated at Bozeman and got his first job in Tucson. Mom planned a fun touring trip to help him move to his new apartment. That was a real adventure and making the time to help set up Mark so far from home. She and Dad did that for me too when I moved out to Seattle. She encouraged us to start our careers in new communities outside of Billings.
    Mom planned and helped coordinate Jeff and my wedding in Billings. We were both working in Seattle, so it was great help to have her willing to do that. She did so much to make it go smoothly. It was special to wear her wedding dress, that was also Sherry’s wedding dress.
    Mom and Dad spent many years visiting Jeff and I and the kids in Seattle as they traveled in their RV. They loved to stay at a few places that were in some of the best spots in close Seattle. I would take the kids out to see them after school to see Mom and Dad with their pets, then take them into town for a dinner. Mom and Dad loved to see the sights around Seattle. One of Mom’s favorite trips was to Victoria BC and the Butchart Gardens. She spent time adding to her own garden ideas she saw at the Butchart Gardens.
    Mom loved her pets and made sure they could travel with her and Dad. And later in life she made sure that her pets always were well taken care of. She mentioned them often in her letters to us and the kids and sent them photos.
    I remember that Mom liked to branch out and try new things, she took Spanish classes and learned to swim. Both are hard to do later in life, but she took the initiative to do these. She really liked being active, she loved going to Red Lodge for downhill and cross country skiing. She took up tennis when I was in Junior High and High School and got really good at it. On most sunny weekends, she was out there playing tennis for many years.
    I guess my mental picture of Mom will always be of her standing in the framing of the house that her and Dad built together. She looked happy to have her new home being built and it was a beautiful photo of her.
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