James Jake Jakobsen

  • Born: May 25, 1927
  • Died: February 13, 2016
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

gayandciha@gayandciha.com
Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family


James F Jakobsen of Iowa City died Saturday, February 13th following a short illness.

James, called Jake by his friends, was born May 25, 1927 in Chicago Illinois, the son of Helen Andersen Jakobsen and Fredrik Jakobsen. His father had immigrated to America from Norway at the age of 18, while his mother was born in the United States, although of Norwegian parents. Jake was raised in Chicago and attended Taft High School, where he was elected president of the senior class. After his 18th birthday, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Finance Corps of the 5th Army, 1944-1945. Following his discharge he worked at Niehoff Automotive Products in Chicago. He then attended Southwest Missouri State (SMS), majoring in Mathematics and Economics and receiving a B.S. degree in 1950. While at SMS he met Jane Robinette. They married in 1951 and together attended graduate school at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Jake received the MA in mathematics 1952 and the PhD in 1959. That year he was appointed as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Iowa, where he served in several roles, including Department Associate Chairman.

In 1968 Jake was appointed Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School. At the time of his retirement in 1998, he was Senior Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs.

His responsibilities in the Graduate College included serving as liaison to the Graduate Student Senate, which honored his longstanding commitment to graduate student education by renaming their Graduate Forum the James F. Jakobsen Graduate Forum. In his time as Dean, Jake was also dedicated to recruiting under-represented minorities, women, and international students. He served a number of years as Director of the Summer Research Opportunity Program at Iowa. He played an instrumental role in the development of several awards and fellowships to provide opportunities to graduate students. He was a member of the American Mathematics Society and the Mathematics Association of America.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Robert and his sister Mary Ann. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jane, son Thomas, daughter Janet, and grandchildren Emily and Craig.

A one hour Visitation will precede the service beginning at 4pm on Friday February 19, 2016 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, where he was a long time member.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be directed to University of Iowa Foundation in support of the Graduate College, the Department of Mathematics, or St Andrews Presbyterian Church. Online condolences can be shared with Jake's family through the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com