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James Jake Jakobsen

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“I provided Dr. Jakobsen's dental hygiene preventive care for several years. I enjoyed seeing him at each visit and hearing about his family. He was...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: Nancy Sisty LePeau - Iowa City, IA

“Jane, Tom and Janet, thinking back fondly of the times our families shared. My heart goes out to you all. ”
2 of 11 | Posted by: Ann Greenwood Rose - Friend

“Jane and family, I had some interaction with Jake in my various positions at the U of I. And sadly, did not have the honor of working with him...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: Kathy Klein Gerling - Davenport, IA

“Jake was a true friend to our family. He became a part of my life when I was 13 years old and his son Tom married my sister Janice. His modesty,...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Karen Greenwood Henke - CA

“What a sad thing - for the world to lose such a fine example of what it means to be human, in all the best ways. Jane, I am at a complete loss of...Read More »
5 of 11 | Posted by: Les Sims - Chevy Chase, MD

“I had the privilege of succeeding Jake as Associate Dean of the Graduate College after he retired. Jake was always a source of knowledge, wisdom and...Read More »
6 of 11 | Posted by: John Keller - Iowa City, IA

“I worked at the Graduate College in 1981. My son, Randy was a Freshman at the University that year and was having trouble with his math class. Dean...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: A friend

“Jane, The healing power and comfort of the Holy Spirit bless you, your family and friends. With love, Karen. ”
8 of 11 | Posted by: Karen Downey Beals - Hilo, HI

“Jake set the tone for the University of Iowa Graduate College values and actions when I had the privilege and pleasure to work with him. It was...Read More »
9 of 11 | Posted by: Sandra Barkan - Washington, DC

“Jake took me in and mentored me when I was appointed an assistant dean in the Graduate College at the University of Iowa. I learned lifetimes of...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: William Welburn - Iowa City, IA

“Jake was my academic advisor my first year as an undergraduate math major at Iowa. As a first semester freshman he put me in the proof algebra class...Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: Dan Anderson - Coralville, IA

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 @