Dwayne Trueman Jacobson – May 28, 1946 to February 16, 2016
Dad’s Eulogy, delivered by his daughter’s Shannon and Lise on February 20, 2016
This is a small Tribute to my Dad. It’s a little random and doesn’t follow a timeline. It’s just like my dad.
Don’t worry… this will only take 5 minutes. With dad everything took 5 minutes from cleaning your disaster of a room, to mucking the horse stalls, to mowing the back 40 (ok it was only 10 acres but to a 13 year old with a push mower it felt like 100)…. it will only take 5 minutes!!!! My dad may have had a fascination with watches and clocks but he had absoluetly no concept of time.
Dad was born at a very young age, when he was born he was very close to his mother. If you knew my dad – you know he’d be cracking himself up while he said that. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta on May 28th, 1946 to Carrie and Trueman Jacobson. He had a brother who was 4 years older than him, Dennis passed away on September 4th, 2011 from cancer, also at the age of 69. He told us stories about his childhood with an outhouse and no running water in the house which made bath time in the galvanized steel bathtub a tedious job as they hauled the water in from outside. The cleanest family member went first… Needless to say dad grew up very poor.
When dad was 2 his father passed away from complications of Scarlet Fever. As he grew up, he wanted a dad like other families had. On his way home from school he used to stop strangers and ask them if they wanted to come home with him to meet his mom. When he was 13 his mom finally remarried, Emil Arthur Schultz, who we loved as our grandpa.
Dad was a scoundrel as a teenager… In high school he was known as Mr Wolf….. a bit of a player is putting it mildly and not much of a scholar… Until his drafting teacher who saw his potential as a draftsman encouraged him to buckle down. His teacher enrolled him at NAIT in Architectural Technology. He had found his passion, soon school and his drawings became his focus. He graduated in 1967 and was offered a position in a design firm in Vancouver in 1971.
He loved to play hockey on the frozen ponds in Edmonton. When he was 16 he was invited to play for the Montreal Canadian farm team but he didn’t want to leave home (and there was no money in hockey back then). Hockey continued to be a part of his life until the time in the early 80’s when he almost lost his bottom row of teeth…. in a church league. And keeping in true Dwayne form, he did the whole dental procedure of pulling his teeth out of his gums with zero freezing.
Dad’s life story is a love story.
Knowing what it was like to grow up without a dad it made sense that dad fell in love with a woman and her 2 girls that were in need of love… an instant family fit him perfectly.
He met and married our mom after a whirlwind romance in about 8 weeks time. It was truly a LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. He planned the wedding himself and told Mom the night before they were getting married. He also surprised her with a honeymoon all planned out. He was a romantic and loved showering mom with gifts.
He loved showering everyone with gifts. He was a very generous man.
Mom and her 2 girls who were 7 & 8, Kim and Tammie, were quickly the only family he needed. He felt they were his own, and told mom he didn’t need to have any more… then surprise, surprise, I came along in 1972 and a playmate for her, Lise, arrived 21 months later.
A little while later their family grew a little bigger when a teenager named Cathy needed a home, she was welcomed immediately and is still referred to as one of our “sisters”. Then came another teenager named Dwight, dad needed some testosterone in the house, he was always surrounded by girls. Not long after that, our cousin Lori moved in, soon followed by her sister; Rena. Our home was never empty, it was constantly a house for refugees, troubled teens and people needing a new start in their life. If there was a guest speaker at the church, they stayed at the house. Everyone was welcomed with open arms.
When we moved to the farm with just Lise and I (everyone else had gotten married and moved out), still our house doubled as a hotel. When we had no more room in the house, dad built a suite in the hay loft of the barn. That wasn’t the end of it though, we had international people stay with us. Kazoa from Japan, Laticia from Brazil, Claudia from Romania, Vera from Germany, Adreana from Argentina.
Dad loved to take us camping, bumper skiing, and on bike rides. He was a very involved father even though he worked SO much he made the time he did have at home count.
If we were sick, his first response would be to pray. If we were facing a difficult time or decisions in our lives, his first response would be to pray and encourage us to stand in faith for the answers.
On the weekend he would cook for us waffles with freshly picked blackberries and whip cream or pancakes, individually designed with our initials.
He made the best sandwiches at the school. We had people offering to trade us their entire lunch bag for just one of Dwayne’s sandwiches.
He took us on countless Road Trips, he was our constant tour guide. This continued on throughout our entire lives, even last summer after his diagnosis, we all went camping in Oregon together.
Everyone in the neighbourhood pretty much lived at our house. He was the fun dad.
Dad had a great sense of humour. He would often be laughing at his own jokes so hard he could barely finish them. He liked to wear goofy glasses, make funny faces and laugh.
He had big Angels. He often got a glimpse of his angels, he kept them very busy!!
Being the workaholic that Dad was, he always took his work home with him. Literally. Windows, Doors, Flooring, chairs… you name it he could find a new use for it. He saved everything – you never know when you’ll need a 5 x 7 double pained argon filled, UV coated, tinted glass window… in fact his garage is still full of THINGS.
Speaking of Work Life…
He opened Jacobson Design Group in the early 70’s which by the 80’s was among the biggest for volume in the country. He was an award winning designer, listed in the top 10 for Design and Innovation in Canada. He was always cutting edge, he was doing things no one else was, he was always pushing the envelope. His designs were easily recognized by their geometrical shapes, textures and colours.
It wasn’t enough to just design the office space: he designed the flooring, the furniture and because he paid attention to such detail, he would even paint a canvas to compliment the new interior.
He contributed to the design of the interior of Christian Life Assembly in Langley, BC. Parts of the Banff Spring Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, the US Consulate in Vancouver, the old Coca-Cola building which is now where LuLuLemon is and the Hollyburn Country Club in West Van. Overwaitea Foods and London Drugs head offices, the Bank of Hong Kong building and that’s just the beginning, there are too many office spaces in Vancouver to count.
If you’ve ever been to South Surrey / White Rock, BC you’ll know of a piece of property called the Morgan Creek Golf Course. Our dad had a dream and put that together.
Mom had seen the “for sale” ad for the farm in the paper and she heard God say that it was for us, it was a gift. They sold their place in North Vancouver and moved us to the country in 1985. 10 acres with horses, cats and dogs. South Surrey looked so different back then!
Things got tough in the design world and we pretty much lost everything, except for the farm, which was by the grace of God and by the help of friends. Dad had been praying and believing for a miracle to get his family out of the financial mess we were in. He’d been praying for divine intervention, for Godly wisdom, for witty inventions Proverbs 8:12. He kept thinking God would give him an idea he could patten; when one day as he looked over the property God gave him a vision of a golf course / housing development. He went from door to door, telling his neighbours of this idea and if they all got together, what a glorious day it would be. It took 5 years of planning and hundreds of visits to City Hall, it was approved.
This property was a gift. It provided them with more than enough to start over. In 2013, Dad shared this story on my blog, “The Path from Poverty to Wealth.”
In 1994 Dad attempted to leave the design world, but he always got sucked back in as he was a creator person by nature. My parents bought Haven Management Real Estate and Property Management… and in 2002 they started they latest business adventure together, we wonder if you have heard of a little restaurant called the Roadhouse Grille… shameless plug… dad would BE SO PROUD!! Walking in the doors of the Roadhouse your eyes and senses are overloaded with incredible design and attention to details that take several visits to fully appreciate… I mean SEVERAL… that means go and go often, yes a shameless plug but I can’t help myself, I am Dwayne’s daughter. Even to the last minute dad was handing out business cards in the hospital for a 2 for 1 entree… Seeing the inside of the Roadhouse is like a peek inside of our dad’s brain, full of amazing intricate details that on their own don’t quite make sense but are perfectly blended all together … somehow it just works.
When dad gave his life back to the Lord in 1974 he dove right back in and gave to the church and ministries like he did with his work and his family.
When he was working out of downtown, one of his favourite gatherings was FGBMFI – full gospel business man’s fellowship international, when a group of businesses men would get together over lunch and listen to testimonies about how good God was.
Mom and Dad had a radio station program called H.O.P.E., Helping Others Prevail Effectively. They took over International Help Ministries and helped launch S.O.S. Radio in Ploesti, Romania in the early 90’s. The first Christian Radio Station in the Eastern Block…. in fact, the first radio station in Romania that wasn’t government controlled. Over the last 20 years, Dad helped our church buy their buildings and renovate and Dad helped start a Chinese church in White Rock 12 years ago.
The love for travel was shared by both our parents, and in the last 6 years they pretty much saw the world. Wether it was in their RV or on a cruise, dad loved to travel. He took his grandkids on several trips in the RV as well. Through their travels they found the GMC club, and they were welcomed in as part of their family. With all the girls gone and out of the house, it was nice for them to have a group of people that were more than just friends; they really were a family to them, and still are huge supporters to our mom.
Dad was a giver, he would give the shirt off his own back. He taught us to give, to give freely and give often and give more and when you have given all you have… give some more. He would often talk about Seed Time and Harvest. If you have a need, you sow a seed. We are blessed to be a blessing.
When Dad asked who wanted to go with him to the store, you said YES because you knew that there would be either ice cream, chocolate or candy involved but mostly likely all three.
Later on in life, it sometimes included a new pair of shoes and on the rare occasion… a new car!
Dad loved to build, wether it was an office building or a tree fort, he loved helping people discover their hidden talents and giving them a job, planting churches and opening our house doors to just about anyone who was in need. He built character into others, implemented dreams into action better then anyone we have known. He was a visionary.
He was our cheerleader, our tour guide, our protector, our paparazzi, our mentor, our hero.
Now dad has gone before us and is our witness in the sky, cheering us on as we finish our race here.