FRANKLIN - J.C. Jacobs passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, Sept. 15, exactly two months before his 101st birthday. He had fallen and broken his hip on Friday while trying to mash a plastic bottle for recycling in his home, where he was living independently.
Born on Jacobs Branch in the Iotla community of Franklin, he was the eldest child of Eugene and Bessie Baldwin Jacobs. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Frankie Bumgarner Jacobs, and siblings, Kate, Radford and Carroll.
He was a World War II veteran, serving in North Africa and Italy. He owned and operated businesses on Main Street in Franklin for over 66 years, and in Highlands, Clayton and Sylva. His businesses included People’s Department Store, The Twins’ Shop, The Gift Gallery and Bridal Shoppe, Designer’s Alley: Bed and Bath and More. He was a visionary, building Harrison Garden Apartments, Brookwood Subdivision, Carriage Park Condos and the Meadow Wood Apartment Complex because he felt Franklin needed these types of living spaces.
He served as a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, as an alderman on the Town of Franklin board and as a school board member. He was a 62-year member of the American Legion, a 70-year member of the Masonic Lodge in Franklin and a proud member of the Franklin Rotary Club for over 72 years.
He was a member of First Baptist Church in Franklin, serving as a deacon and Sunday school teacher and department director. He was active in the Baptist Men of North Carolina and served as a member of the North Carolina Baptist General Board. He and his wife Frankie were honored to give generously to the Baptist Retirement Homes of North Carolina along with many other good causes.
He was a life-long learner and loved to travel. He believed in and lived out charity and service to his community. At age 100 he could still add a column of figures in his head and did business on a handshake.
He is survived by his daughters, Janet Jacobs Greene and Nancy Jacobs Paris; and beloved son-in-law Vic Greene; two sisters, Helen Byrd of Hendersonville and Lois Meadows of Franklin; grandchildren, Jason Long and wife Mary of Greenville, South Carolina, Lori Long and partner Chad Williams of Franklin, Heather Barrows Dorion and husband Craig of Cary, Brooke Barrows Morgan and husband Kyle of Matthews and Taylor Paris Marinakis and husband Zach of Chapel Hill; step-grandchildren, Megan Greene Roberts and husband Haynes of Athens, Georgia, and John Greene of Greenville; and great-grandchildren Haelan and Ashwin Long, Abi and Mya Echevarria-Long, Claire, Cole, and Sam Dorion, Graycen, Tucker, and Annie Morgan, Millie and Jane Roberts, and soon-to-be born baby Marinakis; and nieces and nephews. Also considered part of the family are Frances Ashe and Margaret Howard.
A celebration of his life will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at First Baptist Church in Franklin. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. with the service following. Burial will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery with Masonic rites conducted by the Junaluskee Lodge No. 145 and military rites conducted by the VFW Post 7339 and American Legion Post 108. Dr. Robert Brown, Dr. Victor Greene and Rev. Janet Greene will officiate. Pallbearers will be Jason Long, Craig Dorion, Kyle Morgan, Zach Marinakis, Chad Williams, Scotty Jacobs, Larry Jacobs and David Curtis.
Memorial donations can be made to WNC Baptist Home, 213 Richmond Hill Drive, Asheville, NC 28806.
Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.