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Melvin's Story

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Services to honor and remember the life of Melvin Elwood "Jake" Jacobs will be 1 p.m., Thursday, June 2, 2016 at Collinsville Baptist Tabernacle, 13300 E. 136th St. North.
Interment with military honors will follow at Oakhaven Memorial Gardens in Claremore. Family will receive friends for visitation from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday evening at Rice Funeral Service.
Melvin passed away Sunday, May 29, 2016 at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee. He was 90.
Born June 9, 1925 in Littleton, Colorado, Melvin was the second of five children born to George Ray and Lendle Marjorie (Farr) Jacobs. Claremore, Oklahoma served as home to young Melvin as his parents returned to their roots in rural Rogers County.
Melvin's dad, a welder, taught his only son this trade and after completing the eighth grade, Melvin joined his father, as the two found employment at a submarine base in Panama — after receiving top secret security clearance.
A few years later, around the age of 18, Melvin was drafted into the U.S. Army. A man who enjoyed any opportunity to lighten the mood, Melvin found himself performing quite a lot of KP duty for his antics in the service. It is quite possible that his standing was often in jeopardy, but the fact of the matter was he lifted the morale of his company so much that they dare not move him.
Melvin's unit, the 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, served in the European Theatre during World War II and was credited with being involved in the Battle of the Bulge. They were also instrumental in clearing the Ruhr Pocket, which helped lead to the fall of Germany. Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Melvin resumed his career as a welder.
In 1948, he met Arlene Dorothy Yarnell at a dance in the old Claremore armory building. This meeting led to a courtship and to the eventual marriage of the young couple.
A wedding ceremony took place on October 30, 1948 in Ulysses, Kan. and it was in Oklahoma that they established their home.
In 1951, Melvin joined the service again, this time the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged four years later.
It was during this time that the young couple grew their family.
They first welcomed daughter, Vivian Kay. Later they made their family complete with the birth of sons: Ray and finally, Melvin Eugene.
Following the fast paced life of a pipefitter and welder was a little much for young mother, Arlene. Finally, enough became enough and although she wasn't quite ready to trade Melvin in, she was tired of uprooting her family, sometimes after just a few short weeks on location. Arlene told Melvin he could continue to travel and provide for their family, but their family was returning home to Claremore.
For a number of years Melvin continued to travel, finding the best paying jobs to support his family.
He would eventually find work closer to home as he helped to build the power plants in Choteau and Oologah and as he worked at various jobs in and around Tulsa.
Melvin was a 50-year member of the Pipefitters Union (local 430) in Tulsa.
Melvin lived by the saying, "Life is fast, fish slow". In fact, he would get up before work to go fishing. If the fish didn't bite before work, he would stop on the way home and try again.
In addition to fishing, Melvin enjoyed playing golf, walking around his acreage and he definitely loved to joke and clown around with anyone — especially his grandchildren.
A man of strong faith, he not only went to church every time the doors were open, but served by volunteering his time and also his skill as he was even involved in the construction process of multiple church buildings.
Melvin believed if one put God first, that everything else would take care of itself. He was a family man and took the task of a provider seriously throughout his working career. He was a role model for his family and his sense of humor and feistiness will be sorely missed.
It will now be up to those family members he leaves behind to carry on his legacy of instigating, aggravating and loving others. Melvin is survived by: his wife of nearly 68 years, Arlene (Yarnell) Jacobs; his children: daughter, Vivian Kay Taylor; sons: Ray Jacobs and Melvin Eugene Jacobs all of Claremore; 5 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, his grandparents and four sisters: Raye Belle, Tracy Jane, Lowell Oquita and Klo Monteen.
Published on June 1, 2016
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