Vivian “Jake” Jacobson
Inducted Saturday, September 27, 2014
Vivian Rauk Jacobson graduated as salutatorian from Esmond (N.D.) High School at age 14 and entered Moorhead State College, now Minnesota State University Moorhead, at age 15. She majored in music, dramatics and education and was given a special permit to teach in North Dakota at age 17.
Jacobson began her 41-year teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse near Esmond, followed by nine years teaching in North Dakota elementary schools, Belgrade, Minn., and Lake Crystal, Minn.
In 1945 Jacobson was named U.S.O. program director of the European Theater of War under Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton, staging performances for troops during World War II. She was emcee and played for American celebrities such as Phil Silvers and Frank Sinatra, and she played the funeral march with the Bastian Symphony Orchestra while in Corsica for the memorial services of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After 28 months of service, Jacobson returned to the United States to consider her options, including accepting an assignment at the Taj Mahal or attending UCLA’s drama department. Instead, she married Donald Jacobson, moved to Moorhead and taught for Moorhead Area Public Schools for 31 years. Jacobson taught music and fifth grade at Park School for two years and then music at Riverside Elementary, providing students with a strong background in music. Known as Jake to her friends, Jacobson taught patriotic selections and staged 10 to 12 programs a year.
Jacobson was affiliated with the Tri-College Student Teaching Program, supervising a record 245 student teachers. She was elected to the Minnesota Elementary Music Educators board in 1979 conducting workshops, serving as secretary, and in April 1980 hosting the National Music Convention in Minneapolis.
After retiring in 1979, Jacobson continued writing and directing original musicals and volunteering at nursing and health care centers. For 22 years, she was president and program chairman of the Golden Agers, a non-denominational group sponsored by First Lutheran Church of Detroit Lakes, Minn. She also was active in the retired teachers organization, VFW and other Auxiliaries, church organizations and many volunteer efforts.
Vivian and her husband, Donald, lived in Moorhead, Minn., before moving to Lake Six, near Frazee, Minn. Donald died in 2000. They have three children, LeClaire, Lynelle and Lydell (deceased). Vivian Jacobson died on Nov. 1, 2008, at age 92.