Diana Lynn Jacobson, 61, returned to God last Monday, October 29, 2012 at St. Luke's Heart Institute.
Diana was born on December 11, 1950 to Anton and Maxine Simanowitz in Leavenworth, KS. A lifelong resident of the area, Diana attended Catholic school, graduating from Immaculata in 1968.
She worked several jobs during high school including at the CW Parker factory where she helped paint carousel horses. She lost her father at the tender age of 16 and that heartache informed her career as a social worker who worked tirelessly for children too soon acquainted with tragedy in their lives.
Diana married Ron Jacobson on June 22, 1968. They bought their home in Lansing where they lived for 37 of their 44 years together. In her spare time while raising five children,
Diana's jobs ranged from bookkeeper to CNA. She was a lifelong learner who loved people.
She never met a stranger, just someone whose life story she didn't know yet. She worked at a Lansing nursing home in the 1980s, then went to work at Leavenworth Hospice as their Volunteer Coordinator in the 1990s. At 42, she returned to college to get her BS in Social Work. She squeezed in night classes and a full time job while being a Scout leader, catechism class instructor, grief camp counselor, and more. Diana was active in the American Business Women's Association (ABWA). At Catholic Charities in Kansas City, KS as a medical social worker for their hospice team, she held vigil for many souls passing from this life to the next. But her passion was helping children, so she pursued an MSW at KU that would allow her to become a school social worker. After completing the accelerated Master's program in 2003, Diana worked at the Leavenworth School District making a difference in schools where 78% of the students were at or below the poverty line. She began a Girl Power program that continues to this day to reward girls who show exceptional school performance.
Diana was known for her giving heart. Every Christmas, she brought smiles to children's faces who wouldn't have gotten any gifts without her intervention. Diana was a maverick who didn't let obstacles that would have intimidated others stand in her way. She was gifted at knowing your needs before you could.
She loved to travel with her husband on road trips where they rarely had an itinerary. They drove around the country in pursuit of interesting destinations she had read about - usually that incorporated some new interest of hers such as aquaponics, Native American history or organic gardening. She had a thirst for knowledge that often meant she was ahead of the curve on topics from the economy to holistic medicine.
Diana loved her 12 grandchildren with all her might and took them on many adventures, riding the carousel at the CW Parker Carousel Museum, and spoiling them. Diana is survived by her husband Ron Jacobson; her five heartbroken children; John Jacobson, Jason Jacobson, Bart Jacobson, Sarah Jacobson Preu and Joe Jacobson; their spouses; and her 12 grandchildren ranging in age from 3 months to 22 years; her brothers, Tony Simanowitz and Mark Simanowitz; half-brothers George Kane, Ronnie Kane, and Steven Simanowitz.
Page 2 of 2 - Services at Belden-Larkin Funeral Home in Leavenworth, KS with a mass of Christian burial at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Lansing. In lieu of flowers, donations to the CW Parker Carousel Museum are appreciated.