Donald Wayne Jacobs, writer, musician, folk historian and friends with uncountable people from the woods of Deep East Texas to the spires of refineries in Southeast Texas, died Aug. 24, 2018.
He passed peacefully just 12 hours after enjoying breakfast, conversation and making plans to return to his Beaumont home after some medical treatment at Harbor Hospice.He was 80.
He lived in Southeast Texas for 65 years, graduating from Nederland High School where he played football for Coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips. Don later served his country proudly in the National Guard and worked many years at Neches Butane while attending Lamar University.
Don was a natural writer and a prolific wordsmith who enjoyed working in the newspaper business, writing informative and witty columns for The Champion in Center, Texas, The Business Review and especially for The Beaumont Enterprise with his weekly column, “Country Music Corner," and later, a general interest column on whatever moved him, to wit: "To me, and countless other kids of my generation, Center was the perfect place to grow up, As with many similar towns, Center featured a beautiful historic courthouse on the square, surrounded by every business a county seat of that era might require. "Every day during our early years, when the final bell rang at Center Grammar School, a gaggle of boys and a giggle of girls would head out in various directions around the square."
When he was 12 years old, Don took an "East Texas dare" and took to the stage and sang Hank Williams Sr.’s "Lovesick Blues" at the East Texas Fox Hunt and Talent Show.He noted wryly in a much-later column that there are three things that cannot be taught — "generosity, a forgiving heart and a singing voice." He also noted, "I get a lot of requests when I sing, but I sing anyway." He populated his columns with the names of friends and classmates, describing scenes with his light touch, the same kind he applied to his guitar — he owned a Martin, one of the best acoustic instruments a player could want. He started playing at 10 years old and a couple of his originals were “You Said You’d Be Mine When I Got Big” and “Huggin’ and Chalkin.” He was an excellent guitarist and entertained audiences in music, song, jokes and with his in-depth ability to tell a story. He also once worked at Pyle Com, which ran radio stations and he helped edit books.
Don was also a part of the Casa Ole and Crazy Jose’s restaurant family. On reading an article Don wrote on local businessman Tom Harken, the Harken family asked Don to serve as Tom’s liaison officer, a job he loved and held for over 22 years. One of Don’s favorite pastimes was writing about others. He had a genuine interest in honoring their lives and telling their stories.
His was a life well-lived, leaving behind countless friends and fond memories. He is survived by his brother, Bruce Jacobs of California and sisters, Judy Daniel and Sherry Weldon (Dana) of Port Neches, TX; nieces Susan Daniel and Katy Boudoin (Trayce) of Port Neches, and nephew Jacob Weldon of New York; step-son Mike Shaw and step-grand-daughter Jessica Marcantel of Vidor, TX; and two great-nieces Karys and Layla Boudoin of Port Neches. His cremation arrangements were handled through Claybar Funeral Home. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. He will remain forever in our thoughts and in our hearts.