Merle W. Jacobs


Merle W. Jacobs passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on April 28, 2024 in his cherished hometown of Quincy, IL, where he lived the majority of his life.

Merle was born on April 9, 1931, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL, to Fred and Florence (Brown) Jacobs. He was the oldest of four children. His siblings (in chronological order) were Carolyn Humke, Jonques Bissell, and Keith Jacobs (all of whom preceded him in death).

He was a graduate of Quincy Senior High School in 1949. After graduation, he attended Westminster College, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1953. On August 30, 1953, he married the love of his life, Darlene Eleanora Wagner. They were high school sweethearts, and married three weeks before he began medical school at Saint Louis University (class of 1957).

Merle’s medical training took them to various locations in the midwest which is where they also started their family. Their oldest daughter, Pamela F. Yates was born in Madison, WI, in 1958 when he was in his internship at St. Mary’s Hospital. Their second daughter, Kimberly J. Parrish was born in Iowa City, IA, in 1960 when he was doing his anesthesiology residency at the University of Iowa. They returned to Quincy, IL where they had their third daughter, Jennifer J. Frank in 1969. It was here that Merle began his private practice for 25 years. He was the first board certified anesthesiologist in Quincy. In 1983, he became a partner in Quincy Anesthesia Associates Inc., PC.

Merle was certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and was a fellow in the American College of Anesthesiology. In the 1970s, he served on the state board to write regulations for surgery and anesthesia Other professional memberships and affiliations include: American Medical Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Adams County Medical Society (where he served as secretary and treasurer). He spent his entire 42 1/2 year career serving the citizens of Quincy until his retirement in December of 2002.

From 1960-68, Merle served in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was in the 102nd Division, acting as Division Surgeon from 1965-1968. Additionally, Merle was very active in the community. His memberships and organizations included: Salem Evangelical Church (served on Church Council), Faith Presbyterian Church (served as an Elder), Quincy Country Club Board (served as membership chairman), YMCA of the Rockies (served on Membership and Policy Committee), Young Life (Core Committee), volunteer at Horizons Soup Kitchen, and member of both the Kiwanis and the Golden K Kiwanis.

People who knew Merle knew of his love of golf. He was an excellent player – for many years, he had a single-digit handicap! He was a member of the Walt Disney World Golf Classic Club from 1974-1999. At the end of his 25 years of playing in the Walt Disney World ProAm Golf Classic tournament, he was honored for his years of participation. Dad had numerous holes-in-one in his career… and he was the first golfer to score one in the ProAm tournament!

With time, Merle’s family grew and grew and grew! His children married and had families of their own, and Merle then became “Pop”. Pam married Lowell Yates and adopted two daughters, Pilar (Tyler) Brumbaugh and Pasha Yates. Kim married Randy Parrish and had three children: Tim (Danielle) Parrish, Amy (Clint) Daniels, and Katie (David McDonald) Parrish. Jennie married Keith Frank and became the mother to Steve (Tara) and Matt (Jessica) Frank. His grandchildren married and had families, too. Finley, Kynzleigh, Livi, Lincoln, Penelope, Oliver, Nilsa, and Levi were added to this beautiful family.

His family recently gathered and shared memories. They recalled family vacations all over the country when he attended medical meetings, parties, and trips with friends, and served as host for all of the family gatherings. He faithfully created annual photo albums for each family – personalized with the events for each family. These treasured time capsules are a source of vivid memories that allow the family to preserve the past and share it with the younger generations.

The most significant memory of Pop’s final years was his incredible strength, bravery, and will to live. He survived two rounds of bladder cancer and lived with Parkinson’s. The deep, unbounding love and dedication between Merle and Darlene (70 years of marriage!) kept Merle going. His beautiful bride passed away two months ago; his family believes he was missing her deeply and was ready to join her.

Merle was a quiet, loving, kind man who will be deeply missed. Words cannot express the deep sense of sadness and loss his family feels. We know that he is celebrating and dancing with Darlene and his Heavenly Father. He will forever be remembered and cherished.

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