John Wayne Jacoby was born April 19, 1956, at St. Helens Hospital in Chehalis to John and Doris (Amrine) Jacoby. Sadly, his father passed away when John was 7 years old. Years later, Doris married Kenneth Robinette, who John fondly referred to as dad until his passing.
John attended elementary, middle and high school in Winlock, graduating in 1974. He belonged to the FFA, Boys State Government Club, football, spelling bee, science club, band and choir. It was in school that John met his best friend, Robert Lewis, who would be by John's side the rest of his life, including standing as his best man when he married Cyndy and officiating the weddings of all three of their children. John began working at age 13 at Fred's Shell, Winlock, for Fred and Paul Blum. John admired both Fred and Paul and valued their wisdom and friendship over the years. After graduation, he continued his education earning an associate’s degree at Centralia College. Following college, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the FBI before returning home to start a family.
John met his future wife, Cyndy Decker, in September 1974, while they were both attending Centralia College. They were married on Nov. 22, 1975, at the former Assembly of God church in Toledo. Together they had three children of whom they are very proud, Jonathan, Sara and Michael.
After John and Cyndy married, he began working on the dairy farm of his in-laws, Floyd and Vida Decker, in Onalaska. Later on, he then went to work at Darigold, Chehalis, assembling and fixing farm equipment. When the implement store closed, he worked at the cheese plant in Chehalis. In 1987, he went into business with his father-in-law by opening a Mobil gas station in Salkum. In 1990, he was offered a job at the Onalaska School District. He began as a custodian/grounds maintenance worker and moved up to director of transportation. He then moved on to Chief Leschi School District in Puyallup where he retired in 2016.
John was a Boy Scout in the Winlock troop reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. He later became a troop leader in Onalaska, a role he took great pride in. He was also an avid deer and elk hunter and loved the time he spent with his boys teaching them all he knew. His love for hunting inspired him to become an instructor for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Hunter Education Program. John took pride in teaching young future hunters and was thrilled to learn of their skilled hunting accomplishments over the years. John was a member of Lewis County Fire District 8 for almost 30 years, including many years dressed as Santa for members of the department and their families. He was also a dedicated member of the Onalaska Lions Club and Washington Farm Bureau.
John retired in 2016. He kept busy by fixing dinner for Cyndy and doing laundry and other chores as she was still working. After she retired, they spent all of their time together, whether it was working in the yard or with the cows or making a trip to town. He especially enjoyed his grandchildren, spoiling each one of them and claiming each one was his favorite. John also spent his days doting on their various pets, but especially Toto, their beloved dog.
John was a wonderful husband, father and friend to so many. If you knew John, you know he loved to talk. Even during trips out of state, he always ran into someone he knew. His laugh could be heard echoing and was contagious to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed for so many reasons, but most of all his kind heart and generous soul.
John is preceded in death by his father, John Jacoby, mother, Doris Amrine-Jacoby-Robinette; stepfather, Kenneth Robinette; sister, Cindy; and stepbrothers, Marvin and Thomas Robinette.
He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Cyndy; son, Jon Jacoby, and his children Victoria, Evelyn and Parker; daughter, Sara (Curtiss) Hancock, and their children Bobby, Morgan and Kena; and son, Mike Jacoby, and his children Justin, Emalie, Jayson and Ellie. He is also survived by his wonderful little sister Debbie (Mike) McCluskey and many other cousins, aunts and uncles.
The family would like to send a special thank you to John's cousin, Sonny Webster, for his years of friendship, love and support to the family. John and Sonny could spend many hours recounting stories and memories from childhood and did so on a weekly basis.
John's family also extends their gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Robert McElhaney and his staff at Mary's Corner Medical Center for the care, support, guidance and love that they provided to John over many years. Also, a special thanks goes to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital staff for their professionalism and support they gave to John in his last days. He passed in peace and free of pain thanks to the care of outstanding providers and nursing staff.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 22 at Cattermole Funeral Home in Winlock with a potluck reception to follow at Hope Grange at 1 p.m.