Thomas “Vallie” Jacobs, 91, of Centerville, passed away Monday, March 11, 2013 at the VA Hospital in Des Moines.
He was born on Feb. 14, 1922 in Centerville, the son of Clyde and Mary E. (Cridlebaugh) Jacobs. Tom grew up in Centerville and received his education in the Centerville Schools. He spent his late teen years working in the Appanoose County coal mines. Tom enlisted in the United States Army on July 6, 1944. In December of 1944 Tom was deployed overseas to defend his country in World War II. He fought against the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. Tom was wounded while serving his country. For his bravery, he received two bronze stars, good conduct medal and a purple heart. He was honorably discharged from the Army on Oct. 20, 1945. Tom was proud of his service to his country.
Following his military career, Tom worked in the transportation field as a trucker. Driving an 18 wheeler for more than 50 years, he traveled the entire United States. In fact, his travels as a trucker led him to every state except Hawaii. He had a passion for all 18 wheelers, especially Peterbilts. His trucking years led him to employment with a few different companies, including Indian Head Transport, Reppert Heavy Moving and Selman RV Trucking.
Tom is survived by his wife, Norma Jacobs of Centerville; three children, Marilyn (Richard) McGehee of Guston, Ky., Jerry Jacobs of Grimes and Bill (Lavonne) Jacobs of Des Moines; two step-children, Gary (Mary) Stickler of Centerville and Kim (Scott) Clayberg of Des Moines; a daughter-in-law, Juanita (Jacobs) Hunt of Randolph, Ala.; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; five step grandchildren; six step great-grandchildren; and a sister, Ilo Savage of Des Moines.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Larry Jacobs; wife Lois; brothers, Gilbert, Forest, Wayne, Clyde and Glen Jacobs; and sisters Noma Riggle, Ilona Rice, Nellie King, Opal Woods, and Wanda Kozeliski.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville with Pastor Lloyd Johnston officiating. Burial with full military honors will be held in the Haines Cemetery, north of Centerville. A visitation will be held on Friday, March 15 at Lange Funeral Home from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. with the family present from 6-8 p.m.
Memorials have been established to either the First Baptist Church of Centerville or the Centerville American Legion and may be given to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, IA, 52544.
Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.