American Veteran 04

Mark Alden Jacobson

June 21, 1964 ~ October 9, 2021 (age 57)


      Mark Alden Fehrm Jacobson

      Mark Jacobson was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 21, 1964, to Alden Jacobson and June Jacobson, a true Father’s Day gift.  Mark followed his older sister, Cyndee, and the trio of Jacobson kids later was complete when younger sister Heidi was born.  Both Alden and June were believers in Christ who raised Mark, Cyndee, and Heidi in church.

Sadly, Alden died when Mark was 10 after a car accident.  June devoted her life to raising the children, and by God’s grace and June’s devotion, Mark and his sisters enjoyed a stable home supported by family, friends, and the church family at Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church that surrounded and sheltered June and the kids with love and support.

     Even as a young boy, Mark was curious about how things worked in the real world and conducted his own experiments many including fire and explosions. These interests and his academic brilliance opened the door for him to the sciences and engineering.  Mark attended the California Institute of Technology on Pasadena for one year, and then transferred to Northrop University, where he graduated in 1986 with his degree in Electrical Engineering. He continued his studies at the University of California in Los Angeles while also working for Hughes Aircraft, all the while riding his bike over 5 miles each way to work in Los Angeles traffic!  Mark received his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.  Mark lived with and supported his mother, during this time. True to his love for new experiences, he took up horseback riding and – providentially – began to learn German. 

     In 1991, Mark undertook an assignment to work for Hughes on location in Germany.  Mark found his church home at Hahn Baptist Church, where he met Tanya, who was home from Bible school with New Tribes Mission in England.  Tanya needed rides to and from church and Mark provided them, so that the two came to know each other quickly.  After seeking counsel from close friends and the LORD’S will for their lives, Mark and Tanya became engaged before Tanya returned to England to complete school. 

     After Tanya’s graduation, Mark and Tanya were married on January 2, 1993, by Pastor Don Shelton of Hahn Baptist Church.  With American operations at the base winding down, Mark and Tanya returned to the United States three weeks after their wedding.  They lived first in Penn Valley, CA for just one year. In January of 1994 they moved to a community near Littleton, Colorado, where Mark and Tanya’s family grew to include daughters Anna and Leah.  

     In August 1998 Mark, Tanya, and the girls put down roots in Niceville, Florida, and made their home in the community.  Mark continued to work as a software engineer supporting the United States military.  Mark and Tanya’s family continued to expand, as God blessed them with son Jonathan and daughters Sara and Mia.  Mark and the family first attended First Baptist Church of Niceville where they met many special people who remain a blessing to the family.  Mark and Tanya later came to Rocky through a home fellowship group that included several members of Rocky.  Mark enjoyed tutoring at the Heights Tutoring program through Rocky and was part of the advisory council as well.  

     Mark had a core commitment to serving others, both in church and those in the world at large.  While still a young man he was an usher at Angeles Mesa in Los Angeles, and his commitment to service played out in countless acts of service, large and small, throughout Mark’s life.  As many can attest, he was a master at packing a U-Haul truck, which he did often and gladly to help others whenever he could.  At home, too, Mark was quite the handyman; he would at least try to fix almost anything except his car, which he more gladly entrusted to a skilled mechanic.  Mark honored the virtue of manual work and welcomed the break from his desk job. Even with all this manly work, he still found time to do the ironing; usually on Sunday afternoons, as he’d watch a show with Mia.

         Mark worked very hard at being a good father. Every Sunday morning, he would bless the family by making a special breakfast of waffles, French toast or omelets. Mark has left his children with a love for taking photos, making camp fires in the back yard, catching lizards, snakes, and all sorts of creepy crawly things, and of building and exploring. Not only was he willing to do projects for them, but he’d also gladly involve and teach them while doing so. Some of these last projects were helping Mia build a solid wooden chest, and helping Leah with computer upgrades. He also showed how proud he was of their endeavors, such as Mia’s baking, Sara’s cooking, and Leah’s art.

     Mark was a valued team member at Eglin Air Force Base, where he was a senior software engineer at the Joint Assessment Division for over 22 years.  Over the years, Mark mentored many less experienced engineers and analysts and helped enable the Joint Assessment Division to stand unique in its capacities.  Mark was a consummate professional who cared deeply about the organization’s mission as well as for the people around him.  He was an upbeat, engaging, and thoughtful person. His expertise, brilliance, humor and positive energy will be sorely missed by his Eglin colleagues.

     Mark is survived by his wife, Tanya Jacobson, his daughter and son-in-law, Anna and Stephen Dawson, daughters Leah, Sara and Mia Jacobson, son Jonathan Jacobson, sisters Cyndee Stusiak and Heidi de Bellis, and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family. 

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