Joan ‘Cherie’ Jacobsen June 22, 1921 – July 21, 2019 Joan “Cherie” Lawes Jacobsen passed away peacefully on the morning of Sunday, July 21, 2019 at the age of 98. Cherie was born the youngest of 3 daughters in 1921 in Ossining, New York to Lewis E. and Kathryn S. Lawes. Lewis Lawes was a noted penologist, author and the long-time warden of Sing Sing prison. While growing up on the grounds of a famous prison might seem strange to some, it was a wonderful home to Cherie. Her stories of interactions with the inmates were heartwarming, as they watched over her as if she were their own. Her father’s courage, grace and even humor in dealing with the incarcerated, and navigating the heated politics of the time, were the touchstone of her upbringing and lessons she never forgot. Cherie’s unusual life even led to a small movie role, playing herself in a film called “Up the River”, with Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart, based on one of her father’s books. Her very happy and unique childhood ended abruptly with the tragic accidental death of her mother when Cherie was just 16. She found refuge at the Scarborough Day School in Briarcliff Manor, New York which provided much needed stability, and which also brought her to the love of her life, Henry Jacobsen. He was handsome and athletic and three years older, but Cherie always held his heart in her hands, and they were united in love, until he passed away 40 years later. After Scarborough, Cherie attended Pembroke College in Brown University and later transferred to Rollins College in Florida. With the onset of the Second World War, she left school to work for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as a secretary in the Commander’s office. There she had a front row seat to history as several famous military and political figures came through regularly. Cherie and Henry, or Jake as she always called him, married in 1946 in Garrison, New York and began their life together. Born: June 22, 1921 Death: July 21, 2019 After their oldest son Lewis was born, they were transferred to Winnetka, IL and as soon as Cherie saw the beautiful expanse of Lake Michigan, she knew she would be happy here. Two more children, Chris and Joanna, came and Cherie was a devoted mother. She became an accomplished cook and baker, involved herself in Girl Scouts (though she never really took to camping!) and the Holy Comforter Church rummage sales. Jake’s passion was coaching football and baseball at Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, and Cherie was his number one fan and official scorekeeper of all the baseball games. The boys on those teams were like an extended family to them. Though they had always imagined old age together, it was not meant to be as her strong, athletic Jake passed away from cancer at just 62. Widowed at age 59 with her children grown, Cherie began work outside the home for the first time in some 35 years. She was blessed to find work at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka in the front office, eventually becoming office manager. There for about 10 years, she was very happy. She could walk to work; it was a beautiful setting and the people were wonderful. Her retirement saw the arrival of the great joy of her life, her three grandsons –Matthew, Benjamin and Griffin. She was endlessly interested in everything they did, from first steps to first jobs, and her one great regret on leaving this life was not knowing what else was ahead in the boys’ lives and not being there to share it. In her later years Cherie led a quiet life but her seemingly frail and tiny body belied a strength that surprised us all. Her cooking and baking took up a lot of time, and she baked her own bread from scratch every Thursday until she was 96 years old. She was also an avid reader and faithful patron of the Winnetka Public Library and quite possibly may have read every single mystery and cookbook they have. As old age began to take its toll, her joys were simple. Her children and grandchildren and a nice meal together around the table. Oh, and Hershey bars, her favorite treat up until the very end. Throughout her life, Cherie’s faith in God gave her a solid foundation. Always faithful, she was a true prayer warrior, in her later years praying for lists of people every single day. Though she is, and will be, terribly missed, we take comfort in knowing she is reunited with her family and with God. Cherie is preceded in death by her parents Lewis and Kathryn Lawes, her sisters Crystal and Kathleen, her beloved niece Kathy Miller and her husband Henry. She is survived by her children Lewis of Westborough, Massachusetts; Christian of Winnetka, Illinois; and Joanna Powell (Jeffrey) of Northfield, Illinois and her grandsons Matthew, Benjamin and Griffin. Memorial Service: Friday, July 26, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Holy Comforter, 222 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL 60043. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cherie’s memory to: Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District P.O. Box 8146 Northfield, IL 60093 (or online at www.winnetkalibrary.org/library-info/friends-of-the-library/ in the name of Joan L. Jacobsen) Info: www.donnellanfuneral.com or (847) 675-1990
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Joan ‘Cherie’ Jacobsen 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Evanston, state: Illinois