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Charles Norman "Norm" Jacobs

1925 - 2014, Santa Barbara

Charles Norman “Norm” Jacobs died on July 1, 2014 following complications from a fall at the Saturday Farmers Market. He was 89. Norm was born in St. Francis Hospital on May 17, 1925 to Dr. Charles L. Jacobs and Siri “Sigrid” Arvidsson Jacobs. He grew up in the family home built by his father at 1841 Loma Street. As the son of a professor at the Santa Barbara Teachers College, Norm and siblings Anna Louise, Elizabeth and Allan attended grammar school at the Normal School on the Rivera Campus. Norm was a graduate of Santa Barbara Junior and Senior High. Immediately upon graduating from high school he enlisted in the Navy, was accepted into the V-12 Program and was sent to Rice Institute in Houston where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. At the end of WW-II, Norm (a life-long learner) obtained a master’s in education from Stanford.

Returning to Santa Barbara, Norm taught science at Carpinteria High. There he met Eleanor Hamilton. They married when both were attending Stanford. Christopher was born while Norm was completing his doctoral course work (in Palo Alto). In 1953 the young family moved back to Santa Barbara where Norm was employed as a school psychologist for the County. During this busy time, Sarah was born and Norm was working nights and weekends to write his PhD dissertation and prepare for his orals.

With his doctorate and clinical psychology license in hand, Norm went into private practice as a clinical psychologist in a shared office on Chapala Street. In the early 1960s, Norm and Jerry White became partners in an innovative practice which emphasized group and couples therapy as well as conventional therapy modalities. Throughout his career as a psychologist, Norm specialized in working with children, teenagers and young adults. Robin, Norm’s second daughter was born in 1966 when the family was living in Montecito. In the 1970s, Norm was appointed to the California Psychology Board by Governor Reagan. In addition to serving as a mentor and role model for many other local mental health care professionals, Norm held leadership roles in the Santa Barbara Psychological Association and the Mental Health Association of Santa Barbara County. In his retirement, Norm was an active and committed volunteer with Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc., a community service role for which he was honored in 2009 as the Senior Volunteer of the Year.

Norm was an avid tennis player, a founding member of Knollwood Tennis Club and played a competitive doubles game until well into his eighties at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Norm loved nature and was an ardent supporter or conserving resources and preserving open space. He was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable birder, and regularly hiked the beaches and front country trails of Montecito and Santa Barbara. Norm was also passionate about dancing and music, and liked nothing better than to get out his ukulele, and sing and dance at gatherings with friends and family.

Upon returning to Santa Barbara following a short stint in Lake Almanor during the 1990s, Norm joined the New Comers Club where he met and fell in love with Marilyn Conrad. They were married shortly thereafter. Norm was extremely fortunate to have lived well, travelled extensively, and shared many adventures during his 10 years with Marilyn. In addition to Marilyn, Norm is survived by his first wife, Eleanor Jacobs; his siblings Elizabeth Winder and Allan Jacobs, his three children, Christopher Jacobs, Sarah Jacobs and Robin Jacobs (Marcos Vargas); and his five grandchildren, Maya and Julianna Jacobs-Vargas, and Curtis, Hamilton and Siri Jacobs.

There will be a celebration of Norm’s life at 10 in the morning on Sunday, August 9, 2014, at Tucker’s Grove Park. Donations may be made to one of Norm’s favorite charitable causes, Planned Parenthood or Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.

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