Paul Jacobsen age 94, of Kearney, NE, formerly of the Merna area passed away May 6, 2022, at the Kearney Regional Hospital in Kearney, NE.
Memorial Services will be Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10:00 am at Govier Brothers Chapel in Broken Bow, NE with Father Jim Hunt, and Reverend Dougg Custer. Inurnment will be in the Merna Cemetery west of Merna with Military Honors. A visitation will be held on Friday, May 13, 2022, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, with family greeting 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Govier Brothers Mortuary. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. An online guest book may be signed at govierbrothers.com.
Paul Duane Jacobsen, born at home to John and Gladys (Johnson) Jacobsen on October 15, 1927, spent all but a few years growing up on the farm west of Gates, Nebraska. In 1940 Paul, at the age of 12, accompanied only by his 5-year-old brother, Loren, drove 4 head of horses and a wagon loaded with grain, harnesses and odds and ends for the move from Arnold back to Gates, a trip of about 50 miles. A favorite activity was swimming in the Middle Loup River and jumping off the bridge with his brothers and friends.
Paul graduated 8th grade in 1942 at Gates and then spent summers working on the Meyers’ farm or the Hannah ranch. He hitchhiked with truckers across several states on two different occasions, eventually joining the Navy at age 17.
Decorated with an American Area Medal and the Victory Medal, Paul served in WWII 1945-1947 as a Fireman First Class, working on an experimental ship that tested radar and sonar. He was stationed stateside, including San Diego CA, Omaha NE, Rhode Island, Norfolk VA, Boston MA, and Brooklyn NY, where he got to see Joe DiMaggio play baseball at the Polo Grounds.
In 1945 when President Truman passed through Broken Bow on the back of a train, Paul was in the crowd he waved to. A 1928 Ford Model A was Paul’s first car, that he paid 16 cents a gallon to drive.
After discharge Paul returned to Custer County where Emily Bruha, working at the Varney Rexall Drug, caught his eye! On April 20, 1952, Paul and Emily were married at National Hall, west of Ord, and set up a home at Gates. The following year LeAnn Marie was born and then in 1954 they relocated to Oregon where Paul worked a variety of jobs including at a sawmill and mowing wheat. When asked why they moved, Paul said “it was cold, and we were trying to break cows to milk; it wasn’t working so we loaded up the pickup and headed west.”
Barbara Joann was born before they returned to the Gates and Milburn areas, where Paul took up farming and later got his start in dirt construction. Ronald Paul blessed the family in 1956, John Randall in 1960 and Lori Kay in 1963, the year they moved to Merna, first living in town before settling on the west edge in 1977. During this time Paul worked in the bridge department for Custer County until starting Jacobsen Construction Service in 1969, which he ran until retirement. Merna was home until the age of 90 when he moved to Off Broadway in Broken Bow, and eventually to the Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearney.
One of Paul’s favorite memories is when they were living north of Gates and Emily asked him what kind of meat he wanted for dinner. “Let’s go somewhere and eat,” he answered. Where? They ended up having dinner in Ainsworth and supper in Chadron – and Paul had to be at work at 7am the next morning!
Paul loved to pack the family in the car or Grandpa’s pickup camper and take off for a few days to the Black Hills or Colorado. He could be found driving kids and their friends to track meets, cheerleading clinics or avidly supporting them at sporting events.
Drinking coffee with his friends at the local coffee shop became a favorite pastime after retiring.
Paul was a man who often said how blessed he was with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Those left to honor his memory include children: LeAnn (Dougg) Custer of Colorado Springs, son-in-law Jim (Selma) Bull of Phoenix, Ron (Judy) Jacobsen of Broken Bow, John (Janet) Jacobsen and Lori Utemark (fiancé, Rod Keesee), all of Kearney; grandchildren: Katrina Custer, Andreas (Jennifer) Custer, Scottland (Fiona) Custer, Jeffrey (Ashley) Bull, Diron (Amy) Jacobsen, Roni Marie Jacobsen, Bobbi Ann (Jared) Pettit, Jenny Jacobsen (fiancé, Aaron Rinehart), Katie (Michael) Allison, Brindi (Joe) Streufert and Derek Utemark; 19 great grandchildren, and brother Loren (Cleo) Jacobsen. He was preceded in death by his wife, Emily, parents, sisters Pauline Landreth and Helen Koch, brothers Harry and Harold Jacobsen, daughter Barbara JoAnn Bull, son-in-law Paul Utemark IV, grandson Jonathan James Jacobsen and granddaughter Jamie Lynn Bull.