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Francis Jacobs ’37

Published in Sept. 10, 1997, issue

Having just attended our 60th reunion in a wheelchair, accompanied by dear friend Natalie Keenan, eminent gymnast and pediatrician Fran "Jake" Jacobs died June 2, 1997, of cardiac arrest. He left sons Francis II and Peter, daughters Jane and Josephine Heyneker, and nine grandchildren. His wife, Ginny, died in 1993. In 1978, Fran said he didn't feel a day older than in 1933, and couldn't retire. He then weighed 178, never drank, did smoke cigarettes, didn't watch TV regularly, and maintained a four-story, historic (1886) home and its grounds.

He prepared at the Hill School. At Princeton he majored in biology, earning second group honors. He captained the freshman and varsity gym teams, received the all-around gymnastic championship in 1936, and was a member of the Glee Club and Quadrangle Club.

Fran earned his medical degree at the U. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He was later cochief of pediatrics service at Chester County Hospital, chief of staff in 1965-66, and consultant in pediatrics at Memorial Hospital of Philadelphia. For over 40 years, he was school physician at Westtown School.

During WWII, he was a captain in the medical corps at Thayer General Hospital in Nashville, and chief of contagious diseases at Oliver General Hospital in Augusta, Ga. He was a member of or consultant to several prominent local medical boards.

The Class of 1937

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