Marion Claire Jacobs

Marion Claire Jacobs

Marion Claire Jacobs

Cedar Rapids

Marion Claire Jacobs passed away on the morning of Dec. 22, 2022, at the age of 91, following a brief illness.

She was youngest of seven children, born to John and Anna (Nigg) Degnan on Sept. 13, 1931, living in Guttenberg, Iowa. On March 11, 1951, while attending Marycrest College, in Clinton, she happened to meet John P. Jacobs at a dance. Later at a sledding party, while other guests were in the warming house, she and “Jake” remained outside and talked and laughed easily, completely unaware of the cold outside or the passing time. Thanks to a crowded car ride on the way home, Marion had to sit on Jake’s lap and it was that moment that sealed the love story that would follow for nearly six decades. They married on June 26, 1954, at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg, after Jake returned from the Korean conflict. To their wonderful union, six children were born. They raised their children in accordance with their Catholic faith, instilled in them commitments to family, faith and the compassionate service of others. Marion was a life-long learner, finishing her bachelor’s degree in English from Mt. Mercy University at age 45, while raising their six children. After teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) at Washington High School and Coe College, she was recruited to establish the ESL program at Kirkwood Community College, where she taught and mentored students from across the globe for nearly 20 years. Many of those relationships endured beyond her retirement.

Later in life, Marion re-engaged the artistic talents in sculptural ceramics from her youth. As one of the initial students at the Iowa Ceramic Center and Glass Studio (CCGS), she engaged the resident artists with her curiosity and genuine desire to learn. She produced numerous sculptures and made many friends throughout her time at CCGS, culminating in a 90th birthday celebration there last year. She also served the Cedar Rapids Art Museum as a docent, often at the Grant Wood Studio and Visitor Center, where she engaged visitors from around the world, teaching them about Grant Wood’s life in Cedar Rapids.

Marion was preceded in her journey to heaven by her husband, John Paul; her parents, Anna and John Degnan; her sister, Annette Ellsworth; and her brothers, Jack Degnan, Irish Degnan and Ed Degnan.

She leaves behind her children, Anne (Scott) Johnson, John (Kristen) Jacobs, Brian (Julie) Jacobs, Tom (Julie) Jacobs, Patti (Kevin) Hein and Lynn (John Paul) Malik; 18 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren (and two more great-grandchildren arriving this spring). She also leaves her brother, Don (Ann) Degnan, who promised to give her a gentle push to heaven (like all good big brothers); her sister, Jane Schappler; her brothers-in-law, Fran Jacobs and Stewart Iliff; and many dear relatives and friends.

The family would like to send their deepest thanks to Hospice of Mercy, in particular nurses, Pam and Kendra; and Right at Home, in particular, Alliance. They would also like to extend gratitude for the wonderful care provided by Dr. Melanie Stahlberg, MD and Dr. Ujjwal Kumar, MD. All providers of medical services came through for Marion with exemplary care.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to any of the following organizations that Marion supported: Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio Marion C. Jacobs Resident Artists Fund at (319) 365-9644 or; St. Matthew’s Catholic Church at (319) 363-8269 or; and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art at (319) 366-7503 or

Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel Stateroom where a vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Funeral mass to be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories. Private Inurnment will be held at a later date in Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.

Online condolences may be left at under obituaries.

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