|Monte D. & Kelli D. Persinger, Melody C. Persinger and Marcia & Scott Borg
Our mother, Lois Jacobson, is truly an inspiration to us all. Her life is characterized by perseverance, strength of faith, optimism, courage, generosity, compassion, integrity, and spirit of adventure. She displays loyalty and dedication to her children, husband, grandchildren, friends, and to Iowa State’s students and faculty. Her unique life experiences have enhanced the maturation of her inherent gentle and sacrificial spirit which serves as an example to us all.
Lois grew up on a farm in Casey, Iowa and learned the virtues of hard work and persistence in accomplishing her goals. She is 11 years younger than her closest sibling, and found her faithful playmate to be a loving collie, who was there to teeter-totter with her, and provide unconditional love. She also raised calves, kittens, and various other farm animals. She learned responsibility, leadership, and the pursuit of excellence through her participation in 4-H throughout her adolescent years. She attended a one-room school where her sister was the teacher. Following in her footsteps, Lois enrolled at UNI and began her teacher's training. It was during her college endeavors that she met Ival Persinger, her future husband. Throughout their first 8 years of marriage, they spent most of the time in Plymouth, Indiana and raised 3 children. It was during this time that Lois became an avid sports fan. Her sports fervor continues with heightened enthusiasm to this day. During their stay in Indiana, Ival and Lois developed many friendships which have withstood the test of time and distance. These relationships formed as a result of church involvement, and Lois’s "job on the side", which entailed caring for children in her home.
In 1972, Ival's career took him to Columbia, Missouri, where he was Assistant State Soil Scientist. Lois’s "babysitting" services quickly became in high demand. The Missouri Tigers captivated her interest in basketball and football, and she remains Mizzou’s number one cheerleader. She never missed opportunities to enrich her children's lives through participation in various organizations in school and the community.
In 1976, a unique opportunity arose for the family to move overseas where Ival would use his skills as a soil scientist to develop soil maps for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The mystic of a new culture arid opportunity for learning and growth led them to accept the adventure. Lois and her family spent an enlightening year acquiring new skills in language and travel while developing new friendships. - Unfortunately the time in Saudi Arabia ended prematurely when Ival died of a poisonous snake bite. Lois was devastated, but continued to sustain her faith in God, provide for her family and foster an optimistic outlook.
Lois and the kids returned to Columbia where they began to put together a new life. Lois had worked as a secretary for Rockwell International while living in Saudi Arabia. This experience helped her to step foot into the collegiate work world as she was offered a secretarial position at Stephen's college. After a year of rebuilding, Lois decided to relocate to Ames, Iowa, where her oldest would attend Iowa State, and she would be near the support network of her family. Upon moving to Ames, Lois easily secured a position in the Political Science department at Iowa State as the office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the Department Head. She continues to give diligently of her time and talent within the department. She has been an invaluable asset to the department and its students for the past 15 years. She consistently maintains a sense of stability, calmness, and humility, in that position as well as in her personal life. Many would agree that Lois radiates a "silent strength" to every relationship or situation she encounters.
In 1995, Lois received 2 prestigious honors from Iowa State for recognition of her outstanding service. The Superior Service Award was presented to her from the Alumni Association, and the Carrie Chapman Catt Sex Equity Award was given to honor her demonstrated commitment to helping women gain equity in the ISU/Ames community. The fact that this award nomination was initiated by a student carries a strong message about the respect and admiration that students and faculty hold for Lois.
Over the years spent in Ames, Lois found a loving companion whom she would choose to spend the rest of her life with. In 1991, she was married to Loren Jacobson, an Iowa native, who recognized her unique talents and selfless spirit. Together they continue to give unconditionally and nurture the family which now includes a son-in-law 3 grandchildren and a daughter-in-law.
Lois has made a significant contribution to countless lives and continues to be an example to us all. She has always approached the situations in her life as opportunities. She is continuously able to find a piece of hope, a glimmer of light, or a shred of promise despite the circumstance. She serves, in whatever capacity, with all her heart, giving her very best for the benefit of others. To all who are a part of her life, she is truly an inspiration.