Eric Jakobsson father | Obituary


URBANA – Eric Jakobsson Sr., November 18, 1938-Oct. 28, 2021. Charismatic, extraordinary, curious, problem-solver, kind, gracious, welcoming.

Eric was born in New York. He graduated from Columbia University (1960) with an engineering degree and received his Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth College (1969). Leaving New England and moving west, Eric did his postdoctoral work at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. He settled in Urbana and began his research and teaching career at the University of Illinois, working in molecular and integrative physiology and biophysics, neuroscience and bioengineering. His main area of ​​professional interest was the computational and theoretical study of the physics and functional organization of biological membranes. He developed a keen interest in big history and taught an honors class on that subject.

Eric adored his wife, Naomi, whom he married in 1963. They had two children at birth and adopted six. They also opened their home to several foster children, including Chau Tran and Tasha Thompson, who still call Naomi and Eric mom and dad. The family enjoyed camping and traveling together. In his spare time, Eric was an avid actor, voracious reader, and exercise enthusiast.

Eric was appointed to City Council as Alderman of Urbana in 2010, a position he held until 2020. No stranger to politics, his political forays included running for Congress and serving as campaign manager. of Naomi several times.

He is survived by his wife, Naomi; brother, Carl; children, Bev (Mark), Susan (Keitha), Eric (Alexa), Jonathan (Sherri), Sarah, Brenda (Adam) and Linda (Erich); grandchildren, Jessica, Farrah, Rania, Jonathan, Caleb, Lydia, Rachel, Gunnar, Kristian, Jade, Noah, Gracie, Etenraku, Luke and Regan; great-grandchild, Grace; and nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, Edith and Eijler Jakobsson, and his son, Garret.

There will be a celebration of Eric’s life on June 4 at 1 p.m. at McKinley Presbyterian Church, 809 S. Fifth St., Champaign, followed by an ice cream social.

In lieu of flowers, consider one of the following in Eric’s memory: a donation to the food pantry at McKinley Church’s Garden Hill; the Union of Concerned Scientists; or read a book or watch a movie and share the joy.


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