Obituary: Mildred Spires Jacobs
Mildred Spires Jacobs, a longtime area resident, died on October 25, 2016. She was 99.
She was born Mildred Elizabeth Spires during a snowstorm on December 29, 1916 in Lockport, Illinois, the daughter of Roy Leston Spires and Alma Suffern Spires. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a superintendent of schools, so Mildred was inspired early on to learn and explore, developing a keen interest in the arts.
She grew up in northern and central Illinois and graduated from Normal University with a major in art and a minor in music. She then went on to get a master’s degree from Colorado State College of Education, with a major in art education. She taught in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, then turned down an offer from Kent State to teach in a warmer climate, Phoenix, Arizona. In 1948 her parents moved to Claremont, where she spent her summers before moving to California herself in 1953.
Mildred married Franklin Jacobs on October 4, 1953 in Pomona and raised two sons, Robert and Don. She was interested in writing and had many poems published, starting at age 10. She was an avid photographer with her own darkroom setup, having taught photography in Phoenix. She also wrote art curriculum material for a schoolbook publisher and later published a few of her own.
Mrs. Jacobs was an active member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Pomona, contributing time as a Sunday school teacher, charter member of the bell choir and president of the women’s society. She taught art in the Pomona Unified School District, and later home school including at Pomona Valley Hospital.
She retired from teaching in 1979 but didn’t slow down much, keeping busy with her many creative projects and spending time with her granddaughters. In 2006 she moved to Claremont and finished writing her family history and autobiography before returning to Pomona in 2009. Her last three years were spent in an assisted living residence in San Dimas, where she completed a book of her collected poetry.
Mildred was preceded in death by her husband Franklin, sister Dorothy Spires and granddaughter Christine Jacobs. She is survived by her sons, Robert Jacobs of Upland and Don Jacobs and wife Valri of La Verne; granddaughters Renae Garcia and husband Lane of Pomona and Marcella Jacobs of LaVerne; and great-grandchildren Isia, Juna, Zayem and Ezryn of Pomona.