Lynda Jacobson

Lynda Jacobson

Lynda Jacobson

GUILDERLAND — Lynda Jacobson was a wonderful mother and grandmother who attended all of her children’s sporting events, corrected their grammar, and taught them to “stick up for the person who was unable to do that for themselves,” recalled her son Mark Jacobson.

Mrs. Jacobson “passed peacefully at her home on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, surrounded with love from family and friends,” her family wrote in a tribute. She was 70.

Mrs. Jacobson was born in Catskill, New York, to the late Herbert Finch and Margaret (née Morgan) Finch. She grew up in Coxsackie and graduated from Coxsackie High School in 1965.  

She came to the Capital District to work for the state’s Department of Transportation, where she met Howard F. Jacobson, who would become her husband. He worked for the Department of Transportation for 40 years, her son said, while she moved to a position with the State University of New York at Albany.

Both she and Mr. Jacobson came from very old local families; hers has been in Coxsackie and Catskill for 300 years, and his — which includes the Fredericks of the Frederick-Mynderse House — for the same amount of time in Guilderland and Altamont, her son said. He added, “We don’t go very far.”

The couple moved into a home Mr. Jacobson built on Hamilton Street in Guilderland, on his old family farm, and there raised their children.

Mrs. Jacobson worked for New York State for more than 40 years as an executive secretary who would write out in shorthand the letters her boss dictated — “She could write as fast as you could talk,” her son said — then improve upon the letters as she typed them out “at a million miles an hour” on a typewriter.

She was a longtime member of the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church and served for nearly a decade as director of the Guilderland Interfaith Council Food Pantry at the church, a job that was a labor of love and involved the whole family, her son said.

She also enjoyed photography, taking pictures of sunrises, sunsets, and, particularly, lighthouses, her son said. When he was picking the picture to adorn her memorial card to be handed out at her funeral service, he found one that depicted a lighthouse with a sun setting above it and thought, “That’s the one,” her son said.

Mrs. Jacobson also loved traveling, which she and her husband began to do more after their children left for college. They stopped to see lighthouses everywhere they went, her son said.

She loved spending time with friends, her son said.

She went to the Racino in Saratoga a couple of times a month with friends and with her husband. “She was the luckiest person on the planet,” her son said, and would win sums like $800 or $1,000 as a matter of course.

Each Friday, she would go with friends to Schenectady for lunch and a matinée show at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, her son said. That was how she kept in touch with friends from work and friends from her hometown of Coxsackie, he said, all of whom morphed over time into one large group.

Central to her last decade of her life, said Mr. Jacobson, was her close relationship with her grandchildren. Mr. Jacobson’s children were young during his parents’ retirement years, and his parents would take the children for the day once a week and drive around with them to look at, for instance, trains and horses.

“They never missed anything, never missed a school play. They were a tremendously large part of my kids’ lives,” said Mr. Jacobson of his parents.

One of the last trips Mrs. Jacobson was able to make, her son said, was to New York City with the grandchildren, to see the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall.


Lynda Jacobson is survived by her children: Mark Jacobson of Altamont, and his wife, Dawn; Laura Malvey of Virginia, and her husband, Tom; and her stepchildren, all of Altamont: Judith Reed and her husband, Terry; Janice Myers and her husband, Adam; Daniel Jacobson; and Michael Jacobson.

Her husband of 45 years, Howard F. Jacobson, died in 2015.

Her parents, Herbert and Margaret Finch, also died before her.

Mrs. Jacobson is also survived by her sister, Marilyn Rausch of Coxsackie, and her husband, Henry; and by her brother, Dick Finch of California, and his wife, Sharon; and by 12  grandchildren: Caleb, Kailey, Keira, Jack, Quinn, Michael, Rebecca, Christine, Cameron, Kyle, Katherine, and Connor; by six great-grandchildren; and by her aunt, nieces, and nephews including Bob and Joe Jacobson, and many cousins.

The family is grateful for all of the care Mrs. Jacobson received from Dr. Joseph Dudek and his staff at New York Oncology Hematology. The family also thanks all of Mrs. Jacobson’s close friends who spent countless hours and provided around-the-clock care for the past several months; her family wrote that these friends “gave her companionship, assisted in keeping her comfortable, and allowed her the dignity of staying at her home throughout the end of her battle.”

Calling hours were held on Thursday, Dec. 14, at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home in Guilderland.. A funeral service was held on Friday, Dec. 15, at the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church, followed by burial at Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to The Guilderland Interfaith Council Food Pantry, 2291 Western Ave., Guilderland, NY 12084.

— Elizabeth Floyd Mair

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