Ralph Irvin Jacobs

Dec 13, 1931 - Jun 25, 2020


Ralph Irvin Jacobs, 88, passed away peacefully on Thursday June 25th, 2020, surrounded by family at home in Elk Grove, CA. Ralph is survived by his wife of 59 years Virginia Mae, sons Ralph Jr.(Kim) and Ken(Melissa), grandsons Louis(Marissa), Justin, Craig, and Chad, granddaughter Lauren, great granddaughter Paisley and great grandson Reed. Ralph is preceded in death by his father Edward Roland and mother Nellie Craig, and brothers Richard, Eugene, and Raymond.

Ralph was born December 13, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and in the summer of 1932, his family moved to Sacramento. Ralph attended American Legion Elementary School, Stanford Junior High School, and graduated from Sacramento High School in 1950. Ralph joined the Navy in 1951 and spent 4 years on the USS Cape Esperance traveling primarily to and from Korea. After completing his military service in 1955, Ralph received an honorable discharge from the Navy and returned to Sacramento. He followed in the footsteps of his father and older brother Eugene, becoming a journeyman brick mason, and joined E.R. Jacobs & Sons Masonry. Ralph worked as a brick mason for 35 years in the Sacramento area, retiring in 1990.

Ralph met his future wife Virginia in Oak Park in 1956, and they married on July 9th, 1960 in Reno, Nevada. Their first son Ralph Jr was born in 1961, and second son Kenneth in 1965. They lived on the corner of 48th and P street until 1972, then purchased a mobile home to live in while they built their dream brick house on a bare piece of land in Elk Grove. The building of this house was a family affair, on the weekends there could be as many as 20-30 family members helping to build their home. The family moved in during September 1972, and have now lived there for 48 years.

Ralph was an avid hunter and fisherman, and loved to take his family camping. The family would typically make three trips a year to Anchor Bay on the north coast of California to play on the beach and fish in the ocean, along with boating and fishing at Clear Lake. Ralph had many hunting buddies who hunted geese and duck north of Sacramento, deer in Alpine county California and Colorado, and his favorite, elk hunting in Idaho with his brother in law Bill Trussell and friend Bill Dillon.

After Ralph retired, he and Virginia traveled to China, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico, and Hawaii. Sometime around 1996, Ralph’s close friend Joe Whaley invited Ralph to go fishing in Cordova, Alaska. Ralph returned with a desire to spend his summers in Alaska. Ralph and Virginia eventually bought a house in Cordova, and along with Bill and Margaret Trussell, would spend many summers fishing and traveling in and around Cordova.

Ralph’s greatest joy in his later years was spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Ralph loved them dearly, and would jump at any and all opportunities to spend time with one or all of his grandkids.

The family would like to thank the staff at Sutter General Hospital and Hospice for their excellent care of Ralph.

A public visitation will be held from 4-8pm on Tuesday July 7th at East Lawn Cemetery in Elk Grove. A private service will be held the following day, but due to the current pandemic only 35 people will be able to attend. The private service will be live streamed and can be viewed on the East Lawn Cemetery website at 10am on July 8th.


  • Susan Kasimatis says:

    Sorry to hear of uncle Ralph’s passing.

  • Ruth Jacobs says:

    Ginger and Family — Thinking of you as you remember and celebrate Uncle Ralph’s life. Regrets at his passing.

  • Daniel Jacobs says:

    Very sorry to hear of Uncle Ralph’s passing. He was one of a kind, larger than life and had a big impact on everyone around him. Generous, funny, genuine and never afraid to speak his mind. Rest in peace Uncle Ralph.

  • Kathy Chastain says:

    Such a wonder man. He will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Jacobs family. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Sonja Shin says:

    My deepest condolences for your loss. My heart goes out to you. Many prayers for everyone in the Jacobs family. Much love to you all.

  • Brett Zurawski says:

    A great man, generous in all things. He will be missed.

  • Ed and Cynthia Plaza says:

    Dearest Ginger and Jacobs family We are grateful to have the memories of all the stories and laughs Ralph shared with us our love and prayers go out to all God Bless and comfort to you all love always

  • Shelley Donovan says:

    Sending prayers to the Jacobs family sorry for your loss, Ralph was a wonderful man that always made me laugh and he will be missed by many .

  • Allan Snider says:

    I have fond memories of Ralph, from my childhood days on 48th Street. He was a great man, and father to my best friend, Ralph Jr. My condolences to the family, may he rest in peace.

  • Steve Jacobs says:

    In reflecting on memories of my Uncle, I associate him with kindness, a strong work ethic, ingenuity, ambition, leadership, sense of humor, and a passion for the outdoors. Growing up, my uncle was an important part of my life. As young kids, my siblings and I always looked forward to his visits. His wit and sense of humor thoroughly entertained us and kept us laughing. We still remember the thoughtful gifts he brought, like a slip’n slide for cooling off in the summer or a custom playhouse for my sisters that I eventually converted to a fort. One of my fondest memories is spending the summer after I graduated from high school helping him build his house in Elk Grove. Working with him every day, I learned a lot but had to push myself to keep up and needed a good night’s sleep before taking on the next day. His ambition, ingenuity, and leadership motivated me to challenge myself to achieve. This motivation continues to this day.

    My Uncle’s tales of his outdoor exploits always fascinated me. He was the premier outdoorsman of our family. I eagerly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed our fishing trips to local lakes, the delta, and the Mendocino Coast where we launched a 12-foot boat in the surf in pursuit of rockfish. These experiences were an important contribution to my passion for the natural environment and career as conservation scientist.

    Although our contact slipped as I moved to Oregon and started my own family, I would occasionally catch myself thinking of him, particularly when I repeated experiences we once had. My Uncle Ralph will always be special to me, and I feel truly lucky to have had him as part of my life.

  • Lori Smith (Mix) says:

    I was first fortunate to to find a job with Ralph Jr. and then very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Ralph Sr and Ginger at the office. I was able to spend some time once a week when I would meet Ralph Jr at Ralph Sr’s house to carpool to work. There was always hot coffee shared and breakfast offered and of course interesting morning conversations to start the day with. When the carpooling stopped I was still able to enjoy the visits and catch up on things when Ralph Sr had his dental visits. He was always a joy to see and although I never hunted or fished with him we would always share our stories. And thanks to Ralph Sr’s love for a true wood fire he will always be remembered when it’s time to split and stack cords of wood. Love you Ralph Sr. Your an amazing genuine man and lived life well. Hugs and kisses

  • Paul E. Jacobs says:

    Rest in peace Uncle Ralph (Godfather). You are now with your brothers, parents, grandparents and other departed loved ones watching over us from heaven. You are sorely missed and will live in our hearts forever. We love you!
    Paul E. Jacobs and family.

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