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MISSOULA — Ruth L. Jacobson, 82, of Missoula, passed away on July 4, 2019 of complications from dementia.  Born in 1936 to Julia and Benjamin Levy in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, she grew up and graduated from Punxsutawney High School.  She graduated with highest academic achievement from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce in 1958.  Then she attended graduate school at the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1959.  (This program was sponsored jointly by Radcliffe College and the Harvard Business School prior to the time when the first women were admitted to Harvard Business School in 1963.) 

After graduate school, Ruth worked in banking in Boston, Massachusetts for Boston Safe Deposit and Trust, Co. in tax and estate planning; and, then in Pittsburgh for Mellon National Bank & Trust Company in corporate trust.  In Pittsburgh, she met David P. Jacobson, M.D., a resident in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.  They married in 1965 and embarked on a loving, lifelong journey together raising children, playing bridge, skiing, rafting, backpacking, entertaining, and traveling.  They lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Liverpool, England before settling in Missoula in 1969 where Ruth lived ever since.  Ruth applied her business training to managing the finances for the family and some aspects of her husband’s medical practice.  She was a devoted reader and viewer of business and investing media.  Ruth volunteered at the Missoula Battered Women’s Shelter and the University Congregational Church.  She took classes at the University of Montana in history and English and at the Missoula Vo-Tech in computing and business.  Ruth loved walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, golfing, reading, and visiting with her friends and neighbors.  She loved spending time with her grandchildren. 

In her last years, Ruth suffered from dementia.  She was cared for by her family and caregivers, and Partners in Homecare staff who were her last rays of sunshine. 

Ruth is survived by her: 

  • Husband David Jacobson;
  • Daughters Karen Jacobson (Dan Kessler) and Diane Jacobson (David Johnson);
  • Grandchildren Owen Johnson, Abigail Kessler, and Gabriel Kessler;
  • Brother, Samuel Levy; and, eight nieces and nephews; 
  • Many friends of many years.

Ruth is preceded in death by her brother John Levy and her sister Diane Perry. 

She leaves a legacy of quiet, self-effacing, kindness and service to others and a family who will always remember and love her.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday July 13 at the University Congregational Church of Missoula, 405 University Ave., Missoula, MT.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ruth’s name to the University Congregational Church of Missoula or a charity of your choice.

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