James (‘49E) & Mary Lou Jacobs, Saint Columbkille 2018 Distinguished Alumni

Saint Columbkille Partnership School and the Saint Columbkille Alumni Association are pleased to honor James (‘49E) and Mary Lou Jacobs with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award at this year’s Come Home to Columb event on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Jim and Mary Lou have been long-standing members of the Saint Columbkille community and their contributions are both generous and everlasting.

“Jim and his wife Mary Lou have been the heart and soul of Saint Columbkille for decades,” says Head of School Dr. William Gartside. “When the school was in dire straights, they stuck with it and rallied others. No other couple did more for this school and we will be eternally grateful.”

As active participants both at St. Columbkille Parish and the school, the Jacobs enjoyed participating in community and school events and said these were the best years of their lives. For more than 25 years, they had at least one child enrolled at Saint Columbkille. Jim’s mother, Dorothy Dolan Jacobs, also graduated from the school in the class of 1920.

Jim left Saint Columbkille in 1949 after the eighth grade and went on to Boston College High School, where he graduated in 1953. He then attended Northeastern University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering. He met Mary Lou when she worked in a variety store in Waltham in the same building where he was working on co-operative assignment.  The Jacobs were married in 1959 and set up housekeeping in Brighton. They have eight children, all of whom attended Saint Columbkille, and 16 grandchildren.

Jim had a successful career as a structural engineer in downtown Boston. He also served as a Brighton community hockey coach, an officer of the Brighton Central Little League, as a Trustee of Franciscan Children’s Hospital, a Trustee of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and on the St. Columbkille Parish Council. Jim has been an active member of the St. Columbkille School Alumni Association since 1992 and joined the Saint Columbkille Partnership School Board of Directors in 2007 and still serves on the Facilities Committee.

Mary Lou graduated from Emmanuel College in 1958 with a degree in math. She taught 7th and 8th grade math at Saint Columbkille for a trimester under the leadership of principal Mary Battles in 1988. Along with her friends, Barbara Fitzpatrick, Mary Sullivan, Rae Allen and Marilyn Hartford, she started the Saint Columbkille School Bowling League at Sammy White's Bowling Alley and was very involved in the parish girls’ softball team. Mary Lou and her friends also started the school’s popular Field Day in 1980, which used to be held at Daly Field, with activities similar to the current event. Mary Lou, Mary, Barbara and Rae also started and ran a card party for senior ladies of the parish for 25 consecutive years.

The Jacobs’ eight children and their 16 grandchildren are excited to celebrate Jim and Mary Lou at the Come Home to Columb event this year. Having grown up in Brighton, their children understand how important the Saint Columbkille community is to their parents and how much they have committed to the school’s continued success.

“We are thrilled to honor our parents,” said Jim and Mary Lou’s eight children. “They definitely deserve it.”