Kenneth Edwin Jacobs, Sr., the municipal administrator for the town of Whitsett, passed away last week after a protracted struggle with cancer. Jacobs was 73.
A native of Santa Clara, California, Jacobs served in the U.S. Army before he settled down in Whitsett, where he spent many years working as a master cabinetmaker. In 2005, Jacobs was elected to a seat on Whitsett’s town council, which he held until an electoral defeat in 2009. Jacobs nevertheless returned to town hall in 2016, when he was tapped to serve as a successor to the town’s longtime administrator Gary Deal.
Jacobs attended to his duties as the town’s municipal administrator until shortly before his death on September 28. His diligence and commitment has left a lasting impression on Whitsett’s current council members – particularly the town’s mayor, Richard Fennell, who recalled the late administrator’s contributions in a statement that recently appeared on the town’s Facebook page.
“I first got to know Ken about 15 years ago when he served on the town council,” Fennell reflects in his brief online eulogy. “I found him to be a man of intelligence, honesty, and integrity, with a good sense of humor…thrown in.
“Five years ago, when the position of town administrator needed to be filled, Ken was the first person all of us on the town council thought of to fill the position,” the town’s mayor continues. “Ken accomplished a lot in his tenure as town administrator, including remodeling the town hall office, helping to acquire property to create the town park, working on grants to improve the grounds at the park and town hall, and paving and expanding the parking lot.
He particularly enjoyed interacting with people, and he told me more than once that he thought [it] was one of the most important parts of the job. He truly loved the town of Whitsett and the people who live here. Above all, and I think I speak for everyone on the council, we will miss him as a friend.”
A service for Jacobs was held on Saturday at Rich & Thompson Funeral Chapel in Burlington.
According to the funeral home, Jacobs was predeceased by his parents Frank Edwin Jacobs and Joyce Dickson Tyree. He is survived, according to Rich & Thompson, by his son, Kenneth Edwin Jacobs, Jr. along with his wife Laura and stepsons, Hagan and Everett Quinto of Cary and son, Allan Kirk Jacobs along with his wife Melody and son, Nixon Smith of Raleigh; and sister, Carol Amos along with her children Greg G. Amos Jr. and Jenifer D. Baker.