December 19, 1939 - September 8, 2019
Charles “Charlie” Jacobs, age 79, of Council Bluffs, previous local restaurant bar owner and drag racing pioneer of the ‘60s and early ‘70s drag racing circuits in Omaha, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Canada, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 8th. All who knew Charlie knew what a fighter he was. Charlie was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in October 2018. In August 2019, Charlie's cancer metastasized to stage 4 in the lining of his lung.
Charlie was born on December 19, 1939, in Corning, IA. He attended Corning High School where he was a star athlete in football and a state runner-up in wrestling. Charlie married Evelyn Kingery on July 20, 1957. He was employed with Stauffer Chemical as the plant manager in Omaha for 20 years; he was the service manager at MAC's Chevrolet in Crete, NE before he and Evelyn opened and dedicated themselves to Jacobs Restaurant & Lounge in Council Bluffs from 1978 - 1995 along with the help of one of his best friends Lloyd Arnold. Jacobs Lounge was one of the first establishments in Council Bluffs to have a large screen TV, which Charlie and his family of customers loved to view his favorite sport of drag racing along with cheering on his favorite teams— Iowa State Cyclones, Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Green Bay Packers.
While in his 20s and early 30s, his favorite hobby was drag racing on the weekends and working as a mechanic at night from his immaculately kept garage at his home so that he could afford to purchase the car parts for his drag cars. Charlie had a 20-year National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing career that ended with his retirement in 1977. Charlie's best season was in 1969 when he drove his 1969 Chevrolet COPO (central office production order) ZL-1 Aluminum 427' engine Super Stock Camaro to the NHRA Division Championship. Charlie's good friends and co-owners Al & Jim McNamara of MAC'S Chevrolet and Rich Mlnarik were tremendous supporters of his racing career. Charlie was also the proud winner of the Manufacturer's Cup for Chevrolet in 1969.
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Charlie loved to have fun, socialize, golf, compete with anyone about anything, and brag about his family. He was world-renowned for his lack of patience, not holding back his opinion and a knack for telling it like it is. He always told you the truth even if it wasn't what you wanted to hear. He was proud to say he was educated in the school of hard knocks. With that said, he was genuine to a fault, a teddy bear at heart and yet he sugar-coated nothing. To his family, dad was the strongest man they had ever met. He wasn't afraid of anyone or anything and proved it on more than one occasion.
Preceded in death by his parents Clement and Goldie Jacobs; sisters Helen Olson and Elizabeth Nickell; brothers Dale and Hubert. Survived by his wife Evelyn, beloved Schnauzer Buddy; 2 children, Cal (Theresa) Jacobs and Lynn (Brian) Higginbotham; 3 grandchildren — Kate (Adam) Sherwin, Alison Schlotfeld, and Macy Higginbotham; 2 great-grandchildren Claire Sherwin and Carter Schlotfeld; brothers, Lyle and Marvin Jacobs; and many nieces and nephews.
Charlie is gone with the Lord and is at peace now. Memorial contributions are suggested to Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center in Council Bluffs, IA; Methodist Hospital Foundation in care of Estabrook Cancer Center in Omaha, NE. Please include a note indicating the designation in the name of Charlie Jacobs.
We would like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to the amazing staff at Estabrook Cancer Center in Omaha — Dr. Andrew Coughlin, Nurse Navigator Katie Holling, and Speech-Language Pathologist Carla Gress; Dietician Carol Reeder at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Heartland Oncology, Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center, and the entire St. Croix Hospice team who gave such amazing care to our dad and so many others that helped dad with his final battle.
Evelyn, Cal (Son), and Lynn (Daughter)
Please join us in celebrating Charlie's life on Thursday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. at Cutler-O'Neill-Meyer-Woodring Funeral Home, 545 Willow Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51503. Interment will be in Garner Township Cemetery. A luncheon reception and visitation with family following the funeral service at the Dodge Riverside Golf Club, 2 Harrah's Blvd.