Eulogy for my neighbor

My friend, John Jacobsen, was an interesting fellow.

He inherited a wild coming of age that included four wheelers, snowboards, mountain trails, house parties and a father who loved the motorcycle life enough to call his young son by his middle name…


You can imagine the typical Pocono Mountain lifestyle that was his until he, and his childhood sweetheart Maureen willed a new reality in Center City, Philadelphia.

It was while living there that Harley put himself through college and started riding bikes and exploring the trails that lead out of the city.

The next escape came when the young couple exited to the suburbs, in 2012, got married and procurred the ultimate fixer-upper in Chester County, Pennsylvania… just three doors down from where you’re all sitting.

Harley threw himself into the project house and transformed systems and decor that hadn’t been touched since the 1960s into a showpiece in the suburban woods.

All this time he was making friends everywhere he landed… and we became much more than neighbors.

We were brothers.

Harley was funny and gregarious but there was a deepness too.

He’d surprise you with a book he’d read or a difficult song he’d figured out on his beloved Martin guitar.

A bike ride with Harley on it was certain to include memories of uncontrollable laughter and watching him power up hills in front of you.

In early 2018, Harley was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis… ALS.

J. Harley Jacobsen, 40, adoring husband and loving father lost a fierce four and a half year battle against ALS on Sunday January 30, 2022.

Born May 4, 1981 in East Stroudsburg, Harley was the son of Sharon L. Gallagher and the late John “Jake” Jacobsen.

I want to encourage you all to seek out the fundraising campaign set up for the Jacobsen family as a real effective way to help and an effectively real way to remember our friend.

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