Charles Edward "Charlie" Jacobs, of Masonic Village in Sewickley, formerly of Edgeworth, Pennsylvania, entered the Lord's kingdom on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, at the age of 88. He was married to Cordelia Jane (Suran), the love of his life, for 59 years and four months.
Born May 6, 1933, in Ingomar, Pa., Charlie was the youngest of Ruth Alverna (Walker) and Mifflin Swope Jacobs's four children and attended St. John's Lutheran Church regularly with his family. Upon graduation from West View High School, Charlie was awarded a debate scholarship to Bowling Green State University in Ohio. During college, he was a Theta Chi fraternity brother, holding various positions, including Chaplain, Pledge Master and President, and joined ROTC as a means of paying for college and supporting the country. In summers, he teamed with his lifelong friend, Ray Goehring, to paint houses.
After earning a Master of Business Administration from Harvard School of Business, Class of 1957, he joined the brokerage firm of Singer, Deane & Scribner in Pittsburgh, where he was soon promoted to junior partner. His desire was to create a firm built on character, integrity and opportunity for both clients and employees. In 1966, Charlie paved the way for four colleagues to join him at the small stock brokerage firm C.S. McKee and Co. As president, the firm expanded from 10 to 105 employees with a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and offices in New York, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and Florida. In 1974, he and others executed the bold transition of C.S. McKee to investment management, recognizing the unmet demand for better financial management of public retirement funds including labor unions and county governments. Through Charlie's leadership, C.S. McKee grew from having less than $500 million under management to overseeing $3.5 billion in assets. While a substantial accomplishment, Charlie is more notably remembered by employees for his strong, focused, fair and encouraging leadership. Coworkers and partners appreciated his good humor, enthusiasm and respect. Described as a teacher, he rarely told someone what to do, instead asking questions so that employees could themselves determine the optimal solution. He valued client relations and encouraged employees to "take care of the client and the clients will take care of you."
Charlie retired in 1998 to enjoy time with his extended family and friends, both in New Hampshire and Florida. He enjoyed golfing, even getting three holes-in-one, keeping up with the stock market, traveling the country and world, and spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and friends. A member of Sewickley Presbyterian Church since 1978, Charlie served as chair of the deacons, elder, and member of numerous committees. He guided his life by the Ten Commandments. As a humble historian and patriot, Charlie championed many timeless writings. In particular, he encouraged his children and grandchildren to read the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, IF by Rudyard Kipling and Behold the Turtle by anonymous, inspiring them to live with integrity and character, and to take bold chances, just as the turtle, who "never gets ahead without sticking out its neck." Charlie is survived by his wife, Cordelia; his children, Laura Jacobs Smith. of Cary, N.C., Peter Suran Jacobs, of Mercer Island, Wash., and Brian Charles Jacobs, of Beaver County, Pa.; and grandchildren, Charles Reed Smith (Anna Davis), Andrew Walker Smith (Anna Scott), Catherine Grace Smith, Anna Estella Jacobs, Claire Helena Jacobs, Reese Charles Jacobs and Elizabeth Cordelia Jacobs; and many treasured nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Ruth and Mifflin Jacobs; and siblings, Aileen Jacobs Troxler, John "Jack" Alfred Jacobs and Ruth Jacobs Lees. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Sewickley Presbyterian Church, 414 Grant St., Sewickley, PA 15143, or to one's favorite charity. Visitation of family will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, January 14, at Sewickley Presbyterian Church. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 15, at Sewickley Presbyterian Church, followed by a reception. Arrangements were entrusted to R.D. COPELAND LTD.
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