Julian Jacobs

by | Sep 16, 2018 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Julian Bernard, 94, of Richmond and Virginia Beach, passed away August 31, 2018.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Bettie Joel Jacobs, whom he married in 1946.

He is survived by their daughter Martha Jacobs Goodman (Robert, Jr.) and son Paul W. Jacobs, II (Fredrika); five grandchildren, Robert Campe Goodman III (Amanda), Maria Goodman Hillebrandt (Douglas), Jessica Jacobs Roussanov (Nikolai), Marcus Gregg, and Emanuel Gregg; and five great grandchildren, Peter, Beata, Madeline, Julian and Natalie.

Born in Baltimore on August 24, 1924, Julian moved to Richmond at a young age and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute for one year in 1941–2. Drafted into the Army in 1942, he served as a military policeman. As an MP in General Patton’s Third Army, Julian participated in the Normandy, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns. He was part of the early invasion force of France and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was later transferred to the Eighth Army and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He completed his military service with the American Occupation Force in Japan. He earned two Bronze Service Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the European-AfricanMiddle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the Philippines Liberation Medal.

Julian returned to the U.S. in 1945 and received his B.S. degree from the University of Richmond in 1948. He worked with his father Paul W. Jacobs to establish Consolidated Sales Company, first an appliance wholesale business and later a land development company that created Richmond-area shopping centers.

As founder and president of Jason Construction Company, he developed housing subdivisions in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties. He loved his work and went to the office every day until shortly before his death.

Julian served as president of both Congregation Beth Ahabah and Lakeside Country Club. As a member of the West Richmond Rotary Club for 47 years and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, he attended Rotary meetings all over the world, from London to Mumbai. He and Bettie were intrepid travelers, visiting over 100 countries, including China and the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. They connected with Russians over American blue jeans and with Israelis over a photograph they had taken with Moshe Dayan.

While he had many passions, from work to philanthropy, from golf to international travel, Julian was most passionate about his family and friends. He will be sorely missed, particularly for his irrepressible humor and the wonderful stories that sometimes seemed beyond belief. Most famously he claimed as a WWII MP to have detained Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, under suspicion of being a German spy. His family did not believe him until he wrote a letter to Bernhard twenty years later, and received a reply that led to a friendship lasting decades.

A graveside ceremony was held at Hebrew Cemetery, Richmond. Donations may be made to the Bettie J. Jacobs Endowed Research Fund at the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Center, the Congregation Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives, or a charity of the donor’s choice. A Memorial Service will be held at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay in October