Reverend Reuben Benjamin Jacobson Junior was born November 24, 1934 in Walcott Township, ND, to Reuben and Christine Jacobson Senior. Reuben grew up and attended school in Walcott, graduating from Walcott High School in 1952. He served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1953 to 1957, stationed in Washington DC, as a Radio Operator. He continued in the United States Naval Reserve out of Fargo, until 1961. He worked on various farms including his father-in-laws farm (Frank Nelson). On June 16, 1956, he was joined in marriage to Katheleen Francis Nelson in the Walcott Lutheran Church. Reuben attended college at North Dakota State University; graduating in 1962. Reuben and family moved to Lake Park, Minnesota where he taught and coached, until 1966. Reuben received his call to ministry in 1966 and entered Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated with his Masters in Divinity in 1969. While attending seminary Reuben worked as an assistant to the pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Circle Pines, Minnesota. He was ordained on July 27th and received his first call to the rural congregations of St. Peter’s Lutheran, Chaffee, and St. John’s Lutheran, Embden, North Dakota, where he served until 1972. Rueben continued to serve up and down North Dakota Highway 18 for the next forty years: St. John’s Lutheran, Hatton, and Bethany Lutheran, rural Mayville, from 1972 to 1980; Our Savior’s Lutheran, Park River, from 1980 to 1990; Christ Lutheran, Neche, and Pembina Lutheran, Pembina, from 1990 to 1994; Leonard Lutheran, West Prairie Lutheran, and Helendale Lutheran from 1990 until he retired in 2000. Reuben and Kathy moved to West Fargo to live at the Cooperative Living Center in 1998. Reuben worked interim ministry in 2003, after his wife Kathy passed away. He served Our Savior’s Lutheran, Park River, until 2004. He then served Hatton Rural Parish, Goose River Lutheran and Little Forks Lutheran, from 2004 until 2009 when he was diagnosed with cancer. Reuben also served on different committees within the Eastern North Dakota Synod.
Reuben was extremely active in many community events wherever he served and lived. He loved people and people loved him. His biggest hobby and joy was spreading the gospel message by preaching whenever and wherever he had the opportunity, but more importantly in his actions and love for God’s people. Reuben also loved being in God’s wonderful creation, tending to the land and its natural beauty. He took care of the yard at his retirement community, as well as the flower gardens and community vegetable garden so fresh vegetables were available for all to share. His care for gardening was recorded by the West Fargo Pioneer in August 2008. Reuben’s other hobbies and interests included his twenty-two grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Early in his life he liked to bowl, golf, and do wood working projects. He was an avid sports fan, especially when it came to NDSU sports, as he held season tickets to home football, men’s and women’s basketball games. Reuben also held season tickets to the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Reuben loved to bake and cook, and share his gifts and talents with all who would show up to the table.
Reuben is survived by; one daughter, Belinda (Bert) Ready, Martin, SD; five sons, David (Laurel), Portland, ND, Larry (Angie), Fargo, ND, Stewart (Susan), Crary, N.D., Steven (Ruth), Manville, and Michael (Jennifer), Maplewood, MN; 22 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren; one brother Charles; five sisters Mary (Alfred) Lieseth, Flower Mound, TX, Judy Pederson, Portland, OR, Shirley (Layton) Johnson, West Fargo, ND and Sharon (Pat) Connolly, Garden City, NY; several brother-in-laws, and sister-in-laws, Arlene Malak, Lake Elmo, MN; Gail Johnson, West Fargo,; Gladys Nelson, Fargo; Phyllis (Allen) Forness, Colfax; and Brother-in-law Swede (Carol) Nelson, Thief River Falls, MN; many nieces and nephews; as well as many brothers and sisters in Christ. He was preceded in death by his wife Katheleen, parents Reuben Sr. and Christine, and brothers Ronald and Duane.
Reuben died October 25, 2009, at the age of 74 at Hatton Prairie Village, Hatton ND.
The funeral will be Friday, October, 30, 2009, at 11AM in Lutheran Church of the Cross, West Fargo.
Visitation will be Thursday from 4-7PM with a family service at 7PM at Lutheran Church of the Cross, in West Fargo.
Arrangements by Fredrikson Funeral Chapel, Kindred and Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to Park River Bible Camp, Red Willow Bible Camp, Luther Seminary, Hospice, and Lutheran Church of the Cross building fund.