Dr. Paul Jacobs, known affectionately as “Doc”, was born in Highland Park, Illinois and lived there until about 4 years old. His parents accepted jobs at Eglin Air Force Base, so they moved the family to Gulf Breeze, Florida. He attended Sacred Heart elementary school and was taught by Dominican sisters. When his parents moved to Washington, D.C., he then went on to attend St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. After two years of exceptional education, he left to be with family in D.C. and attended Oxon Hill Senior High in Maryland. Doc had a calling to serve his country, so he joined the US Navy at 17 as a junior in high school. He went on active duty after graduating high school and served from 1965 to 1971.
Doc has had an innate entrepreneurial spirit, starting early in his childhood. At 10-years-old, Doc was adept at fixing engines and would collect lawn mowers and repair them. Noticing all the "for sale" properties in Gulf Breeze needed mowing to improve curb appeal, he contracted with the real estate companies to mow and edge the lawns. He continued that business through high school. After serving in the Navy, Doc had his next business in mind: he began repairing yacht and boat engines, while also learning cabinet making and construction. This paid his way through Prince Georges College in Maryland and Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee.
While still in the Navy in 1967, Dr. Jacobs met and married his lovely wife, Rhoda. Together, they raised four wonderful children they nurtured and encouraged through college and beyond. Their children are now successful physicians, financial advisers and real estate owners who are also family-focused; they have welcomed eight amazing grandchildren (and counting) into the Jacobs’ family.
Residents of Pomona, Illinois since 1976 when they bought their present homestead in the “hills”. They then built their home there in 1979 and have been vested members of the Southern Illinois community since. For 38 years, Doc has practiced optometry in Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Anna, Marion and Herrin. He and Rhoda also started Von Jakob Vineyard in Alto Pass 21 years ago. Rhoda has been an instrumental partner in all their businesses over the years. Now that the family and businesses are established, it is the right time to give back in greater ways to the community that has supported them along the way. Doc, Rhoda and their family are eager and excited to take this next step in bettering their Southern Illinois community.
Doc’s hobbies are work, work and more work. When they aren’t running their businesses, Rhoda and Doc like quiet evenings together with their adorable Maltese dogs, Simon and Theodora, visiting their children and grandchildren and a rare visit to their boat.