Donald is celebrating his birthday, having been born one cold day in Sheridan, Wyoming 80 years ago, to Joseph S. and Viola M. Jacobson. As an "Army Brat" He was raised in 15 different states, Puerto Rico and Turkey along with siblings Joseph D. and two sisters, Annie Thompson and Susana Jacobson. A 1958 graduate of Olympus High in Salt Lake City, he was a yearbook photographer and climbed Mount Olympus with his friend John Warnock, a founder of Adobe Systems.
He pursued an electrical engineering degree at the University of Utah while working at O'Laughlin's electronics store and processing film at Sun Photo. He served in the Army, Air Force and Navy before joining IBM to launch a career in electronic and computer manufacturing, testing and field service.
This took him to the San Francisco Bay area where he worked for several different companies in the early days of Silicon Valley, got married and had a son, Donald Scott. He continued living and working in the Bay Area as a manufacturing engineer and a technical writer. During this time, he finished his BS in Business and got his MS in Systems Engineering. His first marriage failed after six years, followed by a second marriage that lasted for 27.
In his spare time, Don remodeled his homes and developed a passion for sailing, cruising the Bay and California coast in four sailboats, the largest a 40 foot antique Ketch and the smallest a 27-foot sloop. His sailing stories are filled with adventure as he recounts the dangers and the rapture of his many sojourns at sea. He also loved biking, open water swimming, hiking and rollerblading in California.
In 1989 he met the love of his life while working as a Manufacturing Engineering Manager at Pyramid Technology in Mountain View, California. Carolyn Saam Bennion worked in Human Resources, and a strong friendship began. When he left to take another job, they didn't see each other again until the late 1990's when they bumped into each other at a local dry cleaners and discovered that they were neighbors. Common interests and circumstances led to romance and the rest is history!
In 2002 they moved to Ogden, Carolyn's home town, to care for her ailing parents and to be closer to Don's parents who were also living in Utah. After her parents died they both became involved in community volunteering, canvassed for local elections and served as officers on the board of the Egyptian Theatre Foundation for several years.
He and Carolyn bought a home in Ogden, remodeling every room in the house over the years using his skills in electrical wiring, carpentry, plumbing and design. He is truly a do-it-yourselfer!
Don still loves the water, often towing his sailing Hobie kayak behind his 1985 Volkswagen Westphalia Camper to Pine View Reservoir. Don is always planning his next "man trip" in the VW to California where he visits his son Don Scott in Half Moon Bay or Carolyn's four children who live in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica and San Diego.
Don and Carolyn have been together for over 20 years. They got married three years ago, and this year they were sealed for time and all eternity in the Ogden LDS Temple, where they enjoy doing temple work.
Don is currently serving as a counselor in the Sunday School Presidency and greatly values being active in their ward. He is still physically active and still doing remodeling. He continues to prune our trees, shovel our snow, and cooks breakfast every day!
He also refuses to "let the old man in"!