Freethought Today is very sad to report the death of FFRF Lifetime Member Michael Jacobson, 74, who first joined FFRF in 1991. Mike died of pulmonary fibrosis on April 13 at his home in Las Vegas.
Born in Philadelphia in 1944, he had a brief marriage at 18, divorced at 19, joined the Army, then attended the University of Utah. He performed various odd jobs until he found his niche in land sales.
His partner of one year, Lawana Al-Dhari, reports that Mike closed his final land sale three days before his death. He even took a road trip the weekend before his death to Arizona, armed with 20 daily liters of oxygen, to visit his good friends, FFRF Life Members and Freethought Hall benefactors Joel Landon and Wanda Beers, to celebrate Joel’s 80th birthday.
Mike attended annual FFRF conventions “religiously” and long served as Nevada’s FFRF state representative. He was an ardent supporter of freethought and the separation of state and church, and belonged to many secular groups, but, according to Lawana, felt closest to FFRF. He was a founding member of the (Philadelphia) Freethought Society, run by Margaret Downey initially as a FFRF chapter, and was active with that group until moving to Nevada.
He missed the 40th annual FFRF convention last fall, after being informed he needed emergency heart surgery. It turned out his lungs were in worse shape than his heart. Suffering from constant oxygen deprivation, after five months on hospice care, Michael “willed himself to die.” Lawana reported that the evening before his death, Mike, who had lost 50 pounds, enjoyed a big “last supper.”
“We will miss Michael’s cheery and supportive presence so very much,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “He will leave a hole in our movement.”