Zak Jacobs, a beloved member of the Cordova community, abruptly left our world on June 6. The immensity of our loss is matched only by the intensity of our love for Zak and by the outpouring of support from the community to those closest to him.
Zak was remembered on June 19 at a celebration in Cordova that drew many hundreds of his friends and family. Evident from the stories shared is that Zak understood the power and the value of our connections to one another. He left us laughing through our tears, reliving and replaying the many times he inspired us, surprised us, challenged us, comforted us and made us laugh.
Many generations of Cordovans loved him, and Zak’s impact and influence spanned all social groups. As Robert Masolini stated, “Zak was everyone’s very close friend.”
Zak knew how to show up for people and he had a sense of what to say to them. Many people shared stories about him being there for them when they needed a friend.
He was described in his eulogy as “brilliant, funny, and real,” and many friends recalled him as “one of the smartest people they knew.” Zak’s intelligence was as versatile and multidimensional as he was. He was strongly opinionated yet socially intelligent, and intuitive enough to know how far to push people — and did so regularly. He was unafraid to challenge others and provoke dialogue.
Zak was good at living. He loved sharing good food with friends and family, and was a fabulous cook and mixologist. He traveled extensively across five continents, making friends everywhere he went.
On trips to Colorado to visit his family, he loved riding horses with his sister, Emma, cooking with his mother, Lisa Marie, and building projects with his stepfather, Elwin. During his visit this past winter he lovingly designed a new kitchen that he and Elwin built, with beautiful and clever details he knew his mom would love.
During a trip to Medellin, Colombia, Zak met the love of his life, Rosanna Tigrera. Their shared passion for adventure took them through deserts, jungles, remote villages and big cities. They lived in Indonesia, Thailand, and Colombia. Their dream was to have a home in Cordova, Alaska and a small beach house near Rosanna’s family in Venezuela.
His family has received letters from around the globe, recounting his positive influence, good will, and generosity.
Zak’s joyful legacy lives: It lives in his deep and true love for his long-time partner, Rosanna; in his many lifelong friendships; in the children who knew him as Uncle Zak; and with his beloved mother, Lisa Marie, her husband Elwin, and his little sisters, Emma and Rosemica.