He attended Oregon College of Education where he earned a B.A. and an M.A. and co-founded a chapter of Big Brother/Big Sister; after his studies in Monmouth, he taught at an American school in Medellin, Colombia for 18 months. Scott then earned his Masters in Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he met his wife.
Professionally, Scott was a highly regarded Latin American bibliographer who was awarded both the President’s Award and the Foik Award at the University of Notre Dame during the 14 years he worked there. Beyond Notre Dame, he forged strong professional relationships with Latin American bibliographers around the country and with librarians and book dealers in Argentina, Uruguay ‘ and Spain.
An accomplished amateur runner, Scott won the Harrisburg Mile at the age of 38 and had a personal best time of 4:07. Scott dabbled successfully in the yeast arts, producing delicious beers and breads. A summer’s barbeque on the porch with family and friends was his idea, of a perfect evening. He was a voracious reader who had an encyclopedic knowledge of running statistics and an impressive collection of track and field biographies. He had the great fortune of overseeing the acquisition and study of an important collection of manuscripts of his favorite writer, Jorge Luis Borges.
He loved to travel around with his family, explored North America from sea to shining sea, much of South America (particularly his beloved Argentina), and lived for a short time in Barcelona where he studied Catalan-language publishing.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughters, Nina and Gemma; and stepdaughter, Amy. He has joined his mother, Lois Field, who passed away over a year ago. Scott is also survived by his father, Norman Jacob; stepmother, Jacque, of Eagle Point; brothers, James Jacob and David Jacob; and stepbrothers, Robert Edwards, Mark Wolter, Phillip Wolter and Gregg Jacob.
A celebration of his life was held Sunday, Nov. 15 at Gentle House in Monmouth, Ore., on the campus of Western Oregon University. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Van Jacob Family Education Fund at Notre Dame Federal Credit Union.
Scott Van Jacob was well loved by many. He had seemingly infinite patience and kindness, was gentle and loving, ready to help anyone who was in need. He was the kind of person who not only saw the glass as half full, but who also appreciated the beauty of the glass itself and the contents therein. Though he called the Midwest home, Oregon and its sawtoothed horizons, its mountains and fields and rivers, reigned in his heart.