Jacobson, Donald M. Obituaries heraldcourier.com

Donald M. Jacobson, 75, of Bluff City, Tenn., passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, in Vero Beach, Fla. He was born in Hartford, Conn., April 29, 1941, the son of David J. and Jean C. (Tullin) Jacobson. He graduated from Weaver High School in Hartford and the University of Connecticut in Storrs in 1963. He served in the Air Force Reserves for two years after college. Donald was President and Owner of Peerless Woodworking Corp. in Bristol, Tenn. His father started the business in 1940 in Conn., and Donald began his career working for his father when he was just a young teenager sweeping the floors after school. After graduation from college, he went to work full time in the business learning everything from the ground up. He took over the business when his father retired in 1975.

In 1993, he re-located the company from E. Glastonbury, Conn., to Bristol, Tenn. Peerless Woodworking manufactured high-end architectural custom commercial furniture. The company produced millwork for hospitals, nursing homes, courthouses, sports arenas (such as Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titians, all of Speedway Motorsports tracks), and most notably, the Ronald Reagan Library in Calif., just to name a few. Known as Don or "Jake" to his friends, everyone became his friend once you met him. He was a man of true conviction, a man of his word, a man of passion. In the early 1960’s he took up snow skiing in Vt. and soon became an expert skier and moved to Vt. only to be closer to the ski areas. He used to brag that he skied over 100 days per year. In the 1980’s, after passing an airport one day, he decided he wanted to learn how to fly. He obtained his private pilot’s license and purchased his first of four airplanes. Aviation became his life. In 1991, he was flying a PA-46, Piper Malibu. That year, the FAA and NTSB grounded all PA-46’s citing safety issues. Don, along with only three other men known as the Malibu Coalition, raised enough money in 45 days via the telephone to hire a former FAA Administrator to represent all PA-46 owners and their interests to the FAA and NTSB and successfully proved the airplane was not at fault. At this same time another small group of owners and pilots were beginning to form, now known as MMOPA, the Malibu- Mirage Owners & Pilots Assoc., of which Don became a charter and lifelong member. Fishing and boating was another passion. He needed to be in proximity to an ocean, lake or river throughout his life. He loved deep-sea fishing piloting his own boats. He spent weekends bass fishing on the TVA lakes and, after retirement, he spent every moment he could fishing on the community’s private lake at his home in the mountains of N.C. In 1993, after moving the business to Tenn., his life took another turn, NASCAR racing. Peerless Woodworking was located next to the south entrance to the Bristol Motor Speedway. When he purchased the building he had no idea of the impact that racing would have on his life or business. Because of the business’ location, he met and became friends with many NASCAR celebrities and television personalities. Thrilled by what he was experiencing, Don had to share these experience with his friends and business associates and invited everyone he knew to either come to the suite for a race or park in the yard. Donald leaves behind his wife, Diane Damian, of Bluff City, Tenn.; two brothers, Robert Jacobson and wife, Barbara of Springvale, Maine, and Michael Jacobson and wife, Ann of Bradford, Mass., and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 25, 2017, at the MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center, 1901 MeadowView Parkway, Kingsport, Tenn. Family and friends will be received from 1 until 3 p.m., prior to the Celebration at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one’s favorite charity.