Stephen Andrew Jakub, 67, passed away peacefully of natural causes at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield on June 13 surrounded by his family. He was the husband of Evelyn (Evvie) Jakub, his “better ⅔” with whom he shared 46 years of marriage and adventures, and father to the “Z” kids: Zachary, Zebulon, Ezekiel, and Zerah.
Born on September 5, 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts to George and Isabel Jakub, Stephen was the youngest of 4 children raised in North Quincy, MA. He was a graduate of North Quincy High School (‘70) where he was a member of the soccer and gymnastics teams. He was also a graduate of Springfield College (‘74) where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, and Science. It was at Springfield College where he met the love of his life, Evvie, and they exchanged wedding vows on September 7, 1973. Stephen also earned a Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership (‘83) and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Secondary Teacher Education, Physical Education Teacher Education (‘93) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Stephen worked at the Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton as the Director of Health, Physical Education and Aquatics before beginning a 34 year career as a Health and Physical Education teacher for Greenfield Public Schools. He helped to co-write the Massachusetts Health Curriculum Frameworks, and served as a mentor to many student teachers. He coached the GHS Boys Varsity Soccer team for 33 seasons, Girls Varsity Track for 32 seasons, as well as Varsity Gymnastics for 6 seasons, and Downhill Skiing for 8 seasons. He also coached for the Recorder Youth Soccer League and the Franklin County Hockey Association, and was a soccer referee for many years. He received the 2019 Stan Benjamin Excellence in Athletics award for his dedicated care and service to the students of Greenfield HIgh School as a teacher, coach, mentor, and friend. After his retirement in 2010, he focused his passion for teaching into creating a STEM-based curriculum for under-privileged youth in Panama through the non-profit NGO Conservación Panama.
Stephen spent many summer painting houses with his company Pride Painting. He enjoyed the outdoors, especially rock climbing and orienteering, and took his family on many camping trips all over the US. He loved visiting historic sites and riding roller coasters equally. He was an avid birdwatcher and took joy in beating his family at both Cribbage and Chess. He was always ready with a joke and had amazing timing for punchlines. He was a lifelong fan of both the Red Sox and Gunsmoke and shared his impressive music collection with anyone who would listen.
Stephen lived for his family and his happiest moments were those in which his entire family was able to gather together. Through all of life's twists and turns Stephen never failed to bring laughter and joy to the world. He made it his mission to model his values with the hope of instilling them in his family, students, and athletes.
He was a member of Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenfield.
He is survived by his wife Evelyn (Murphy) Jakub; sons Zachary (Juli) Jakub of Leyden, MA, Zebulon (Lauren) Jakub of Augusta, ME, Ezekiel (Melva) Jakub of Miraflores-Coclé, Republic of Panamá, and daughter Zerah (Kevin) Burr of Alexandria, VA. He was Grampa to Eowyn and Narya Jakub, Olivia Wallace, and Theodore Burr. Brother of David (Susan) Jakub of Hingham, MA, Rick (Anne) Jakub of Hingham, MA, and Susan (Ken) Klatka of Springfield, MA. Uncle to numerous nieces and nephews, and friend to many. He was predeceased by his parents, George and Isabel (Norton) Jakub, and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, John and Edna (Kent) Murphy.
A private Funeral Mass for immediate family will be held at Blessed Sacrament Church and burial will be held at a future date when travel is safe due to the coronavirus pandemic. Donations in his memory can be made to the Stephen A. Jakub Memorial Fund through Conservación Panama at http://www.conservacionpanamaca.org/support-us.html. Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Greenfield, MA is assisting the family with arrangements.
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