BOSTON — In his role as professor, Bert Jacobs stood before a classroom for almost 40 years. But he made an even bigger difference through his role as teacher.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug. 24, 1942, Bert received a bachelor’s degree in 1965, and a doctorate in Educational Psychology in 1973, from the University of Cincinnati.

In 1972, he began teaching at the University of Maine at Farmington, where he worked until his leukemia-related death, July 6.

Bert’s legacy is as much in the lives he helped to change as in the thousands of students he taught. Whether advocating for a student during a difficult time, offering guidance on graduate school, or spending countless hours counseling someone in need, Bert worked tirelessly on behalf of others.

As a teacher, Bert challenged students’ reality. He wasn’t afraid to insult people’s egocentric behavior to help them grow. His lessons were always infused with humor, whether people knew it or not.

As professor, Bert helped to build the psychology department into one of UMF’s most popular majors. His candid and sometimes controversial lessons pushed students to look at the world in a new, often uncomfortable way.

He acted as chairman of psychology for a total of 24 years and as faculty liaison to the University of Maine Board of Trustees. His advocacy focused on the student-centric approach that UMF provided.

Bert volunteered at many healthcare organizations including the American Hospital Association. This experience allowed him to help countless people gain access to the best medical care. A licensed clinical psychologist, Bert worked with veterans as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves and with children during their parents’ divorces.

In his younger years, Bert played poker and competitive table tennis. He developed a love for dogs, often opening his home to rescued animals. The rebel in him enjoyed speeding on motorcycles with loaded pistols (which he never intended to use) strapped to the hip.

In his course on Death and Dying, Bert taught about impermanence helped many people enhance their own lives—which, in turn, defined his own.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Kathleen Deul-Jacobs; and four children and two grandchildren: Dr. Lou Jacobs, his wife, Ana, and their daughter, Anca; Ruth Jacobs, her husband, Craig Jackson, and their son, Anton; Dr. Max Jacobs and Thomas Deul.

Bert was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Edith Jacobs, who, along with his wife, he helped to care for at home for many years prior to their deaths.

Condolences and tributes may be shared with his family on his memorial wall at

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