M. Dean Jacoby
  • 85 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 23, 1928
  • Place of birth:
    Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Date of passing: Nov 11, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Dallas, Texas, United States
A man is happiest, who when he reaches one summit, always sees another one which has to be climbed. -- Stella Meyers Fiegel (from Whispers About Men, 1939)

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Dean Jacoby (1928 - 2014). Information that the family wishes to pass along will be shared here, and in turn, we ask that you feel free to share your thoughts and memories, as well as any photographs and media that you wish to contribute.

Dr. M. Dean Jacoby passed away peacefully on November 11, 2014. He was born on November 23, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of Dr. and Mrs. Myron David Jacoby.  He graduated from Brown University in 1950, and completed work on his Master’s degree in History prior to attending Medical School at Wayne State University. He later received a Master’s degree in Art History from SMU.

After becoming co-chief resident at Children’s Hospital in Detroit, then serving in the US Army Medical Corps, he opened a pediatrics practice in Dallas, Texas on January 2, 1952. In addition to his private practice, he worked at several local hospitals, attaining the position of Chief of Pediatrics at St. Paul Hospital and teaching at Southwestern Medical School as an Associate Clinical Professor.

He had a remarkable career, presiding over many unusual cases such as Siamese twins, quadruplets and children with multiple abnormalities.  For his exemplary work, he was awarded an honorary degree by the Pediatric Society of Greater Dallas. 

In addition to his vocation in the field of medicine, he led a full and rewarding life.  He traveled extensively and enjoyed art, music, food and wine.  His knowledge and appreciation of wine led to his distinction in that field, and while his most cherished achievement was his graduation from the German Wine Academy, he is best remembered for the wine courses he taught and through the people that attended them who remained dear to him in friendship.

He was preceded in death by his father, Myron David Jacoby, his mother Esther Ellen Jacoby and his wife Carol Jacoby, whom he married on December 23, 1963. He is survived by his son, David Jacoby, daughter Amy Turner, their respective spouses, Janet Jacoby and Tom Turner, and his dog Dede.

He wishes to thank all of his friends and associates for helping him lead a full and satisfying life.

A celebration of his life was held on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm at Maggiano's Little Italy in NorthPark Center. A short program, which included a slide show presentation was followed by a buffet dinner. This presentation and more may be found in the Video section of the Gallery page on this website.

In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to the SPCA of Texas, or alternately in support of a worthy cause of one’s choosing. He gave generously of himself, and his memory remains alive in the spirit of charity.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Kellee G on 19th April 2016

"I don't know why Dr. Jacoby of all people have been on my mind so heavily lately. But he was my doctor probably until I was 14 or so. I can still hear his voice, I remember the faces he made when he put the wooden thing in my mouth and the other thing in my ear. I can remember his caring face as he told my mom what to do with me when I was sick. I have no idea why he's been on my mind so much. I kind of wanted to visit him so he could see how I turned out and I found out that he passed. I can even smell all the dr. soap he used!!! Crazy. He was a sweet man a great dr. He was my sons doctor until we moved away. He is missed and he did make a great impression on my life. Rest well Dr. Jacoby!"

This tribute was added by MARCIA SNOWDEN on 11th November 2015

"He will live on in my heart and my families forever. We miss him so much. What an amazing man he was."

This tribute was added by Cynthia Perry on 2nd February 2015

"Hi Amy and David, I tried to message you on Facebook but it likely went to your "other" folder as we are not connected.My name is Cynthia Chambers- Perry and I was a patient of your father from 1966-1984. He was a wonderful and special man. He was kind and loving to his patients and at a time when many North Dallas physicians would not take African American patients, your father did. He treated the Black children exactly the same as all other kids. He and Elmer were like family. It was at his office that I found out that I was adopted as a baby and it was he that consoled me and helped me to understand that it was a good thing.  I tried to keep up with your Dad over the years. I read his blogs and articles written about him and his wine adventures. I had last checked google for him over the summer and was happy he was still with us. Today I was talking with my husband about how I am sure I was vaccinated for measles because my pediatrician didn't make mistakes! I then looked up Dr. Jacoby only to find he has passed in November. I am so sorry for your loss. I wanted to reach out to you and your brother, who he often spoke about, to thank you for sharing your father with so many children for so many years. God Bless you and your family. Dr. Jacoby will be missed but never forgotten."

This tribute was added by mary kay sullivan on 19th January 2015

"Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let Your perpetual light shine upon him and may his soul rest with You now and forever in Peace and Love.  Amen.  

I didn't know your dad, David,however, Janet shared  some wonderful things about him that brought a smile to my face.  David my prayers and thoughts as you heal for the loss of your dad."

This tribute was added by cheryl d on 5th December 2014

"I did not know Dr Jacoby but I am sorry to hear about your loss. Many people have different ideas about death but what the bible says is that there is going to be a resurrection-- Acts 24:15. so there is real hope of seeing your loved one again.

                                            My deepest sympathy."

This tribute was added by Amy Turner on 24th November 2014

"It has taken me quite a while to find the words of what to say about Dad.  He was always Daddy to me.  I didn't matter that I am a married almost 48 year old woman, he was daddy.  And i miss him.  It is hard for me to express in any words the love I felt for him and that I may not have always expressed but the feelings were and always will be there.  

As everyone has said, he was an awesome man.  

He lived his life to the fullest and never had any regrets.  

If i can live my life to that extent that I believe I will have made him proud of me.

But as I said it is very hard for me to express my thoughts and feelings in words as there are not enough words in this world to say my thoughts and feelings and the love I felt for Daddy.

May he rest in peace in that big wine cellar in the sky!"

This tribute was added by David Jacoby on 24th November 2014

"Dad was fond of planning things down to the most minute detail, although,
to me, he was at his best when forced to improvise. Such as in 1982, when
we were driving through Galway, Ireland and the car overheated. He
improvised alright, sending me and Amy... sorry, Dad... sending Amy and
I... or rather... sending us back and forth into a peat bog with a Coke
can to get water for the radiator, which Mom then filled with a makeshift
funnel carved from a milk jug.

Because of his knack for detail, I know he would appreciate a carefully
prepared and rehearsed eulogy, and I have put considerable thought into
what I would say. But thoughts change, and so have I, and for that matter,
so has he, therefore some degree of freedom is needed to aptly convey
that. And besides, meaningful interactions are best nurtured in their
spontaneity. So I'll compromise and follow my notes, while at the same
time attempting to speak from the same heart from which these words arise.

Dad was not without his faults; none of us are. And when Mom died nearly
10 years ago, much of his strength died with her. Their relationship was
as symbiotic and complementary as any that history is ever likely to have
witnessed, with him being the forge and her the anvil. I had previously
perceived his lack of abundant force of will as weakness in him, however,
his misplaced trust in people not deserving of that trust and uncanny
ability to forgive rascals for acting the part was actually indicative of
their frailty, not his. Moreover, he was a gentleman decades if not
centuries removed from a time in which honorable associations with one's
peers were the rule as opposed to the exception, and it is the
deterioration of the civil society which is entirely to blame for that.
Later in life as he became more dependent on others, he was seduced by the
false notion that the ends justify the means, and that became the
underlying source of much disagreement between us. The rest of humanity
should be so lucky to count something so relatively benign as a matter of
philosophical opinion among our greatest failings.

There is no doubt that Dad was a great man in that he accomplished much in
life, yet found time all along to give of himself to many people from many
backgrounds. Some of this came at the expense of his own family, and he
had some regrets in that regard, but his cause was noble and the legions
of his patients, their parents and now their offspring are a little bit
better for the experience. He would frequently stay up late at night
giving guidance to the parents of an ill child, and be up at the crack of
dawn the following day to make the rounds at area hospitals. By the time
Amy and I were 10 years old, we were completely qualified to teach
pediatric residency classes on sponge bathing a toddler to reduce a fever.
And he would always spend additional time cheering up those kids - his
Donald Duck imitation was legendary, and he invariably went the extra mile
in reassuring the parents and keeping them informed. He scheduled fewer
appointments in a given day than he otherwise might have in order to
ensure that each patient received the full "Dr. Jacoby treatment".

Dad put forth the same effort in cultivating all relationships, be it with
family, friends, neighbors, colleagues or strangers. The stories he would
tell, even after several airings, never lost their luster... ok, some may
have lost just a little bit to those around him enough to hear them so
many times we could recite them verbatim, but these were all threads in
the tapestry of his being that he so capably wove. Mom used to say that he
could carry on a conversation with a fence post and learn something from
it. Never mind that the fence post stood to learn far more from him. This
quality endeared him to just about everyone he came in contact with, and
probably a few fence posts as well.

Unfortunately, I caused more consternation for my parents than any joy I
might have brought them. To be frank, I had to take the circuitous route
to reach an objective, because the direct route was just too simple. I
believe that's why I gravitated toward an understanding of nature, because
such an endeavor requires an appreciation of nature's intricacies as well
as common sense: two attributes that were always in short supply with me.

Growing up, the closest my father and I ever became was on June 6, 1978 in
Dartmoor, Devonshire, England, when through some gross oversight on his
part, he had left the schedule open in the afternoon. So we took a stroll
down a trail following the river Teign below Prestonbury Castle, and we
were father and son for one of the few times in my childhood, enjoying the
simple things, such as water running across the rocks and wild grasses
swaying in the breeze. But more than that, we enjoyed each other's
company. Thankfully, Dad had me keep a diary of that vacation, and this is
not the first time I've referred to it for details, although the feeling I
had that day is still fresh in my mind.

That walk alongside the Teign was the happiest time of my life up to that
point and it had to have been gratifying to him as well, because later we
would reminisce extensively about it. Some 24 hours later, however, we
crossed a "clapper" bridge in Postbridge, and he became infuriated at me
for being improper by referring to it by a term analogous to a common
water closet. When Amy and then Mom joined in the fun, he was cornered and
was none too happy about it either. A lot of good will was undone because
of that "crapper" bridge.

It wasn't until the end of Dad's time on this Earth that he and I saw
eye-to-eye on a number of things, such as that what matters to me far more
than "what" I am is "who" I am, that I will always be indebted to him for
the upbringing he made possible and that my loyalty to him is unwavering.
In keeping with the Fifth Commandment, I strive to honor him and Mom, not
with great works like those in abundance throughout his resume, but in the
embodiment of attributes such as decency, sincerity, generosity and
reliability that they taught me. To that end, I felt I had no choice but
to attempt to place him into an environment where his dignity might be
restored, if only temporarily. I was concerned that if he ever got his
wits back about him that he would take umbrage at my intervening in his
affairs, but reality was quite the opposite. He did recover enough to
become fully aware of his situation and was comforted in knowing that I
would go to such lengths to ensure that he received the best care
possible. He confided that he had been wrong about me, and had misjudged
me, and, in turn, I confessed that I had been wrong about him in many,
many ways. It was precisely that newfound connection between us that
allowed us to become father and son once again, and I am so very grateful
for that opportunity.

Many years ago, at a Sabbath service I attended, the Rabbi sermonized
about the legacy of Judaism, advising that being among the "chosen people"
was not a privilege but rather a responsibility, and therefore our part in
the Convenant requires our constant vigilance. As Jews, we are tasked with
living our lives in an exemplary manner, that others might observe, and
should they see fit to judge our best qualities as imitable, that they may
seek the same well from which these qualities spring. Commonly, this
endeavor is understood to occur through the three vehicles of repentance,
prayer and charity, but these terms do not adequately describe the
concepts of teshuvah, tefilla and tzedakah. In particular, the Hebrew term
tzedakah implies righteousness, and therefore charity is to be understood
as a means to an end, not as some act of kindness undertaken for its own
sake. Dad was in many ways the personification of this principle because
not only was it his obligation as a doctor, parent, friend or neighbor to
be kind, generous and always respectful, but because it was ingrained in
him at the most profound level of his being. He gave. It was his greatest
virtue and I pray that G-d would find room in His heart to sanctify the
soul of a man whose worldly deeds would earn him such esteem in our eyes
and whose graciousness enriched the lives of all who knew him."

This tribute was added by Sarah Parkinson on 22nd November 2014

"The world seems just a bit smaller now that Uncle Dean is no longer in is hard to conceive that I will not see that face light up with joy again. His generosity of spirit was phenomenal--did he ever meet a stranger? Seemed like he could talk to anyone, about almost anything! And boy, did he love to talk; everything was interesting to him.
A "short" visit lasted for hours & there was always more left to discuss...
Sadly, I am out of the country & will not be able to join the celebration of Uncle Dean's life on Sunday. I will pay tribute & lift a glass of wine to toast him with you. But my real tribute will be to try to mimic his exceptional kindness in my everyday life.
He will be missed, he will be remembered.  He is loved."

This tribute was added by Diana Finn on 22nd November 2014

"My sincere condolences to David and Amy.  

Dr. Jacoby was my three sons' much loved pediatrician between 1972 to probably the mid 90's .   He guided us through all kinds of trauma and ailments.  After all these years, we still talk about him and affectionately recall the Dr. Jacoby "isms".   So attached were my children to him that he had to call me to advise that my oldest was now, "out of diapers", and ought to move on at 18 years old!    It was a pleasure to know such an intelligent, kind and thoughtful human being, and I am so grateful for the way he cared for my boys.  What joy there must be in heaven now to welcome him home.  
Sincerely, Diana Finn (Costanzo)"

This tribute was added by Nancy Pfau on 19th November 2014

"To our friend and wine mentor Dean Jacoby...we will miss you and have always appreciated your spirit and intellect...your physical body may be gone but you will be with us forever!  Bob O and Nancy"

This tribute was added by Gary Negbaur on 18th November 2014

"My condolences. Dean was always such a gracious host. He had  boundless curiosity and enthusiasm and a hearty laugh that I won't forget. I am grateful for the time I got to spend with him over the years. He will be missed."

This tribute was added by Michael Harris on 18th November 2014

"I'm grateful that I was able to meet Dean recently and found him to be a highly intelligent and fascinating person. Rest in peace, my friend."

This tribute was added by Jim Marks on 17th November 2014

"Mary Fay Marks and Susan and I send condolences to Amy and David.Mary Fay has known Dean since they served in the Army together at Camp Wolters. I was a fellow pediatrician and a fellow wino.  We all attened many memorable wine tastings with Dean and Carol.  He was a great man with a wonderful sense of humor."

This tribute was added by MARCIA SNOWDEN on 17th November 2014

"I will so miss him...thanks to Dr. jacoby myself and all my children made it thru childhood.....There is a special place in heaven for Dr. Jacoby"

This tribute was added by GEOFFREY M. MILLER M.D. on 17th November 2014

"He had  special gift. We will all miss him."

This tribute was added by Derlena Young on 17th November 2014

"Dr. Jacoby was the BEST pediatrician.  He was my doctor when I was little.  I'm now 40 and I'll NEVER forget his kindness when treating me.  I was never afraid of the doctor thanks to him.  What a wonderful person.  My prayers to the family."

This tribute was added by SHERYL MILLER on 17th November 2014


This tribute was added by Richard Parkinson on 15th November 2014

"I called you my Uncle all of my life, and you were more dear to me than you know. I love you Uncle Dean."

This tribute was added by David Jacoby on 13th November 2014

"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee;
The Lord make His face to shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee,
and give thee peace."

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This memorial is administered by:

Amy Turner
David Jacoby


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