Stoughton – Pat (Dalsoren) Jacobson, age 76, passed away surrounded by her family on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, at St. Mary’s Hospital.
She was born on July 27, 1939, in Stoughton, Wisconsin, the daughter of Alvin and Ruby (Nelson) Dalsoren. After graduating from Stoughton High School in 1956, she moved to Madison and took an apartment with other young professional women. Soon Pat would make career and romantic commitments that would suffice for the rest of her life.
Pat’s family life began with the dawn of the 1960s when she met Merlin Jacobson (Cambridge, Wisconsin) at a dance at Edwards Park in McFarland, Wisconsin. The two wed at First Lutheran Church in Stoughton, Wisconsin June 3, 1961, and two hard-working Norwegian-American farm families were united. The social life of the newlyweds focused primarily on Southern Wisconsin friends and family, dances and Pat’s newfound passion for athletics. Then, February 19, 1967, Pat and Merlin added a baby boy to their little country home near the Dalsoren Family farm East of Stoughton. They named him Martin (Marty), and through him, Pat discovered that which would define her life’s greatest work, motherhood. The family would be complete with the seventeenth wedding anniversary gift of another baby boy; they named him Jan. The two treasures of which she was most proud, Marty has become an accomplished Chiropractor and hospital administrator in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Jan has become a leader as an engineer and manager in the renewable energy industry in San Francisco, California. Perhaps Pat’s closest relationship of her life was the deep bond she had with her mother Ruby, a great lady whose solidity and nurturing nature gave Pat the foundation for her beautiful life.
Pat’s young family built their second home in the country South of Stoughton in 1973, which would ultimately solidify her lifelong residency in her beloved Stoughton community. Together, Pat and Merlin envisioned quietly enjoying country evenings, busily planting gardens and flowers throughout the property and curling up around cozy winter fires with their young family. They would be blessed with those things, but they could not have envisioned the love and companionship that they found in their neighbors. Social gatherings in her neighborhood were one of Pat’s greatest joys; they would continue on a regular basis until she left her home in 2013 for the Skaalen Home in Stoughton, Wisconsin. Over those forty years, further friendships were forged in communities built around her career, her children’s sports teams, The Sons of Norway and, of course, her active membership of her cherished First Lutheran Church (FLC).
Her devoted service and gifts to FLC ranged from simply attending church every Sunday to teaching 8th-grade children Sunday School for roughly thirty years and assisting leading church services. Even late in life, she would relish in her wheelchair spot, two rows from the front, beaming as her church community greeted her after communion. The entirety of both her physical and bodily spiritual life was lived as a member of FLC; she will be missed dearly.
Pat was deeply fulfilled by her career at the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department, first as an administrative assistant, but ultimately as an academic affairs guide for student-athletes and contributor in myriad ways that aren’t found in a job description. As a spry seventeen-year-old, she required a signed permission slip from her mother to start working, and so forty-two years later Athletic Director Pat Richter drafted another permission slip, signed by Ruby Dalsoren to allow her to retire. Even the tough Barry Alvarez had a tear in his eye at her retirement event as the list of accomplishments were read; chief among them was Pat’s founding support for what has become one of America’s greatest running events, The Crazylegs Classic.
UW sports would provide one of Pat’s great joys, as a season ticket holder in football, basketball, and hockey. She also had a deep passion for the Packers. She was an animal lover, especially her late life companions Jader and Doc. She loved genealogy and revered Norway, a country she visited three times with her loving husband Merlin. But in the end, Pat’s essence was most vivid with the people she loved. Even in her final moments, barely able to speak, she “touched the heart” of her intensive care nurses. She was a sweet, bright shining light of love that didn’t judge and didn’t complain, despite debilitating neurological challenges. She was an inspiration to many and her lovely smile and infectious will be missed dearly. Simply put she was motherhood and joy.
She is survived by her son Marty and his wife Christine (Holewinski) Jacobson; her son Jan and his partner Manpreet Grewal; brother David Dalsoren and his wife Michelle Dalsoren; brother Roger Dalsoren and his wife Joanne Dalsoren; and sister-in-law Sharon Lunde.
She was preceded in death by her parents Alvin and Ruby Dalsoren; husband Merlin Jacobson; and brother Arnold Dalsoren.
The Family would like to thank the loving, excellent care of the Skaalen Home, Agrace Hospice Inpatient Center, and St. Mary’s Hospital Intensive Care.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2016, at First Lutheran Church 310 E. Washington St., Stoughton. A visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of services on Saturday. Pat will be laid to rest next to her husband at East Side Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to a luncheon immediately following the services.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family for a memorial to be determined at a later date.