Obituary: Val Norton “Gonk” Jacobs
February 22, 1937 – August 25, 2020
Val Norton was born in Steamboat Springs February 22, 1937 to Edith (More) and Val Jacobs. In his youth he spent the weekends at his grandparents’ ranch [Amelia (Gay) and Val More] southeast of Steamboat; where he learned the appreciation of land and ranching. He was an active member of FFA and carried his projects at the ranch; they called him a commuter rancher.
In high school he was starting to drive truck. He drove for Hugh Brown and later Rusty Baker. By then he was driving truck three days a week. He brought movies from Denver to The Rio Theater in Oak Creek. On February 16, 1955 he married his FFA sweetheart Janie Wheeler.
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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Nort signed up with the Army Reserves in the mid 1950’s while continuing to ranch and raise seven kids. He tried his hand in many adventures. There was cutter racing, chariot racing, stock car racing and snowmobile racing to name a few. He even tried logging and custom haying. Along with all the extra stuff his true love was ranching. When the boys were in high school he filled in as the school activity bus driver.
After leaving the Steamboat area he filled his time with friends, family, faith and tractors. He also enjoyed supporting Routt and Moffat County Junior Livestock Sales and the NRA.
Gonk went to be with our Lord August 25, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Janie (Wheeler) Jacobs, Colleen Blake (Tony), Noreen Williams (Doug), Janeen Deines, Valeen Jacobs, Bernadeen Notari (Dave), Judd Jacobs (Sandy), Shane Jacobs, eleven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial services are 1:00pm Thursday, September 3 at The Journey Church in Craig, CO with a reception following at the Jacobs ranch.
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