A True Cowboy
Loal Jacobson was born January 9, 1923 and passed away in his sleep on September 11, 2018 in Jackson at the age of 95. He was the youngest of nine children with four brothers and four sisters who were born to Oliver and Lydia Jacobson.
Loal’s first 16 years were spent on the family’s ranch homestead in the Grand Valley where the confluence of Elk Creek and Little Elk Creek came into the Snake River. In 1940, around age 17, the family ranch was flooded to create Palisades Reservoir and Loal headed to Jackson Hole to work on the Hansen Ranch. Around that time, he was also hired by RKO studios as an extra for the movie “Wyoming” where he appeared as a Calvary man and an Indian. He met many movie stars while filming including Charlton Heston, who asked he could ride a real working cow horse, and Loal obliged. While herding cattle during the summer of 1946 in the potholes area of Grand Teton National Park and the Oxbow Bend of the Snake River, over Cattleman’s Bridge, he met Marjorie Main while filming “Bad Bascomb. He remembered fondly that she would have the crew in stiches telling stories around the lunch table
In the early fifties, Loal and other cowboys would ride in from cow camp to the soda fountain in Moose where he met a beautiful eastern girl, Mary Waite Welles. He married that girl “Molly” in 1953 in Reno, Nevada. Soon after, they couple moved to Lone Rock, Oregon to run a cattle ranch for Molly’s aunt. It was there, that they started their family and had four boys.
In 1961, they returned to Jackson and Loal went to work for the 4 Lazy F Ranch in Moose. Accessing the ranch in the winter was by snowmobile and the kids enjoyed skiing behind while their dad pulled them. In the late sixties, the family then moved to the Skyline Ranch where Loal and the boys preformed the duties of a working cattle ranch. During these years, many happy family memories were created including coaching the boys' baseball teams, playing horseshoes and having cookouts in the Gros Ventre, Yellowstone and the Winds. He taught the boys to have a strong work ethic and a great love of the mountains.
In the mid seventies, Loal and Molly divorced and he became the Brand Inspector while continuing ranching at Skyline. Soon after the last of the boys graduated from high school, Skyline Ranch was subdivided and Loal had a home built in the new development. Continuing his cowboy ways, he returned to the Hansen Ranch and was Flankman at the Jackson Hole Rodeo, later judging the rough stock events. The ladies always enjoyed dancing with Loal at the Cowboy Bar or skiing with him on the slopes. At seventy-five, he took first place at the skijoring competition at Teton Village.
In the eighties, Loal started wintering in Wickenburg, Arizona working at the Rancho de Los Caballeros dude ranch as a wrangler, taking “Dudes” out in the desert, driving teams of horses in parades, and participating in ranch cookouts. He especially enjoyed weeklong club rides in the desert. He continued to spend summers in Jackson with his family and guided guests on pack and hunting trips into the Teton Wilderness and Pinedale area with Paul Gilroy. In 1993 he was awarded “Guide of the Year” by the Jackson Hole Outfitters. He guided for 20 more years taking his final trip at the age of ninety when he hung up his spurs.
Loving the wilderness as he did, Alaska called to him and he made numerous trips there with family and friends. He also enjoyed socializing at local establishments including; sourdough pancakes at Dornan’s, biscuits and gravy at Nora’s, and Canadian Mist and water at watering holes throughout the valley. Many kept a special bottle under the bar for Loal.
He is survived by the mother of his children, Molly of Port Townsend, Washington; his four sons, Chris of Jackson, Wyoming, Dave (Julie) of Ashton, Idaho, Tom (Liz) of Jackson, Wyoming, and Tim (Tracy) of Jackson, Wyoming; seven grandchildren, Malayna, Connor, Jared, Tory, Tyler, Shane and Koby; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Loal was a friend to all. God bless you and happy trails!
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at High Noon at Dornan’s Chuckwagon, Moose, Wyoming.