Jacob’s musical family fled Russia in 1926 to farm in Manitoba. At Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Gretna, Man., Jacob developed a love for poetry and language. He began teaching in 1938, and fell in love with fellow teacher Irma Schaefer. In 1953, the family moved to Ontario, where Jacob taught elementary school for 37 years, and served Tabor Manor as bookkeeper and groundskeeper. He enjoyed singing and conducting choirs, including the male choir for CKTB radio’s Glorious Gospel Program. Jacob’s faith under pressure and daily prayer to be a blessing inspired many.