Cover photo for Mary Jane Jacobs's Obituary
Mary Jane Jacobs Profile Photo
1940 Mary jane 2021

Mary Jane Jacobs

March 23, 1940 — March 16, 2021

Mary Jane Jacobs, 80, of Fort Sumner, New Mexico passed away at her residence of natural causes on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. One of seven children born to parents Albert Francis Riley and Esther Marie Riley, Mary Jane was brought into this world on March 23, 1940 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. A graduate of Aquinas High School in La Crosse, she also attended the University of Minnesota and Laney College in Oakland, California. Mary Jane’s creativity, talent, and sense of adventure led to her participation in high school theatrical productions and eventually to a career as a variety singer and entertainer. She performed regularly in the 1960s and 1970s, touring nationally, and was known for her renditions of songs from the Great American Songbook. She also composed several songs, most notably “Liberated Woman,” a feminist lament that was in keeping with an era heavily influenced by the women’s rights movement. A striking and statuesque beauty at 5’09” tall, Mary Jane wowed audiences with her lavish, custom-tailored costumes and glamorous stage presence. With stars in her eyes, and a dream to chase, Mary Jane made the cross-country trek to California with her two children in tow and settled in the Bay Area in 1971. A small-town girl with a bohemian sensibility, Mary Jane attracted a coterie of artists, musicians and writers who frequently visited the family home and formed a salon of sorts. She had a glamorous, eclectic style that was reflected in everything from the color of her hair to her home’s décor. She was the kind of woman who wore go-go boots and mini-skirts, but also planted swiss chard and chives and kept chickens for organic eggs. She loved animals and her passion for vintage clothing was not to be denied. Living life as a walking contradiction, Mary Jane fascinated many. It is the memory of her fearless beauty and strong spirit that will live on in all who crossed her path. She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert Francis and Esther Marie Riley; sisters Margaret Hilliker, Patricia Moore, and June R. Martin; a nephew James A. Ritter; and former first husband Ralph W. Jacobs. She is survived by her two daughters, Holly Tempo of Inglewood, California and Jade Maze of Westchester, Illinois; a sister Helen Naysmith (Ron); brothers William Riley (Susan) and Michael Riley (Renate); brother in law Gerald Hilliker; numerous nieces and nephews; and former second husband Robert Cocca. As per her wishes, Mary Jane will be cremated at the Chavez Funeral Home. A private, family memorial will take place during Summer 2021 in Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Lap Dog Rescue of New Mexico (lapdogrescue.org).
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jane Jacobs, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree