JoAnn Jacoby

December 18, 1966 - April 3, 2021
JoAnn Jacoby

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JoAnn Jacoby, 54, of Washington, North Carolina, died at her home in the early morning hours of 3 April, 2021, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. A celebration of her life occurred one week earlier with a group of friends and family coming together on Ocracoke Island for several days to celebrate JoAnn’s life. No other services are planned. In lieu of flowers, etc., you may choose to donate to the charity of your choice. JoAnn was particularly interested in helping underprivileged groups and individuals throughout the world, and had a deep appreciation for the natural world – let these facts be your guide in choosing a charity if you wish.

Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, and grew up in Des Plains, Illinois. JoAnn spend much of her life in Illinois, earning a bachelors degree in 1989 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she majored in English. Following this, in 1997 she earned both a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the same University, as well as, in the same year, an M.A. in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In 1998, she joined the staff of the University of Illinois as an Assistant Librarian at the Illinois Natural History Survey Library, where she met her husband, Steve Taylor. She served in a vairety of roles at the University Library, taking on increasing responsibilities through the years (Anthropology and Sociology Subject Specialist {Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor}, 2002-2008; Coordinator, New Service Model Programs {Associate Professor}, 2008-2012; Head, Research and Information Services {Associate Professor}, 2010-2015; Associate University Librarian for User Services and Associate Dean of Libraries, 2015-2017). Her professional career ended with a three years as the Director of Tutt Library at Colorado College, 2017-2020, before retiring to Washington in coastal North Carolina with her husband.

JoAnn was well known to colleagues, friends, and family as an upbeat, caring, and compassionate person, a strong and decisive leader, an adventurous traveler and explorer, a connoisseur of fine literature, an amazing cook, and just generally a joy to be around. She authored a book, various chapters in conference proceedings and books, journal articles, and a variety of presentations at national and international meetings. She explored caves on several continents, discovered species new to science (including a cave-adapted springtail from Belize, Trogolaphysa jacobyi), sailed the Ionian Sea, got drunk in South Korea, hiked lava fields in the Galapagos, danced in Cuba, ate grasshoppers in Mexico City, dove cenotes in the Bahamas, picked up giardiasis in Oaxaca, visited the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, had safari adventures in South Africa, watched the fishing boats come in off the coast of Zanzibar, kayaked over a whale in Alaska, and many, many other fine adventures which she shared with various people close to her. In short, JoAnn’s life was rich, but cut tragically short.

Be kind to those around you, to those who need a little help, and to our fragile planet

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