Vernon Earl Jacobs Obituary – The Arizona Republic

Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary and Cemetery

Vernon Earl Jacobs

JACOBS, VERNON EARL, 73, passed away peacefully on December 5, 2021, surrounded by his wife Bonnie Apperson Jacobs, daughter Anita (Chuck) Walker, sons Jordan (Mary) Jacobs and Sam (Aubrey) Jacobs, and his daughter-in-law Megan (Michael) Gallegos. His grandchildren – Bella Walker, Ivy Walker, Julien Walker, Jessa Jacobs, Jude Jacobs, Manny Jacobs, Eva Jacobs, Joshua Jacobs, Lucia Jacobs, Julian Gallegos, Dario Gallegos and Tatiana Gallegos – were with him during his last days.

Vern was born in Marlow, Oklahoma on April 4, 1948 and moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in his youth. At Las Cruces High School, he developed a love for the sport of wrestling, thanks to trainer Harold Harrison. His talent for the sport was unmatched, and he was the New Mexico State Champion his senior year. After graduating in 1967, he attended Phoenix College where he and his PC wrestling team were consecutive NJCAA National Champions. Vern was a two-time JC State Champion and a two-time All-American placing 5th and 2nd in the National Tournament. He went on to wrestle at Western State College in Gunnison, CO, and earned a degree in education. He married his high school sweetheart, Dolores Sierra, in 1968, and they were married for 35 years until his death in 2003.

Vern and Dodo moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1973, where Vern was hired as an industrial arts teacher, college football and wrestling coach at Glendale High School. His Glendale wrestling team were three-time division champions and he coached four state champion athletes. In addition to tag team titles, Vern was twice Wrestling Coach of the Year and inducted into the Peoria Invitational Hall of Fame in 2010.

Vern was a dedicated educator for the Glendale Union High School District for 33 years. He rose through the ranks from teacher to assistant principal to principal to district administrator to superintendent until his retirement in 2006. He received both the ASPRA Achievement Award for his contributions to public education and the CTE Administrator of the Year award in 2004. In 2006, he received the Circle of Excellence Award, the highest honor the AZ North Central Association can bestow.

After retirement, Vern met his second wife, Bonnie Apperson Jacobs, through peer educators in Phoenix. Together they enjoyed each day and cherished their twelve grandchildren throughout his final days.

A memorial service celebrating Vernon’s life will be held at Glendale High School Football Stadium on Sunday, December 12 at 4 p.m. Vernon will find his final resting place at Hansen Desert Hills Cemetery, located at 6500 East Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Vernon will rest next to Dolores. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to his beloved Glendale High Wrestling Team at

Posted on December 10, 2021

Posted in The Arizona Republic