GAINESVILLE – Lillian Jacobs Estes, 85, died Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Born June 1, 1926, Lil, as she was known to many, lived life to the fullest and treasured her hours at the bridge table for more years than will ever be known. When asked, "How are you"?, she would typically reply, "Just wonderful." Lil never met a stranger and lived by her mantra of 'put a smile on your face, say something nice about someone, and hold your head up high'...You just might make a difference in another person's life.
She was the daughter of Villa Rhodes Jacobs and John Wesley Jacobs, prominent pharmacist and philanthropist in Gainesville, and beloved sister of John Wesley Jacobs, Jr. Lillian Moore Jacobs was her second mother and devoted wife to her father. All have preceded her in death.
Lillian began her 'studies' at Brenau University's music conservatory at the age of six when she began piano lessons. She graduated from Gainesville High School, attended Brenau University and completed her studies at the University of Alabama.
For more than 20 years, Rolling Fork, Miss., was home. She was active in the Methodist Church where she served as President of the Women's group, taught Sunday School, coordinated the children's Monday afternoon group, and sang in the choir. Lillian was also active in the garden club, bridge club, served as President of the Delta Cotton Council Women's Auxiliary, and was a community volunteer who would always get things done. When not at the bridge table, you could find her cooking for her next party or sewing her next fashion statement. In recent years, her ultimate honor attained was Bronze Life Master from the worldwide American Contract Bridge League. Lil was also known for her infamous cinnamon rolls delivered to friends for their Christmas morning breakfasts.
She is survived by her husband of more than 40 years, Joseph Lawton Estes, Jr.; daughters, Nancy (Hank) Williams and Karen Stevens, all of Nashville, Tenn.; stepdaughter, Elizabeth Estes, Athens, and the late Lynn Estes Cain. Her grandchildren include Jay Schimmel, Laura Stevens, Katherine Stevens, Hannah Dunlap, and Cameron Wilkinson - all of whom she insisted call her 'New Grandmother', rather than be known as an 'old grandmother'. Her step-grandchildren include Russell (Erica) Shepley, Collin, Nathan, and Myles Shepley; Melanie (Codie) Couch and Catherine (James Michael) Martin. She also leaves five great-grandchildren - Caroline Schimmel; Jackson, Sawyer and Libby Dunlap; and Capri Wilkinson; step great-grandchildren, Erilynn Shepley, Catelynn and Henry Lawton Couch, and Gracie Lynn and Ryder James Martin. She is also survived by extraordinary sister-in-law, Martha Rand Jacobs, niece Elizabeth Jacobs Carswell and nephew Jay Jacobs and wife, Anna. She was "Auntie" to Rand, Haughton, Mary London and Emily Carswell and Lydia, Louisa, and John Jacobs IV.
A private family celebration of her life was held Friday, April 13, in the garden of the First United Methodist Church.
Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home, Gainesville, was in charge of arrangements.