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Jacob Lieberherr

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Jacob Lieberherr

April 28, 1946 - January 30, 2014


Jake left the earth on January 31st.  He died at home as he wished and was “in the moment” right up to his last day.   What a champ.

 He grew up on a 200 acre dairy farm in London, Ontario– the youngest son of Rose Weber and Ernest Lieberherr from Switzerland.  He'll be missed by his surviving older brother, Sam, of St. Thomas, Ontario       

Jake had a love of music trivia which stemmed from listening to radio programs at night on the farm and while riding the tractor.  He loved an unusual book with an eye-popping title as he had a rather inquisitive  mind.  One of the last books he read was “The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out The Window And Kept On Going.”

Jake played music all his life.  Starting out with his mother's encouragement, he played pedal steel guitar and later, all styles of guitar.  His old Raven classical was still his favourite guitar to play over the years.  He was self-taught and had a beautiful way of playing guitar and will be missed for that.  In later years he took up the mandolin.  His taste in music was eclectic ranging from roots, folk, blues to country, rock 'n roll and jazz.  Occasionally he painted and enjoyed pen and ink cartooning too.  He was somewhat of a showman and liked singing the tunes of the '50's, especially Jerry Lee Lewis

He was president of his high school graduation class and to get votes made a splash by riding his motorized scooter into the school.

After graduation he hitchhiked the Route 66 to California because he was interested in the surfing culture.    There he worked in a carwash with people of all nationalities from Portugese to Mexican.  He also worked in a tannery, once applied for a job as
an elephant handler, fried burgers for A&W and worked in a half-way house for
drug rehabilitated youth in Ontario.

Jake worked for 23 years as a Federal Government employee in Victoria, B.C. 
He was a program coordinator dedicated to working with community groups and First Nations people.  Also he was the founder of “Jake and the Snakes” with the “Fabulous Snakettes” – who entertained at government functions.  He will be remembered by his colleagues for his wicked sense of humour and will be missed by many.   

He had many friends, young and old, from all walks of life and touched the lives of a great number of people.    A very generous man, he will be remembered for his big smile, big heart, hearty laugh, radical sense of humour as well as his vulnerability and kindness to others.

 Jake was a single parent most of his life, raising two daughters that he dearly loved Dylan and Sara.  It wasn't easy to do but he did his best with the skills he had.

Dad will be forever missed.  

His singing partner and wife, Judy-Ann, will treasure and miss him forever.    They formed a vocal performing duo and entertained often in the Cowichan Valley and for other events.  


For the past ten years Jake travelled in his retirement with Judy-Ann to countries such as Thailand, Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Mexico and lately Europe where they went to Italy, Turkey, Greece and France.  They had wondrous adventures in their motor home driving to Nashville and from the west coast to Newfoundland.  

Jake will also be missed by his stepson, Travis,  and his stepdaughter, Melinda (Trevor). “Grandpa Jake” will be missed by his grandchildren Hunter (5), Emily (2) and little Cassidy (5 months).

He will be fondly missed by Lorna Jackson, his other “Mom” from Cranbrook, B.C. as well as other close family and friends from the East Kootenays and Alberta.  

 Jake left the earth much as he lived his life- with amazing courage and tenacity.    He was described as “not a cookie-cutter patient” by some doctors because he took an active interest in his own test results and loved to keep the doctors on their toes.  A big thank you to Dr. Willie Jay Pewarchuk of Cowichan Valley for his ongoing care of Jake and to Dr. David Hepburn, of Victoria, who knew Jake for many years.

A memorial service will be held for Jake at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 at H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre, 5285 Polkey Road, Duncan, B.C.

 Donations in Jake's name can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, Vancouver Office, 1682 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 310, Vancouver, B.C.



Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: Giselle Wikelund
Relation: friend, former coworker

Jake was a lot of fun, good company, and always had a great sense of humour. I remember him fondly.

Giselle Wikelund

From: Jeanette Aubin
Relation: Employees together

My condolences to Judy-Ann, Sara, Dylan, Travis, and Melinda and the other members of Jake’s family. Working with Jake, for the Federal Government for over 10 years, and being one of the “Fabulous Snakettes”, in Jake’s, “Jake and the Snake”, band are treasured memories. I still have the t-shirt he created,”The Show They Never Should Have Gave”. Jake was always smiling and had a unique way of looking at the world. He was kind, he loved to laugh, loved to play music and he loved his family. He cared about his colleagues, and for the First Nation’s communities and other groups he assisted through his job. Jake you will be missed.

From: Travis & Hunter
Relation: Step Son & Grandson

Jake, We both miss you very much, thinking of you all the time, I know that we had and will have great memories to share. Thank you so much for being there for Judy – Ann ( M0M). I wish sympathy to my mom so much and We BOTH love you and will always remember you. You always and still have a good heart. Love Travis And Hunter

From: Henry Leong
Relation: Former co-worker and friend

My deepest sympathy to the family of Jake. Have known “Jakers” since joining him as employee with same federal government department in 1985. Jake was quick witted and loved to make others laugh. I got to know Jake even more through our government travels up and down Vancouver Island–and most times I’d end up with a stitch from laughing so hard. Jake was also our union shop steward and when he was called upon to mediate disputes, he adroitly settled them. His Jake and the Snakes with the Fabulous Snakettes group performed mainly to pay tribute to departing employees, and sometimes just to get together and party to manage everyday stress.
Jakers….I miss you already!

From: Maggie MacLean
Relation: friend

I read the Obituary in the local papers and said to myself, “I know him”, and then I said, “I know them”…. I met you both when you just moved into Chemainus and you purchased my little rebuilt Honda Civic.
I saw you two sing ‘together’ at the Willow St. tea room, not too long ago, and I said to myself: “Don’t they make a neat duet”….. I found you both very entertaining and I really loved when you did a bit of harmony together, that was just ‘sweet’, in the musical sense, a nice sweet sound. As a couple up on stage, the connection was obvious.
The memories will be many and good, may they ‘serve’ you well’.
I guess ‘jamming’ with angels will be a pretty good gig eh?!
May your shared love & life together hold you still.
Maggie M.

From: Sam Lieberherr
Relation: Known him for over 67 years:brother

I am very glad and happy that Koby was able to enjoy 10 years of retirement and travel. with a very caring, compassionate and lovely life mate , wife Judy-Ann. I send my sympathy to Judy-Ann,Dylan, Sara, Melinda and Travis. I have known him longer than any one else>over 67 years, 9 months and 3 days.< When he told me about the leukemia in December, I was sure that he would last until the end of April to his birthday. He does not give up easily.

From: Jan Bauman
Relation: Friend

Smooth sailing, Jake… Taken way too soon when you and Judy Ann had barely found each other, and started your magical musical journey and travel adventures together. Heaven will be jammin’ with your folk songs and wacky sense of humour. Thank you for being the soul mate extraordinaire for my Dearest Friend and bringing so much love, joy and laughter into her life, and giving spirit to the family..Rest assured that Jay Ay will have shelter from the storms ahead. She is surrounded by Friends and Family who adore her and will keep her safe. Heartfelt blessings to Judy Ann, Melinda,Travis and families.

From: John Masai
Relation: Long-time friend

Rest in peace my dear friend “Jake the Snake” We miss you.

From: Carole and Keith Simpson
Relation: Long time friend of Lorna and Fred, Judy Ann and Bruce

Dear Judy Ann: Deepest sympathy to you at this sorrowful time. We will attend the Celebration of Life for Jake and trust that the friendship and love from family and friends will be of some comfort to you.

From: Gary Cristall
Relation: old friend from 1966

Hadn’t been in touch for 10 years and Googled Jake and found out. He was a great friend and we shared soem wonderful experiences as well as hard times. Farewell my friend. It ended well.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
April 26, 2014
Beginning at 1:00am

HW Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre
5285 Polkey Road
Duncan, BC Canada

5285 Polkey Road
Duncan, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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