Date of Birth September 9, 1966
Date Deceased December 13, 2022
Hometown Hornell
Home State N.Y.
Service Date December 20, 2022
Service Time 4:15 p.m.
Service Location Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home
Interment Location St. Mary's Cemetery, Town of Fremont

Joseph Kevin Jacobs

HORNELL-Joseph Kevin Jacobs, 56, passed away Tuesday (Dec. 13, 2022) after becoming ill at his home on Church Street.

Born in Hornell on Sept. 9, 1966, he was a son of the late William and Ann (Kubiak) Jacobs. Besides his parents, he was also predeceased by one brother, Billy Jacobs; his loving grandmothers, who adored him, Elnora Jacobs and Angie Kubiak; and a cousin, David Jacobs

He is lovingly survived by one sister, Kristen (Bryan) Karl of Belmont, NY; one brother, Brian Jacobs and sister-in-law Beth Ann Jacobs of Hornell; nieces, Brianna (Mike) Shafer and Vanessa Jacobs of Hornell, NY. Many families considered Kevin one of their own, notably the Fisher, Ebert and Lackey families; as well countless friends.

Kevin attended St Ann’s School and graduated from Hornell High School. He later attended South Hampton College and received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Alfred University.

After graduating from Alfred, he was employed at the university as an Admissions Counselor for a few years before moving to New York City to pursue his passion for design. There, he worked in retail and store design at Polo Ralph Lauren; this was a treasured chapter of his life that he always spoke so fondly of. Kevin then moved to Venice Beach, California to continue his career in design. He eventually moved back to his hometown of Hornell and became employed at Alfred University in the Career Development Office and managed the opening of the Cohen Gallery. Most recently, he was a Career Counselor for GST BOCES working with students in Hornell, educating and counseling them on their career choices. It was a position that was perfect for him, with all of his connections as well as his commitment to serving his community.

Kevin was known for his kindness and generosity; he would often drop off gifts to friends and send heartfelt hand-written notes. He loved estate sales and thrift store shopping, always finding treasures to cherish and share with friends. Kevin had a passion for food and cuisine, often sharing recipes and visiting unique restaurants. He also enjoyed the movies and was instrumental in creating a movie group in Hornell. His family and friends will always remember and admire him as someone who wasn’t afraid to pursue his passions and make them known.

His personality could light up a room and brought so much joy and laughter to many. He was friends with people of all ages and all walks of life. Kevin was also known and admired for his great sense of style.

He had a deep commitment for social justice and equality. Kevin was always first in line to vote Blue and encouraging others to get out to vote regardless of their party affiliation. He believed in the importance of supporting one’s community, and in the past served on many boards including the Hornell Arts Council and was active with the Friends of the Hornell Library.

Kevin was a loving son, brother, uncle, friend and confidant. He was there for many when they needed him and helped many people through difficult times. He was always the rock of the family for many years during the difficult loss of his father, brother, and mother in such a short period of time.

Kevin will be deeply missed by all who knew him, but especially by his family and closest friends.

Calling hours are 2-4 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 20, 2022) at the Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home, 285 Main St., Hornell, where a funeral service will take place in his memory following the calling hours at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, with Fr. Stan Kacprzak officiating. A reception will immediately follow, beginning at 5 p.m., at The Main Place, 251 Main St., Hornell where everyone may share stories and memories of Kevin. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont, at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in his memory to the Hornell Public Library, 64 Genesee St., Hornell, NY 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.

The Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home is honored to assist Kevin’s family with the arrangements.

Online condolences or remembrances of Kevin are welcome below in the comment section or on the Facebook page of Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home.



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11 Responses

  1. Kristen and Brian,

    We were so sorry to hear about our cousin Kevin’s passing. Doreen and I have many, many fond memories spending time with Kevin during our trips to Hornell. I know Doreen and Kevin enjoyed working on some family histories together as well. He was fun, happy, full of life and mostly a kind and wonderful person. So sad to hear this news.
    RIP Kevin

    Dan and Doreen Kubiak

  2. Kristen and Brian,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Kevin’s passing. I have so many happy memories of times spent with Kevin: the Christmas parties at your house, dancing at Club 57 and the Main Place, last call drives to Alfred and his famous peach Bellinis. I will miss his calls and texts to say he was thinking of me. The world lost a great man who was loved by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Rest easy my dear friend.

  3. I saw Kevin in late October this year while visiting my sister. He was his usual charming self and told me whenever he saw me he always thought of Billy as he knew how how much I loved and admired Billy. And I often called him Billy when I first saw him. He always forgave me though! I am so sad and sorry for all who loved him. Bet he and Billy are celebrating together. ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Kevin was one of the funniest people I have ever met. We were roommates in n Manhattan and life long friends. We had our ups and downs over the years to be sure. But I choose to remember all the great times we had together. It was wonderful NDI Nguyen on NYC together. We were young and fearless and it really was fabulous. I will miss Kevin every day for the rest of my life. Krissy & Bryan what can I say…. Kevin loved you and thought about you every single day. He was devoted to his family.

  5. I worked closely with Kevin for the past two years, and am so sorry to hear of his passing. Kevin was instrumental in helping me and Damian DeMarco connect high school students with individuals in their career fields of interest. The task of scheduling individual meetings between 100 students and 100 possible mentors was a logistical nightmare, but Kevin handled it each year with persistence and aplomb. He was a vital part of the team. We really couldn’t have done it without him, and we will sorely miss him, his personality, and his help. Our deepest condolences.

  6. I will never forget Kevin, his smile and his friendship. The world will surely miss this kind and generous soul. Rest in peace my friend.

  7. When I first met Kevin, he brought me a pair of jodhpurs, one of his typically incredible thrift store finds. I loved them and they were a perfect fit. How he knew they would fit so well and that I would love them, was one of his gifts. I will miss Kevin’s fabulous, infectious laugh and energetic company.

  8. I first met Kevin when he was an art student at The School of Art & Design at AU. We were close friends all the subsequent years and were collaborators on many projects together. I’m really going to miss playing with him on design projects. We were a good team. He was an incredibly talented person and a good friend. Such a loss.

  9. What a gift to have had such a friend so engaged in life. Conversations filled with knowledge and never ending ideas and plans and a great ability to share and connect, facilitate people with people, people with events. So constant, so capable. I will miss our talks. Gone much too soon.

  10. Kevin & I met in Alfred as BFA students. I remember his infectious smile & wonderful sense of humor. Kevin always brought interest, passion, intelligence, and compassion to every party, project, adventure, and opportunity! I’m sure his spirit will continue to share his gifts. Deepest condolences to all who loved him. Rest peacefully, Kevin.

  11. I knew Kevin for a short few years while I attended Alfred University. I met him at the Career Counseling Center, and we really hit it off. I suspect he was special to many people, as he just really had a glow and generous spirit about him. We spoke several times (and at length) about my ambitions to begin an artist retreat and how to obtain grant monies to secure and rehab a monster of a historic home I had admired in Catskill. He was always so kind and thoughtful. While I was still at Alfred, Kevin bought one of my oil paintings of Olana being sold as part of a student organized fundraiser. He proudly hung it in his home, and shared a photo of it with me a few months before he passed.

    Perhaps it seems silly to miss or mourn people who, in the grand scheme of things, were such a small part of our past, but instead, I think it’s a great testament to their character. Kevin didn’t need a lot of time with someone to make a positive, lasting impression. He was such a bright, charismatic and generous person. In such a short time, he made an impact on me, as I know he did many others. I’ve been thinking about him and his light that he so generously shared, and what a gift it was to have known him, even in such a small capacity.

    Admittedly, I learned a lot about Kevin reading his obituary – but what I knew for myself was his character, warm, outgoing personality and genuine kind spirit.

    RIP Kevin

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