Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Eugene Wakefield Jacobs, Jr. “Gene”, age 55

Eugene Wakefield Jacobs, Jr. “Gene” of Conway, AR., went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on January 3rd, 2024, after a yearlong brave courageous battle with stage 4 DLBCL. He passed peacefully with his wife and cousin in-law by his side.

Gene was born in Durham, N.C. on February 27th, 1968 and raised through 8th grade in Chatham County (Just south of Durham.) He grew up going to church, fishing in his grandparent’s pond, riding in the many classic cars his dad bought and fixed up and had fond memories of going to listen to his father’s friend sing in the men’s vocal gospel group The Singing Samaritans. His first job was working in the Tobacco fields. He had a 45-minute school bus ride which he accounted his patience to. His family moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1982. He graduated from Lassiter High School in 1986.

Following high school, Gene worked with his cousin at Sundance Plumbing where he learned the trade quickly, was well liked, and led his own crew installing plumbing in homes. He attended Kennesaw College for a while during this same time. Gene worked in the retail industry through high school and then later for over 36 years. At one point, he built and briefly owned a BBQ restaurant called Jed’s Smokehouse in Central, S.C. next to the Walmart he had managed. Gene’s handiwork can still be seen in the ceilings and floors in the Mexican restaurant that remains there now. He was with Winn Dixie for almost 14 years, Walmart for 15 and Academy Sports and Outdoors for 11 years, becoming a District Manager for his final year until his illness in 2023. He made lifelong friends through his career. In his lifetime, he lived in 5 states including TN. and S.C. as well as Edmonton Alberta Canada where he proudly opened the first Walmart Supercenter and the highest grossing store of his career.

Gene loved numbers and sports stats especially his Tarheels, Dodgers, Steelers, Lakers, and Clemson too. He was a great leader, and mentor that positively affected a multitude of people. He enjoyed most of all aspects of his work. He will live on in our hearts as a determined strong person, leader, an inspiration, my dedicated loving husband, father, friend, and grandfather.

He is preceded in death by his father “Buck” Jacobs, his mother, Linda Roberts and 1 month old granddaughter Henley Draughon. He is survived by his loving former girlfriend from church youth group at Piedmont Baptist in Marietta, GA. whom he married in 2016 and made his wife, Misty; his stepchildren, Wade, Colt, and John Bowman; his 4 children, Sam (Carli) Jacobs, Elisabeth (Dustin) Draughon, Bradley Jacobs, Emma Jacobs; 3 prior stepsons, Kyle, Derrick, and Ethan Gibson; grandchildren, Hayden Draughon, Cohen Jacobs, Kaden Blackwell, Millie Jean Draughon due 2/5/24. He is also survived by his siblings, Wendy (Lindsey) Boyes, Michael (Cathryn) Jacobs; nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and stepfather, Dennis Roberts; in-laws Jim Armstrong, Jerry and Glenn Coshatt; as well as former in-laws and wives, Catherine Thompson Stuart (1988-98) and Annmarie Mills Jacobs (1999-2015). Those left behind will never forget him and those in Heaven are celebrating his arrival.

A celebration of life will be held in Gene’s honor on February 24th, 2024 at 10:30am at Piedmont Church; 570 Piedmont Road, Marietta, GA. 30066. Scott Huskins will be officiating. A reception will be held immediately following the service for family and friends to gather and share a meal.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Terry Farnsworth (LaMarche) Posted January 11, 2024 1:26 PM

    Gene was the best manager I had through my years with Walmart. He impacted my life greatly because he was more than a manager. He was a LEADER. He led by example. He treated people fairly. He was a great man.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 11, 2024 1:48 PM

      Thank you🙏

  • Rissa Motin Posted January 11, 2024 1:44 PM

    Gene was the best store director that I have had the pleasure to work with at Academy in Kennesaw. He taught me how to be vigilant with my work and to always work hard even when you think no one is watching! Because of him I have become a great healthcare worker. He will surely be missed ❤️

    • Gene & Misty’s Posted January 11, 2024 2:17 PM

      Love this!

  • Tracy Posted January 11, 2024 2:32 PM

    Although you and Gene started out as clients you both fast became friends. I’ll miss Gene’s positive attitude, kindness, the way he cared about others and his sweet smile. I’ll miss the two of you together. Love and hugs to you and your family, Misty.

    • misty jacobs Posted January 12, 2024 2:25 PM

      Oh Tracy. I am so thankful for you. You helped him before I arrived in Arkansas, and you help me now that I am without him. I could never have imagined but I am grateful for our friendship.

  • Smith Pamela Posted January 11, 2024 2:39 PM

    Gene was a very respected and admired store manager. He cared for and showed respect for his”people”. He always was fair, friendly and loved by so many. He will be missed by many but his memory will last a lifetime for me.

    • Gene & Misty’s Posted January 11, 2024 11:12 PM

      🙏 thank you for acknowledging him

  • Lyndsey Jones Posted January 11, 2024 3:08 PM

    My sweet cousin Gene! You will be missed! Anytime I was around you, you were calm, collected, peaceful, and kind. What great attributes to have. Seeing so many messages from your family and past coworkers…. it seems these things were true about you always and not just during our visits❤️. Prayers for peace and comfort during this time. Misty.. I am so grateful Gene found you again and had you to the end!

    • misty jacobs Posted January 12, 2024 2:27 PM

      Thank you dear cousin. I am grateful he brought you and Kevin, your mom and Dad into my life and your brother I will meet hopefully one day too. Thank you for the kind words about Gene too.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 15, 2024 11:30 AM

      Thank you Lyndsey and love you!

  • Chris Potts Posted January 11, 2024 3:21 PM

    Gene was one of the best men I’ve ever known. I had the privilege of working for him at Academy Sports. While he was the most amazing leader I’ve ever worked for, he was an even better human. I know he fought hard. The world is a little less without him here.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 15, 2024 11:32 AM

      What a tribute Chris! He spoke of you and cared about you too! Thank you so much

  • Eric Moss Posted January 11, 2024 3:29 PM

    I worked with Gene for a short time at Academy in Springfield. He was the best Leader that I ever encounter in retail management career. I spent 20 years with Walmart prior to Academy. I think that’s why Gene and I bonded so well. He will be greatly missed and will always rank at the top in my book. We will meet again my friend until then. GO HEELS!

    • misty jacobs Posted January 12, 2024 2:33 PM

      That’s awesome thank you Eric. He was so glad to be working with you. Yes, until we meet him again. He loved his Tarheels yes sir! Never forget him!

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 15, 2024 11:41 AM

      Eric I am so glad you were a part of his team! You guys were TOPS to him. He enjoyed knowing you and I am sure he mentioned it but I’m glad to know y’all had your Walmart past as a way to connect. But most importantly yes we’ll all be together again someday . Until then we’ll cheer for the Heels for him!

  • Patti Thompson Posted January 11, 2024 6:04 PM

    Gene was the best store manager I ever had in easley sc.He taught his associates to be kind and to represent the company and he taught us so much.We all respected him in so many ways .He was a friend and a boss who rocked his role with walmart.I wish everyone was like him.He will be missed so much by me and his other workers at the store .May he rest in peace.Till we meet again enjoy your new body that is healed.Love and Peace from Patti Thompson

    • misty jacobs Posted January 12, 2024 2:38 PM

      He really had such fond memories of that time working there and your words are wonderful to hear. yes, he is pain free and no more suffering. Bless you.

  • Nathan Parks Posted January 11, 2024 6:50 PM

    Thank you for your support and teachings early in my career, it’s still with me today

    • misty jacobs Posted January 12, 2024 2:41 PM

      Wonderful to hear. I know he wishes you all the best. Blessings to you- Misty

  • Alice Keith Posted January 11, 2024 8:12 PM

    God has called home Man of God. He was the best Store Manager you could ever had. He taught me alot and had a heart of gold. He listened as friend and Boss. He will be missed. My heart goes out to the family ❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏 R.I.P Gene My friend to we meet again.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 18, 2024 11:10 PM

      Thank you Alice🙏

  • Charlene Leach Posted January 11, 2024 9:27 PM

    Gene was such a beautiful person inside and out always had a smile he will be missed❤

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 18, 2024 11:11 PM

      Yes Charlene! Thank you💞

  • Margie Durham Moore Posted January 12, 2024 4:32 AM

    Gene was my Store Manager when we built the Central, SC Walmart from the ground up. He was the perfect example of Stewart Leadership. I was promoted under his leadership, and prospered because of his guidance. He had a true heart for his people, and he will continue on in everything we do for our people. I truly appreciate the footprints he left for us all to follow. He will be greatly missed.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 18, 2024 11:12 PM

      Margie that is exactly what he wanted to do and who he worked to be. Thank you. God bless you!

  • Carl corman Posted January 12, 2024 10:23 AM

    Gene was an amazing person! It was fun talking sports with him for the times I was around him. He will definitely be miss and he is pain free! As I always told him… go Duke!

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 18, 2024 11:15 PM

      Carl he loved talking sports! Yes! He could really have fun with that.I know he enjoyed being around you too and I wished we could have known each other more. Hey I isn’t it funny we ended up living in the town you went college!?! Who would’ve thought!?

  • Caleb M Fanning Posted January 12, 2024 2:49 PM

    I met Gene later in his journey and was impacted Immediately. He made me feel i could conquer the world with his guidance in the workforce. But the real impact came from the person. I’ll never forget the words and lessons he left me. The authentic belief he invested in people was inspiring and i hope to carry that forward in my life. Until I see you again my friend. ALL my love and support to his family.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 18, 2024 11:18 PM

      Caleb thank you for sharing his impact on you. Please carry all he shared and be well in your life! God bless you.

  • Lori A. Apon Posted January 12, 2024 3:51 PM

    Misty, I am deeply sorry for the pain of Gene’s death. May the Lord hold you close!

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 18, 2024 11:24 PM

      🙏 thank you Lori.

  • John Reeves Posted January 12, 2024 7:28 PM

    Rest in peace! A fellow employee of the Central SC Walmart.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 29, 2024 11:00 PM

      Thank you

  • Jerry and Glenn Coshatt. Posted January 14, 2024 2:53 PM

    Gene not a day goes by without us thinking of you. We are so lucky to have someone like you that makes saying goodbye so hard. It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn’t go alone , part of us went with you. Remembering you is easy but you left a pain in our hearts that will never go away. You were easy going but firm in your commitment to your job. I don’t think there is one of your employees that did not admire you . I could go on and on about you but all of the above statements says all, I remember the song you told me gave you peace, “GO REST HIGH ON THAT MOUNTAIN YOUR TIME ON EARTH IS DONE. Rest in Peace my dear dear Friend.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 29, 2024 11:01 PM

      Thank you Pop!

  • Lindsey Scott Boyes Posted January 23, 2024 12:23 AM

    Gene was one of the strongest and kindest people I have ever met. He took care of those he loved especially his family. He looked out for his friends. He was a great dad to his children. He is someone that truly left a void with his passing. He touched so many lives in ways that I don’t think even he knew. I am lucky to have known him, even more lucky to have had him as a brother in law.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 29, 2024 11:03 PM

      Thank you and he loved you as do I.

  • Mike Whitfield Posted January 24, 2024 8:55 AM

    I was fortunate enough to work for Gene way back in the 90s at Winn Dixie. One time, I was working hard, stocking the condiment aisle. He came up to me and said, “Mike you need to catch up”. I was flabbergasted. I thought I was making him proud and I was ahead of schedule. I said something like, “You can’t be serious. I’ve stocked 50+ cases already man!” He was insistent.”Mike, you still need to catch up.” Then he pointed at the empty space on the shelf where the ketchup was to be stocked. Next, he pointed at the case of ketchup, and said, “Oh sorry. I meant you need THE ketchup”. I’m laughing as I type this. He brought out hundreds of jokes like that all the time. He made “work” a lot of fun. We shared our love of basketball and even had the privilege of playing with him a couple of times. They say you can’t be a boss and a friend at the same time, but God gifted him with the ability to do that. He exuded Christ as a boss and friend.

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 29, 2024 11:06 PM

      Mike that was an awesome share! Thank you my friend for allowing him to live on through you! I appreciate you so much! Blessings to you!

  • Tammy Peeples Posted January 25, 2024 3:00 AM

    Prayers For You Misty and For All Of Your Family ! I Was Fortunate Enough To Work With Gene At Walmart ,Back In The Good Ole Days ! He Was One of The Best Managers I Had The Pleasure To Work With ! He Was Humble and Kind and I Will Always Remember How Encouraging and Honest He Was ! He Will Be Missed and I Will Always Have Great Memories of The Time We Worked Together ! Prayers For You Misty and His Children In The Days And Weeks To Come ! Sending Much Love To All

    • Misty Jacobs Posted January 29, 2024 11:07 PM

      Thank you Tammy. That means so much to hear that🙏💕

  • Mo Posted February 24, 2024 11:32 AM

    A great manager to work with in Edmonton

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