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“Dear Henrietta: you were such a wonderful friend and neighbor. I shall always remember your analytical mind and how well you could explain so many...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: R Malcolm Brown,Jr. - TX

“Such a lovely lady, HC and I were sitting in our living room talking about old friends. I looked up Henritta on the Internet to see what she was...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Lynnda and HC Carter - TX

“Henrietta lived a life of significance. She was valued, respected and loved by every environment she graced, and was the best of all neighbors. The...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Tom Walters - West Lake Hills, TX

“Dearest Henrietta: You have been such a close friend during these past 30 years. I truly admired your professional and exquisite letters you wrote to...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: R Malcolm Brown, Jr. - TX

“May God bless Henrietta. She made a life-changing impact on my life and I will be forever grateful. ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: shannon wong - austin, TX


Henrietta Jacobsen died on the 9th of May 2014 at her home in West Lake Hills.

Mrs. Jacobsen was a resident of Austin and West Lake Hills, Texas, from 1946, when she and her husband, Jens Michal Jacobsen, joined a small group of Texas colleagues in the founding of the Defense Research Laboratory (DRL) at The University of Texas.

In 1954, Mrs. Jacobsen was transferred from DRL to the position of Executive Assistant to President Logan Wilson. Mrs. Jacobsen went on to hold critical positions in the University Administration for 27 years, serving as Director of Special Programs in the Office of the Chancellor for 8 years.

During her years in the Chancellor's office, she worked closely with all the top officials at UT in Austin and the Component Institutions statewide. In addition to her position as Director of Special Programs, Dr. Ransom appointed her Ombudsman for the Faculty. Her involvement with the planning and development of The Harry Ransom Center gave her immense pleasure throughout her later years. After leaving the Chancellor's Office in 1975, she accepted several consulting assignments for various branches of the University.

In 1979, Mrs. Jacobsen recommended to the University President the establishment of an association of retired UT faculty, administration, and staff, and was appointed, by then President Peter Flawn, to a 10-member planning committee that unanimously recommended approval of the idea and drafted the bylaws. Several other universities asked for information on forming similar organizations at their institutions. The structure of the UT Association was later adopted by many other universities. In 1984, she was elected President of the UT Retired Faculty-Staff Association, and for several more years served on the RFSA Executive Committee and Nominating Committee.

She enjoyed writing procedural manuals, job descriptions, historical summaries, and directories. She left a legacy of many such documents in the President's and Chancellor's offices.

In 1990, Mrs. Jacobsen was appointed by the Board of Regents to a 3-year term as a member of the newly organized Advisory Council of The University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center and served as the Council's first Chairman from 1990 to 1992. She was reappointed to a second 3-year term from 1993 until 1996 at which time she was given Honorary status. She was also a member of the UT Littlefield Society, the UT Chancellor's Council, the UT Austin President's Associates, the Texas Leadership Association, and the British Studies Seminar.

She was a member of the Headliners Club, of which her husband, Jens Jacobsen was one of the founders, the Lost Creek Country Club where she served a term on the Governing Board, the University of Texas Campus Club, the Friends of the LBJ Library, the Austin History Center and many others.

Mrs. Jacobsen loved her city of Austin and her smaller city of West Lake Hills. She always found time to be active in public service in pursuing her interest in volunteer work in city planning and zoning and administration in the fledgling city of West Lake Hi1ls. She was elected to two terms on the West Lake City Council, 1963-66, and was elected Mayor 1966-68. She was the 4th woman to be elected Mayor of a Texas city in the history of the State. Both before and after these positions, she was appointed to the Zoning and Planning Commission, serving as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Commission, along with many ad hoc committee assignments. In 1965-66, she was a Commissioner of Travis County Fire District No. 1. Through the years she was also a member, or chairman, of a number of civic and environmental boards and committees in Austin and West Lake Hills. Until her recent illness she was a fierce protector of the quality of life in West Lake Hills. She was a superb letter writer, never hesitating to hold local politicians accountable.

Mrs. Jacobsen knew how to have fun. She loved tennis and she was not above taking her visiting relatives out for a dance at The Broken Spoke. Two of her most joyous activities were her participation in the Baying at the Moon Society and Getting Better All The Time (GBATTs) singing group with a number of cherished friends.

Her husband, Jens, died in 1983; her long-time companion, Christian Smith, died in 2012. She is survived by her brother, John Senders, of Toronto Canada, and many nephews and nieces.

At Mrs. Jacobsen's direction, no services will be held.

Memorial donations may be sent to The University of Texas at Austin, 78713, for:
The Scholarship Fund of the Retired Faculty-Staff Association, The School of Nursing Jens Jacobsen Endowed Scholarship Fund, The Jens and Henrietta Jacobsen Fund for the Humanities at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.