October 31, 1923 ~ July 16, 2012
Peter Jacobsohn 1923-2012 Peter Jacobsohn passed away peacefully on July 16, 2012 with his family at his side. He had recently visited Bangkok, Thailand, with his wife, Nina, where he sustained an injury resulting from riding an elephant in Thailand. He was 88 years old. Peter embarked on a career in architecture and Fremont community member 63 years ago. As president of Rotary, HARB member (Historical Architectural Review Board) and private business owner he was instrumental in the planning of the nascent city, preservation of its historical buildings and beautification of its streets and parks. Peter was born in Berlin and during the tumult of 1933 at age 12 escorted his younger brother and sister to Ethiopia for safety. There he developed his love of animals, beauty and nature. He enjoyed fluency in many languages including English, German, and French. His family moved to Thailand where he developed his love of Thai culture, language and people. At an early age he gained experience in construction and managing projects. Peter (self-schooled and paperless) was admitted to Reed College in Portland, Oregon and received his M.A. in Architecture at UC Berkeley in 1949. At the International House residence he met Nina a Russian émigré from Korea who was to become his love for 63 years. Together they started a family in Berkeley then moved to Fremont in 1955. Peter's commitment to the community was a hallmark of his life. The Fremont community was important to him and Peter designed buildings that reflected his love of the community, its varied ethnicities and cultures of the region. His work was sensitive to the natural elements of its surroundings and the people who would live or work in his dwellings or offices. He completed approximately one thousand projects which included private homes, his own office in Mission San Jose, community centers, churches and schools and the Buddhanusorn Thai Temple in Niles. He was an active member of Rotary for over fifty years, dedicating time and energy to a number of civic activities. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects during his professional architectural career. He also taught architecture for many years at Ohlone College and sat on its Advisory Council for Interior Design. He fostered the development of young artists serving as a judge for the Fremont Cultural Arts Council for the 2007 Young Artists Showcase. He is remembered fondly as a father who inspired his children with his passion for the arts and his community service and as a devoted husband of 63 years. Peter is survived by his wife Nina, daughter Irene, son Charles and daughter Barbara and nine grandchildren. His brother Ulrich and sister Lillian still reside in the U.S. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, July 27th at 7:00 pm at the Buddhanusorn Thai Temple, 36054 Niles Blvd., (between Torrano Common and Rock Avenue) in Fremont (Niles). Donations can be made to 'Wat Buddhanusorn.'