“Townes”, Sara Melanie Kristin embarked on a brand-new adventure at 4:10 pm, June 26, 2020, surrounded by family at the Guelph General Hospital. As a result of an accidental overdose. Born in Toronto on April 27, 1990 to Laura (nee MacNames) and Timothy Jacobs (Mary Montizambert) and to doting big brother Dylan. Happy childhood spent in Goderich and later Stratford, attending Robertson M.P.S, Anne Hathaway P.S., Downie Central P.S. and Stratford Central S.S. Accepted into “Ontario College of Art and Design”; chose instead to pursue other dreams. Townes worked as a carpenter’s apprentice, had a unique flair for fashion and was a feline and rodent enthusiast. Planned on entering the trades. Townes oozed creativity from every pore. A prolific songwriter, poet, author, talented musician and composer. Roller derby star “Jammer” and coach. Soccer goalie, avid reader and nature lover. Wonderful droll sense of humour. One of a kind. Struggles with mental illness and gender identity gave birth to battles with addictions. Proud recent graduate of “Stonehenge” 6 month programme; many thanks to the staff. Townes had travelled nation-wide, settling first in Halifax, Nova Scotia; then Kingston, Ontario and later Victoria, British Columbia. Whether playing the drums for “Naked Bones”, strumming the Uke or banjolele, tickling the ivories or playing the harmonica, Townes enjoyed touching souls with original music and lyrics. Townes’ beautiful, gut-wrenching voice; the proverbial icing on the cake. Sorely missed by partner Maddie; special cousin – Millie and many friends. Also leaves behind aunts, uncles and cousins. Predeceased by uncle Peter and grandparents Joyce Gerry, Alec Jacobs and Peter MacNames. Survived by grandmother Barb Jacobs, brother Dylan (Caitlin) and dear nephews Max and Kieran. Sensitive, fun-loving and spiritual; Townes leaves a huge void in our lives. Cremation has taken place. A notice of an Autumnal Celebration of Life to follow. Thank-you to the compassionate Drs; nurses and social workers in the ICU at the Guelph General Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Stonehenge Therapeutic Community or C.A.M.H through the W. G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford. 519.271.7411. www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
May Peace Find You At Last
Sara M.K. “Townes” Jacobs passed away on June 26, 2020. He was only 30 years old. When Townes was very young he said to his Mom, “When I grow up, I be a boy okay?” He was a proud member of the LGBT community and unabashedly celebrated his differences. Townes was Townes, in appearance, in dress, in jewellery, in tattoos, in his music and lyrics and in his struggles. He was truly a unique individual. And we loved him more because of it.
For much of Townes’ adult life he struggled with mental health and then addiction. He tried to overcome his addiction many times with medicines and counselling and rehab centres and sponsors and meetings. He tried and tried and lately achieved breakthroughs in both his mental and addiction challenges and had been sober for the past eight months thanks to a stay at Stonehenge Therapeutic Community in Guelph. We were in contact regularly and know that he worked incredibly hard at all phases of his recovery. On more than one occasion he received the “Role Model” of the week award and of this, he was particularly proud. His efforts led him towards taking more of a leadership role and he relished the opportunity to share and guide others when he could. We were all so delighted with his accomplishments. The COVID-19 shutdown arrived hours before he was to take his first earned “off campus” visitation. He never got to have those, but he dug in and expressed that he thought this was a test of him and his higher power. Even his release was delayed by a week or 10 days… and he pushed through that too. Now he had a safe place to live. He had a good support network. He had picked up guitar in recovery (they had no ukulele) and he was playing and writing songs on it. He had a new love. He prayed daily and read The Big Book (AA) and went to meetings online. He had really turned a corner.
Townes had many talents. He was truly creative in that he could write a good letter or a poem or the lyrics to a song. He expressed himself musically by writing songs and playing them on his ukulele, banjolele or guitar with harmonica thrown in now and then. I don’t know how to describe his voice… it was sweet yet sort of gritty with good range and it was heartfelt and sincere. You felt his pain and his joy. His songs reflected his experiences as an addict, his struggles, his victories, his wanderings and his loves. If you listen closely to his songs… you can hear his soul.
He made unique jewellery using nature’s leftovers of teeth and bones to carve or encase. He wrote adventure stories in his youth and illustrated them with drawings and paintings. Back then he would dress up all the time and his role play was always heroic and manly. He was gifted and did well at school.
Townes enjoyed athletics. He was an excellent soccer goalkeeper playing on select and travel teams in Goderich and Stratford. More recently he had fallen in love with Roller Derby and developed the skills to be a successful Jammer playing for teams in Kingston, Victoria and Kitchener. His handle was “Saragorn” and he was known for his determination and grit. His peers recognized him as MVP on more than one occasion. While at Stonehenge he was working out regularly and challenging his old man with 2 1/2 minute planks. Once again… resolved and determined.
Addiction is an evil force. Townes knew this intimately and he believed he had vanquished the foe, but somehow he let his guard down for a minute and in it came. We don’t know everything about what triggered the relapse, and perhaps we never will, but this time it created a situation that medical science simply could not repair. He passed away surrounded by his family on June 26, 2020.
Our thanks and gratitude go out to all the doctors, nurses and social workers who fought for his life and made him as comfortable as possible. To all those professionals who helped Townes and guided him through his numerous crises… social workers, nurses, doctors, youth services workers, rehab workers, mentors and sponsors… we thank you for your time and generosity. And Racheal, he probably would not have made it this far without you. Your care and tenacity gave him a chance to really live. To Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, you gave him 8 more months and for that we are forever in your debt. And Maddie, we know he loved you and we share your pain. His face always lit up when I mentioned your name. And last but not least, to his family and friends, his lovers and fellow adventurers, his teammates and roommates and all who have touched his heart… I know that he would unabashedly say, “Wassup? I Love You All.”
If you are able, please direct a contribution in Townes’ name to an Addiction and Mental Health organization in your area or specifically to Stonehenge Therapeutic Community in Guelph ON.
There will be a musical celebration of Townes’ life this Fall in Stratford. We will provide updates on Townes’ Facebook page.
Tim, Laura, Dylan & Mary
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