Alice (Conn) Jakeway’s journey was one of unexpected turns, destined meetings and a lifetime of making an impact on the lives of those fortunate enough to know her. Hailing from Silver Lake, Ohio, near Akron, her life story is a testament to the power of fate and the profound influence one person can have.
In the autumn of 1967, destiny took a hand in her life’s course. Graduating from Kent State University High School, Alice believed her path was set to Bowling Green University—until a paperwork glitch prompted her last-minute application to Ashland College. It was this twist of fate that set the stage for a chance meeting that would change her life forever.
On a crisp September day, as freshmen arrived to begin the next chapter of their lives, Alice’s car pulled up on campus. At that moment, her path crossed with a young Don Jakeway ‘70 eager to lend a helping hand. This encounter marked the beginning of a beautiful journey. As he introduced himself and helped carry her belongings into her dorm room, the seeds of a lifelong connection were sown. While neither might have known it at the moment–although Don had an inkling, he says with a laugh–it was a chance meeting that would change both of their lives forever.
Alice embraced her time at Ashland College. She majored in Elementary Education and graduated in 1971, leaving an indelible mark on the campus she held dear. Despite challenges, such as the campus closure due to the tragic events of the Kent State shootings in 1970, Alice’s spirit remained unbroken. The weekend she was meant to be crowned the White Rose Queen of Sigma Nu Fraternity was the same weekend the campus shuttered its doors. Yet, thanks to her lifelong friends, she received her crown many years later–six months before she passed away in 2020 after a courageous battle against cancer.
“She had the biggest smile on her face that day,” Don says.
Beyond her academic journey, Alice’s life was a tapestry woven with love and devotion. After graduating, she became an educator herself, teaching in Stow City Schools and Lakewood City Schools respectively for nine years. Her role as a wife, mother and grandmother stood as a testament to her boundless love. Married to Don in 1972, she shaped homes across the country as his career took them to various places.
“She made everything happen,” Don says. “She always made whatever house we purchased a wonderful home!”
Her impact, however, went far beyond familial roles. Alice was known for her infectious sense of humor that filled rooms with laughter. Her loyal friendships, particularly with her Ashland classmates of over 55 years, were a testament to her unwavering devotion. Her legacy continues to thrive within the Ashland community. Her Memorial Plaque in the Prayer Garden—a mere 100 yards from where their paths first crossed—stands as a tribute to a life that came full circle.
Alice Jakeway’s journey was one of serendipity, love and laughter. Her presence enriched the lives of all who knew her, leaving behind an enduring legacy of warmth and compassion.
Alice’s story is a shining example of the profound impact one individual can make, shaping lives and creating connections that transcend the moment to leave an indelible mark on the hearts of every person blessed enough to have known her.