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Hershel Ray Jacobs

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Hershel Ray “Bear” Jacobs, former professional football player, coach and probation officer, passed away Nov. 15, 2021, in Dallas. He was 82.
He is survived by his wife, children, two sisters and a brother.
He was born Nov. 21, 1938, in Corsicana to Myrtle and Arvel Lee Jacobs. Although he came from humble roots, in his later years he often told people that he felt lucky, saying “I’ve never seen the meat so good or the gravy so thick.”
Jacobs played for Navarro Junior College, before receiving a full scholarship to Howard Payne University. At Howard Payne, he was twice named NAIA All-American and three times was chosen as a Lone Star Conference selection.
He was a 1962 first-round AFL draft pick. He played for the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Boston Patriots until a back injury sidelined him.
In his career, he played 79 professional games and was twice named All-AFL second team. He later coached football for Mabank, Corsicana, Navarro College and Ranger Junior College.
He worked for 20 years as a probation officer for Navarro County before retiring at 72. In each of his careers, he sought to inspire young men to work hard, pursue their dreams and have respect for themselves and others. In 2005, he was inducted into the Howard Payne University Sports Hall of Fame. In 2020, he was inducted into the Navarro College Hall of Fame.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Westside Baptist Church, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation or the American Stroke Foundation.
An online guest book is available at Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.
He is interred at Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery in Corsicana.
He is interred at Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery in Corsicana.

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