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Armand L. Jacobs, 87, the president of an industrial-bag company for 40 years who also was known for his often dry sense of humor, died Thursday (Oct. 18, 2001) in Millard Fillmore Hospital after a long illness.

Jacobs attended the University of Buffalo before beginning his career in 1934 as a sales executive with Iroquois Bag Co., a firm founded by his grandfather, Abraham Roblin, in 1880 at Broadway and Sherman Street in Buffalo. Jacobs worked there for more than 60 years, serving as president for about 40 years, before retiring in 1997.

A nationally known figure in the feed-and-grain industry, Jacobs was president of the Buffalo Flour Club and an officer of the National Burlap Bag Association.

Jacobs was very active in Temple Beth Zion for many years and also belonged to the Westwood Country Club and the Buffalo Athletic Club.

Outside work, he flashed his sense of humor and creativity in several roles. In his 20s and 30s, he was part of a songwriting team, Jacobs & Levy, which wrote songs and advertising jingles for local radio stations. He also was one of the founders of a national telephone network of jokes in the 1950s.

"He knew more than 10,000 jokes," said one of his sons, John, who produces comedies in Los Angeles. "He knew more jokes than anybody I ever met, even in Hollywood."

His children recalled that Jacobs served as a mentor to many young people, including their own friends, many of whom he took under his wing, providing them with advice as they moved later into the business world.

In the 1960s, Jacobs was part of a consortium of business people who made an unsuccessful bid to buy the Detroit Tigers baseball team. Their bid was $1.5 million, less than the current average annual salary for each player.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, the former Jane Friedman; his brother, Phillip R.; a daughter, Nancy Jacobs Fischer of Washington, D.C.; three sons, Robert of Saratoga Springs, Richard of Honolulu and John of Los Angeles; and four grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Sisterhood Chapel of Temple Beth Zion on Delaware Avenue. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.


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