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John Stephen (Jake) MacLeod

1952 ~ 2021

You are invited to join the livestream funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 14, 2021 via the Southside Church of Christ website.

Interment: 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Cook/Walden Forest Oaks Cemetery in Austin.

Anyone wishing to pay tribute to Jake, please give to his heart’s mission work that is ongoing in San Fernando, La Union, Philippines. You may donate in memory of Jake through the following link:

The family deeply covets your prayers and thanks you for all the love and support shown to us at this time.

You may view a video tribute at Jake MacLeod video.

On Friday, January 8, 2021, John Stephen “Jake” MacLeod, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and son was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior after a brief but valiant battle with Covid-19.

Jake was born on December 30, 1952 in Kansas City, Missouri to Thomas Daniel and Marie (O’Brien) MacLeod. The fourth born of six children, he joined an active and loving family. Their mom and dad created an atmosphere of Christian values and instilled a tremendous work ethic which all the children carried into their adulthood. Jake learned to tag along with the fishermen, becoming quite adept at it. He also tagged along on duck hunts with his dad and became a dead-eye marksman, outshooting his brothers to this day.

There was hardly a stick of wood left unaltered from his never-ending desire to make and create. He developed his skills as a woodworker, gifting so many with beautiful treasures. He loved to make family heirlooms. Those blessed by the work of his hands received everything from fly fishing and bagpipe boxes, to baby cribs, beds, jewelry cases- practically anything someone might ask for.

Jake loved to work on cars and could engineer most anything. Jake also loved sharing his knowledge of fixing, making, and growing with anyone who cared to learn, calling on his teaching skills from the past. He often quizzed a grandchild on a subject he felt was important and challenged them always in their thinking.

He absolutely adored having family and friends over for a meal of his smoked meats (pheasant, turkey, chicken, steak and salmon were his specialties) or a massive bonfire out back. During the summer months, he was usually found in the pool with grandkids, tossing them high for a big splash or dramatically “falling in” when a sneaky child would come behind and give him a push. Games were also such a favorite part of his when family or friends got together. He loved to challenge his children or a grandchild or two to a game of Chess and enjoyed beating Connie at a game of Rummy or Aggravation.

He loved our MacLeod family history, always researching and sharing interesting facts with us. He made sure to send reminders to everyone when there was a birthday, anniversary, or other important information he had unearthed that needed to be told.

Jake was everyone’s helping hand. Whether you needed work done or your spirits lifted, he was there to offer a huge hug, his hardworking hands, or a listening ear. Jake was a scholar of the Word and shared with all who would listen. His life reflected his commitment and connection with the Lord. He was the epitome of a family man. He loved and cherished his wife, supported and advised his children, and adored and played with his grandchildren.

Jake grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended DeSmet Jesuit High School, where he was elected to be their first class president. He played football and wrestled, with wrestling being his love. He graduated from DeSmet in 1971. Jake first attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He then later transferred to Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, and finally attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1976. He then proceeded to teach and inspire 7th and 8th graders for two years before deciding to jump into his long and successful career in telecommunications.

Jake was in on the “ground floor” of the wireless/cellular communication industry, learning and then developing it from its infancy to the behemoth it is today. In San Angelo, Texas he designed the first cellular system for the state of Texas. Eventually, Jake became the head of the Wireless Communications division for Bechtel Corporation as Principal Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. He was viewed as a major asset to Bechtel and to the entire industry. Jake was awarded the esteemed title of “Bechtel Fellow”, an honor bestowed on few.

One of his most challenging ventures was his assignment to Iraq, after the major fighting stopped towards the end of the Gulf War, to consult with the Iraqi government on the rebuilding of their national communications network.

Jake served on numerous industry boards over the course of his career. He was semi-retired and formed his own consulting company, “Graybeards Consulting.” He enjoyed continuing to guide industry peers and companies into excellence by giving his highly sought-after advice and experience.

Jake and Connie worshipped with the Frederick Church of Christ in Frederick, Maryland for twenty-two years where Jake served as head of the mission’s team, deacon and later as an Elder. After moving to Texas in 2013 and searching for a church home for almost two years, they found Southside Church of Christ and have called it “home” ever since. Jake has served in many ways at Southside, including head of the mission’s team, working with the homeless and the church pantry effort and as a deacon. Jake’s heart was in mission work around the world and he devoted countless hours working with the mission teams and organizing trips to the Philippines. Jake was incredibly involved with the fundraising and building of a new worship center for the church in San Fernando, La Union, Philippines. He quickly grew to love the church members there and called them family. Jake served wherever the Lord placed him and always did so with an eagerness and joy.

John Stephen “Jake” MacLeod was a man’s man – full of integrity, honesty, hardworking, strong and bold. Yet he was a gentleman first and loved his wife with total devotion and admiration. He called Connie his “bride” for forty-six years. Jake taught his sons and sons-in-love how to truly love and honor a woman by example. He took the advice given to him by his beloved father-in-law, Papa “NL” Tim McLeod, and never stopped “courting” Connie.

Jake loved smooth Jazz and would jump at the opportunity to play it for whatever captive audience he could get his hands on, whether they be friends poolside or the wayward grandchild working out in his shop. He also loved Celtic music, wearing his kilt, winning the “Bonnie Knees” contests, caber tosses, and a good, old fashioned Scottish Ceilidh. His Highlander roots ran deep.

Jake adored travelling the world, and in his semi-retirement years, his bride was able to adventure around with him. Seeing old friends, making new ones, and exploring everywhere he could brought him much joy. His favorite places on this Earth were Banff, Canada, the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and anywhere with the love of his life.
While the hole in our hearts cuts deeper than any ocean abyss and wider than the biggest expanse of sky, Jake would want us to carry on, day by day. To remember him with much love and lots of laughter. To absolutely put God first in everything we do and to live each day as if it is truly our last.

John Stephen “Jake” MacLeod is survived by his wife, Constance Ann “Connie” McLeod MacLeod; his children, Lorrie Ann MacLeod Dickerson and husband Aaron Dickerson; Zachary Thomas MacLeod; Heather Lynn MacLeod Goodman and husband Adam Goodman; Sean McLeod MacLeod and wife Sarah MacLeod; his eleven grandchildren; Elizabeth, Ella, Anabelle and Hudson Dickerson; Miles MacLeod; Sage, Ari, Maple, and Wilder Goodman; and Iris and Jeremiah MacLeod. He is also survived by sisters, Linda Seveland and Marianne Pruitt, and brothers, Thomas, Michael and Patrick MacLeod. Jake is also survived by sisters- and brothers-in-law and many, many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.