Born and raised in Salado, Texas, Jacob Michael Cahoon will always be remembered for his witty humor and passion for animals.
According to his mother, Laurie, Jacob always wanted to be an Aggie, and once he discovered A&M’s veterinary school, his love for Texas A&M was solidified. Jacob was a member of the Class of 2019 studying veterinary medicine.
Laurie recalls Jacob’s love for animals and said she watched as he read every book he could find on the subject.
“He started reading about animals when he [was] really little and that’s all he wanted to read about, he just soaked it up, every book he could get ahold of,” Laurie said. “When we started talking about what he wanted to do he was thinking zoology, and the more we looked into it the more we decided maybe he should be a veterinarian and he said, ‘Yeah that’s what I want to do.’”
Jacob started working at Salado Veterinary Hospital as a sophomore in high school, managing the kennels and helping exercise the animals. He did this until he became a veterinary technician for the hospital.
When Jacob was not studying, he enjoyed playing online video games, reading and baseball.
Laurie recalls Jacob playing baseball in Little League and wanting to be a pitcher.
“I would catch for him,” Laurie said. “I even used his little brother’s diapers for my knee pads. But we spent hours and hours outside practicing his pitching.”
Jacob’s favorite baseball team was the Chicago Cubs and when they won the World Series last year, Laurie remembers Jacob calling home and being so excited for his team. Jacob stopped playing baseball in high school, but joined a softball intramural team at A&M.
The vet school held a candlelight vigil for Jacob and bussed many of his classmates to the funeral service in Salado. Staff from the veterinary school were present as well as Karen Cornell, associate dean for Professional Programs and the Earline and A.P. Wiley Endowed Veterinary Chair.
“Everybody got up and talked about how he was there to always lend a hand, he was always there to help them through surgery, or with their homework or whatever they needed help with, he was always there,” Laurie said. “They were a family. I didn’t even realize it until that candlelight vigil.”
Nathan, Jacob’s brother, is a junior in high school and remembers how witty his brother was, always having something funny to say in the moment.
“I really like his humor,” Nathan said. “He was one of the funniest guys I knew and of course he was really kind, he was just amazing and incredibly intelligent.”
Jacob was an excellent student and Nathan said he was always working. He taught Nathan a lot of things, including persistence in hard times.
“I remember one time he taught me that it’s better to do something harder right now and enjoy it later than enjoying it right now and doing the harder thing later,” Nathan said.
Laurie summed up the many lessons she learned from Jacob’s life — “Never give up. Keep going. Persistence. To follow your dreams. Always have laughter along the way.”