Roy Andrew Jacobowitz, 59, a long-term resident of Marblehead, passed away at Brigham and Women's Hospital on Friday, May 30th after a valiant battle against a long illness. Mr. Jacobowitz, youngest son of the late Norman and Sylvia Jacobowitz of Rutherford, N.J. graduated from Yale University. He worked for more than 10 years at the Breakthrough Foundation in San Francisco, CA, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. He later joined Accion International, a non-profit microlending organization that fights poverty by providing microcredit and supporting economic and sustainable development. Accion has helped build 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries on four continents, reaching millions of individuals.
During his 21 years as a senior executive at Accion, his colleagues noted his energetic response to issues, his deep knowledge of international financial systems, and his numerous fundraising achievements. His approach to expanded opportunities for financial transactions in developing economies enabled Accion to reach into new areas and increase its operations globally.
Roy was a tireless optimist whose enthusiasm was contagious. He was equally passionate about work, family and fun. He was an avid sailor on the family boat, Auburn. When entering Marblehead Harbor, Roy enjoyed pushing the envelope by waiting until the very last minute to drop the sails. Some of Roy's favorite summer days were spent on Leadbetter Island in Penobscot Bay. Together with family and friends he cooked gourmet meals, drank carefully selected wines, and drove the tractor with his son by his side. Roy had a marvelous sense of humor and a laugh that could fill a concert hall. He loved to read books and listen to music. Music was a vital part of his life. He was the Jazz Program Director at WYBC during his time at Yale, a record collector and recently learned to play the ukulele.
Roy thoroughly enjoyed a good, intelligent argument on any topic for fun, preferably over a long dinner. Never a wallflower, Roy would participate in a meaningful conversation with anyone. It did not matter if it was a president of a major corporation or a small child, he would engage them with the same warmth, intellectual curiosity and respect. These are the same qualities that made him such an amazing husband, father, and friend.
Roy was generous with his love, time, and insights. Above all, Roy treasured his wife, Roberta, and their son, Alex. Some of his happiest times were spent with his family on the beach in Baja, Mexico.
Roy Jacobowitz is survived by his wife of 30 years, Roberta Moss, his son Alexander, a student at Salem State University, his sisters, Dr. Ellen Stein and Frances Metcalf, and his brother Colonel Daniel Jacobowitz, USAF (Ret.), a large extended family, and numerous worldwide friends and colleagues. Funeral services will be held at 1 pm on May 2, 2014 at Saint Andrews Church, Marblehead, MA. Memorial donations may be made to Accion International