WASILLA — World War II veteran Robert Jobson is turning 100 Aug. 15. When he does, he’ll be surrounded by the warm company of family and Alaska Veterans and Pioneer Home staff with social distancing measures in place.
Jobson’s son Dan said the family has always been conscious about potential exposure. He said they’ve stayed home several times in the past to avoid exposing his father or other residents they’ve grown very attached to over the last three years.
“It’s kinda like one big giant family out there,” Dan said. “Prior to coronavirus, if you don’t feel good we don’t go into nursing homes... they’re the most vulnerable. We already knew this.”
November marks Jobson's third year at the Pioneer Home. Dan resides in Anchorage but his dad lived many years in the Valley, making many friends along the way.
“He’s got a whole bunch of history,” Dan said. “He had tons of saying that he would bring up at appropriate times.”
Dan said his father was always a very outgoing person, but he’s grown quieter.
Jobson is currently in hospice care. Dan said they will reevaluate in six months. He said the Pioneer Home has been an ideal place for his father to be. His stepmother also resides there in another wing.
“That’s just another level of care that they’re giving him… They’re right on top of it all the time,” Dan said. “The veterans Pioneer Home has been a godsend for me and my dad, because they take care of him like he’s gold. All the CNA’s and nurses wanted us to figure out how to clone him because he’s one of their favorite residents.”
Dan said that his father entered hospice prior to the outbreak and they were eventually able to see him in person again in a private room with masks and social distancing measures in place. He said they visit him about once a week.
Jobson was born in seaside Oregon and grew up raising animals on the family farm. Dan said his father didn’t fully retire into his late 80s. He’s a carpenter by trade and spent many years as a superintendent or foreman on large scale projects across the state.
Dan said his dad has always been a hard worker and raised seven kids. Dan eventually followed his father’s footsteps and became a carpenter. They both had careers in heavy commercial construction.
“He told me, ‘You don’t have to be a carpenter just because I am.’ Obviously, it’s in my blood so I went back to it,” Dan said. “He taught me the tricks of trade…Dad had great work ethics. I would say he worked way too much. Maybe that’s why I try to see him more in our later years.”
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com