Gregoire's mother and `inspiration' dies

OLYMPIA - Sybil Grace Jacobs, 84, the mother of state Attorney General Christine Gregoire, has died of heart failure at Mother Joseph Care Center in Lacey, Thurston County.

Gregoire remembered her mother as a strong woman who inspired her to achieve great success.

"As an only child, for me she was more than a mother and a friend," Gregoire said.

"She was an inspiration and my ultimate cheerleader."

Mrs. Jacobs, who died Saturday (April 29), was born to Claude and Cora Palmer on Jan. 14, 1916, in Watford City, N.D. She grew up on a farm with six siblings and then moved to Missoula, Mont., where she worked during World War II.

In the early 1940s, she and her husband moved to Enumclaw, where Gregoire was born in 1947. Her husband died about two years later, and she later married Edwin Jacobs, who died in 1975.

The family moved to Auburn, where they kept cows and enjoyed rural life.

"My mother liked to take me stream trout fishing with hip waders and the whole nine yards," Gregoire said.

Gregoire rose to national prominence in 1998 when she led negotiations on the $206 billion settlement between 46 states and four major tobacco companies. She said she was motivated, in part, by her long and unsuccessful struggle to get her mother to stop smoking.