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Jake Accola

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Jake Accola

Retired Colonel Jacob "Jake" P. Accola died Sept. 25, 2015. He was 99.

He was born Aug. 31, 1916, to Lawrence and Leila Accola in the Kickapoo Valley near Steuben, Wis. In October 1917 the family moved to Cedaredge.

Mr. Accola graduated from Cedaredge High School in 1933. He attended Western State College where he lettered in football and edited the school newspaper. After his graduation in 1937, he was a teacher and assistant basketball coach in La Junta.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941, attended navigation school and was assigned to the 19th Bomb Wing flying B-17s. Headed for Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed, he was reassigned to Adak in the Aleutian Islands, flying B-26 bombing missions. In 1943 he was assigned to a B-25 training wing at Columbia, S.C.

He married Mary Kathryn Derrick in August 1946. They served tours in Hawaii, England, Illinois and Nebraska before retiring to Colorado Springs in 1971.

Mr. Accola enjoyed sports, especially football, basketball and baseball. He played tennis and badminton, for which he won many trophies, and Western State and Air Force Academy athletics.

He was president of the Western State College foundation and was a charter member of the AFA Athletic Association.

He is survived by a son, Tom of West Melbourne, Fla.; a daughter, Robin of Chicago; four grandsons and three granddaughters.

He was preceded in death by a son, John, in June 2006.

A reception by the family will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, at the Accola residence. Interment will be in the family plot in Cedaredge Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the WSCU Foundation.

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