Peter CaJacob, former McClatchy vice president of human resources, died Sunday morning of pneumonia after battling ongoing health issues. He was 74.
CaJacob spent more than a decade at the McClatchy Co., the parent company of The Sacramento Bee, and retired in 2004. Before that, he was the director of HR for GenCorp, an aerospace and defense company, and headed HR operations for Aerojet, a GenCorp division.
Nan CaJacob, his wife for 45 years, remembered him as a man who loved to help others.
"People that knew him, especially the young people he touched, just adored him," said Nan, 71. He was "very bright, very funny, very outgoing and very generous."
The couple lived together in El Dorado Hills for 39 years, she said, where Peter was active in the community. He was an avid golfer, involved in many youth groups and sports teams, and was the president of the Serrano Country Club, she said.
"The world's going to be a lot less fun without him in it," said Courtney Kain, Peter's daughter. "He gave a lot to our family and to our community and we're going to miss him a lot."
McClatchy Chief Financial Officer Elaine Lintecum remembered CaJacob as a "delightful" co-worker.
"Whenever someone would see Peter and ask him how he was doing, he would always say, 'Tippy tappy with a song in my heart, how are you?'" she said. "I've been channeling him ever since he retired, whenever people asked me how I was doing."
Gregory Favre, former executive editor of The Bee and a former McClatchy news executive, said CaJacob was a "gentle person with a wonderful sense of humor and a smile that would disarm any disagreements.
"He was a friend and a highly respected colleague and he leaves a legacy of service that we all should try to emulate."
Nan said Peter prepared a statement he wanted included in his obituary.
"I hope I caused all that knew me to smile or laugh. Thanks for making me do the same. I certainly had a great life – perfect wife, loving, supportive family, loyal, fun-loving friends all through my life, and a job that allowed me to contribute to making some other lives better," he wrote. "As my great friend Phil Broughton used to say, 'it just don't get no better than that.'"
CaJacob is survived by his wife, his three daughters – Kain, Sara CaJacob and Laura Ugokwe – and four grandchildren.
Service arrangements are pending.