COLUMBIA — Only 4 feet and 5 inches tall and known as "dragon lady" at work, Janis M. Jacobson was a strong, but very sweet person.
"She was a very powerful little lady, but very kind," her friend, Beverly Mathews said.
Janis M. Jacobson of Columbia died Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. She was 94.
She was born Jan. 18, 1920, in New York, N.Y., to Alexander and Dora Jacobson.
She married Danny Flanagan in 1943.
Ms. Jacobson met her husband at an USO dance during World War II, while he was in the armed services.
As the head accountant for the Fisher Corporation, Ms. Jacobson was very valuable to the company for 42 years, Mathews said.
"They used to call her dragon lady at the office because she could take those men on and hold her ground," Mathews said.
In 1977, Ms. Jacobson was transferred from New York to Los Angeles, where she met Mathews.
"She more of less adopted my family," Mathews said. "She was alone and she turned to us and became like family."
Ms. Jacobson was a loving friend to humans and animals, Mathews said.
Although Ms. Jacobson was a private person, she was generous and involved with many charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and The Humane Society.
Ms. Jacobson was a godmother to two of her nieces, Anne Marie and Kathy, whom she loved dearly, Mathews said.
In June 2011, Ms. Jacobson moved in with Mathews. She remembers her terrific sense of humor.
"People thought I was her daughter, but she would respond, 'No, no, she's my mother,'" Mathews said.
Ms. Jacobson is survived by her nephew, Alexander Donald Jacobson; three nieces, Kathy Flanagan, Anne Marie Flanagan and Cheryl Jacobson; and her special friend, Beverly Mathews.
Ms. Jacobson's husband, sister and two brothers died earlier.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.