Jacob Max Ryterman Taccardi
October 9, 1992 – March 26, 2018
Our beautiful son, Jake Taccardi, passed away on March 26, 2018 at Reston Hospital, surrounded by family and close friends.
Jake was born on a beautiful autumn morning on October 9, 1992 in Washington, DC at Sibley Hospital. Eager to begin his life, he was born less than 30 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. His big brother, Zak, loved him deeply from the start—we even had a little trouble convincing Zak that he was Jake’s brother and not his dad.
Jake lived his life in Herndon, Virginia. He went to Armstrong Elementary, Herndon Middle, and Herndon High, and finished his last two years of high school at the New School of Northern Virginia—a school for the arts. He graduated from Longwood University. While his degree was in English, most of his classes actually focused on teaching English. His dream was to become an educator.
Actually, his first dream, for more than a decade, was to become a police officer. When he first told us of his ambition, he said that he wanted to be able to see the smiles on people’s faces after he got their cat out of the tree. While his dream evolved, his passion for helping people was always a cornerstone of his life.
Jake loved kids, and had a passion for teaching. He was an After-School Instructor for the YMCA. He tutored kids and helped them with their homework, led them in sports, and taught LEGO Robotics. His kids—who called him Mr. Jake—loved him because they knew he respected them. He always engaged them on their level, making them feel important and cared for. Some of the kids even thought he was a wizard, who carried a magic wand. At the end of each day, if they were well behaved, Jake would light up his electronic wand and make it dance to their wonder and delight.
Jake was beautiful – inside and out. He was gentle and loving—a peacemaker. He was very smart and wickedly funny, and could inspire laughter in the most dire circumstances. He was a devoted friend, who had everyone’s back. He was exceptionally talented—an avid reader and an amazing artist and writer. He was an animal whisperer—he could coax the smallest wild creature from its home to sit on his hand and then would set it free.
We are so very blessed that Jacob chose to be born into our family and be with us for 25 years. He reached many important milestones. While we will never see him marry, we take comfort in knowing that he had great love in his life. And, while he will never have his own children, he actually had many children in his life who he cherished and inspired. He elected to be an organ donor, and has saved at least five people through his gifts. We are grateful that he lived a full and meaningful life in just 25 years.
Jake burned bright and will be missed by his family—his parents, Randi Ryterman and Tim Taccardi; his brother, Zak Taccardi; his grandparents, Bobbie and Roman Ryterman, Sylvia Pawlick, and Michael Taccardi; his aunts and uncles, Vicki Taccardi, Ted and Ann Marie Taccardi, Sharon Ryterman, and Mindy Milstein. And of course, he will be missed by his many friends who love him as a brother.
With Jake’s passing, the world just got a little smaller. But, to quote a friend, wherever Jake is now just got a little wilder.
A memorial celebration will be held on Monday, April 2 at 10 am, at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in the Atrium, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna, VA. [For directions please select the Service Information tab.] We will be sitting Shiva on Monday until 4 pm at the Gardens and on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-8 pm at our home.
We would love to hear your favorite stories about Jake. Please send them to Jacob@Taccardi.com. We plan to include many of them in a book about Jake’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Jake Taccardi YMCA Fund, which provides scholarships for disadvantaged kids to participate in YMCA before-school, after-school, and summer camp programs—scholarships that Jake supported through his personal donations and life’s work.
Jake Taccardi YMCA Fund
YMCA OF METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON
PO Box 65325
Washington, DC 20037-5325
You may also donate online at www.ymcadc.org/donations/jake-taccardi-ymca-fund