With sadness, we report the sudden death of
Jakob Franke on Thursday, November 10, 2016. Jakob was highly involved
in the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference for 24 years, and chaired
the Long Path South committee. A few days prior to his passing, Jakob
received NYNJTC's highest honor; the Raymond H. Torrey Award, and with
his wife Gely, he received the Paul Leikin Extra Mile Award in 2014.
Jakob brought his skills in planning,
organizing, and managing trail clearing parties to various sections of
the Morris Canal towpath in Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties. Most
recently, he led a large crew at Inclined Plane 4 West in Waterloo,
which had become heavily overgrown due to lack of maintenance. This
major canal engineering feature is now visible from across the river and
can be interpreted from Waterloo Village.
A native of the Netherlands, Jakob held an MS in Biology and retired in
2008 after a career as a research associate at Columbia University. He
was the lead author of
The Field Guide to the Morris Canal of New Jersey, privately
published in late 2014.