Jacob Cole Sweet

Jake was born on January 16, 1986 in Anchorage, Alaska. He was a healthy beautiful baby.

Seven days later, Jake was taken to emergency and treated for a hospital born infection.  While hospitalized, further complications set in due to the overdose of an antibiotic.

As he fought for his life in intensive care, medical staff said he would not survive. Jake’s spirit refused to leave and he went home 10 days later.

A year and a half later Jake moved to Bellevue, Washington to attend Merrywood Birth to Three program, where he received physical/occupational therapy and easily won the hearts of those who met him.

Jake attended Gordon Hauck Preschool where he thrived in inclusive classes; he won over many with his expressive eyes, bright smile and infectious laugh.

He graduated to Carl Sandburg Elementary where he continued to thrive in inclusive classes and touched the hearts of many, mostly girls.

He attended Kamiakin Jr. High, “sang” in the choir and played King Richard in the school play, not bad for being non-verbal.

Jake then moved onto Juanita High School and Lake Washington Transition Academy.  With the support of many wonderful teachers and staff, Jake started his own business.

Jake’s Java served espresso and smiles at the Lake Washington Resource Center for several years.  Jake always looked forward to going to work and meeting new people.

Through the years, Jake has enjoyed horseback riding with Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center; he was featured on Sports TV.

He also enjoyed adaptive skiing with Ski for All (now Outdoors for All); his photo appeared in the REI catalog.

Jake was featured in Seattle Parent Map magazine for his participation in aquatic therapy.

In May of 2000 Jake received an ward from the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association for his “Courage in Fighting to Protect Injured Citizens and Consumers in Washington State.”

In recent years Jake took in many movies, enjoyed bowling with friends from “What’s Next” group, occasional visits to the Casino and listening to tunes while cruising in his “Red Ride.”

Until this past year, Jake lived a healthy, happy life, bringing joy and laughter to many.  After a recent hospitalization he grew tired and found little comfort in daily activities; he did his very best to hold on.

On Sunday, September 16, 2012 God wrapped his arms around Jake and asked him to come home.  He passed peacefully in his sleep.

Jake is survived by his loving mother and sister, Bev Sweet (Mark Keirnes) and Cailin Sweet, Kirkland, WA.  Father, Gary Sweet; Aunts & Uncles: Barb Stodola, Bruce Coleman (Nan), Brenda Karker (Jeff),  Bonnie Shirley (Randy Lee), Brad Coleman (Andre’), Brian Coleman.  Cousins; Aaron & Josh Stodola, Brooke & Charlie Ann Karker, Devon & Tamara Coleman, all from Wisconsin. Dawn Sweet and Greg Sweet.

Greeted in heaven by Grandparents; Norbert & Leona Coleman; Leona Sweet; G.G. and Suzanne Sweet; Petey bird and Ahh! the betta fish.

Care providers, neighbors, friends and all who loved him will miss Jake.

A celebration of Jake’s life will be held at his home, Sunday, September 23, 2012.

He will later be laid to rest in Wisconsin, watched over by his grandparents.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Outdoor of All. http://www.outdoorsforall.org/Donations.html

20 Responses to “Jacob Cole Sweet”

  • The McGrath Family says:

    Thank you sharing your story with us. Jake will be missed by all his friends at the What’s Next Bowling events. All life is a gift. Your son was an inspiration and will not be forgotten.

    Gary, Donna, Reed and Patrick McGrath
    Woodinville WA.

  • Uncle Bruce & Aunt Nan says:

    What Jake Taught Us

    Love life no matter what
    Find joy is all things, in all ways
    Laughter and smiles make everything better
    Never give up; Know when to give in
    Family is what matters most

    Thank you Jacob, We will miss you.

  • Uncle Bruce & Aunt Nan says:

    What Jake Taught Us

    Love life no matter what
    Find joy is all things, in all ways
    Laughter and smiles make everything better
    Never give up; Know when to give in
    Family is what matters most

    Thank you Jacob, We will miss you

  • Lexi & Randy Moore says:

    Thank you for sharing Jake’s story. We have so many good memories with Jake. From 4th of july parties, neighbor night dinners, saying hello when he was out for a walk, sitting on your patio visiting with Bev and Jake while the dogs played.

    Knowing Jake has touched our lives.

    Thank you,

  • Jennifer Martyn says:

    Jake taught me to slow down and listen but to go fast down the hill. To go out of my way for a latte but to maintain my path for family. To come in when the sleet is too cold and to go out and live life for all it has to offer.
    Jake’s smile carries on for all who knew him and his energy was a blessing to all who met him.
    Much love to the Sweet family and friends. Jake your place is our hears remains forever.

  • Marsha Threlkeld says:

    I particularly enjoyed Jake’s ability to be deeply enthusiastic about his activities, his work, and most of all his family and friends. This was reciprocated as Jake was known and loved by so many. I am thankful for his kind smile and interest in the world and all of us. I want to recognize the positive effect he had on so many. I watched university students work with Jake at the espresso stand and saw their hearts and understanding of humanity and participation grow and grow. A life of love is a life well lived.

  • Mike and Julie O'Hara says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful and tender rememberance of Jake, Bev. He had a warrior’s spirit and a special kind of courage that taught us lessons we’ll never forget. We are lucky to have been your back fence neighbors for the past 14 years and will truly miss him.

    Love from Mike and Julie.

  • Lexi & Randy Moore says:

    Thank you Bev for sharing Jakes story. We will miss him greatly and have such fond memories of our neighbor. We feel blessed to have shared 4th of july parties, neighbor night bbq’s, visiting on Jakes patio while the dogs played and simply saying hello when you were out for a walk.

    Jake you have touched our lives,
    Thank you. with love Randy and Lexi (neighbors)

  • James & Gina May says:

    Bev & Cailin – Jake will ALWAYS be our “main man.” When I first became director of the Father’s Network at Merrywood, I really didn’t know that much about disablities. Jake became one of my finest teachers, and for that I will be forever grateful. He was a kind and gentle soul and we will miss him immensely. The world is lesser without him. We send him our love. Bev and Cailin, we are so sorry you lost your son and brother – so very painful. We also offer our condolences to Gary – a good father. DO TAKE CARE. Jake will be in our hearts.
    – Gina & James May

  • Jaimie Laitinen says:

    Bev and family – 6 years ago I met Bev and Jake at the exciting time when Jake’s Java opened in Redmond. At that time I was a student in college, and I learned so much during that year I worked at the latte stand with Jake! I had never seen anything like it- the process of everyone collaborating to put together that business – complete with trips to Cash and Carry and Jake’s own business cards…I will never forget how Jake’s smile and laugh left a smile on the face of all of our customers. Take care and hope to see you again someday. you are all in my thoughts. Jaimie Laitinen

  • Darcie Cailao says:

    What an inspiring life Jake lived, he will be missed by the What’s Next Bowling group. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Darcie Cailao
    Kirkland Kiwanis/What’s Next Bowlers

  • Jan Carlson says:

    When my family moved to Washington state 14 years ago, we met Jake and Bev at Carl Sandberg Elementary, and they gave us encouragement, inspiration and information which helped us greatly. As Jake and my son Matt moved through their school years, Jake paved the way for Matt who was four or so years younger. Jake would spend time at a school and then Matt would enter the school just when Jake moved on to conquer new territory. Jake’s heart is faithful and true, and we send prayers and love to Jake’s family and friends who will miss him so greatly. God bless you all. Jan, Bill and Matt Carlson

  • The Twiford Family says:

    Ah Jake! I remember the day we had the joy of first meeting you and your family! Cailin was playing softball with Taylor and Kelsey and you came to cheer on the team! Little did we know how much Kasey our lab was going to love seeing you! He jumped on your lap, grabbed your towel and took off running! THAT was when I knew your laugh was so infectious!! You would just crack up! Then when I had the pleasure of driving you home on my bus I could always tell when I was in trouble! You would start your giggle…I would start to giggle and we would both be busting a gut in no time! I know I had to pull over on more than one occasion! Thank you for teaching me how wonderful laughter can be!! Great memories of you! Margie, Tim, Taylor and Kelsey Twiford

  • Diane Hazard says:

    I was so sad to hear of Jake’s passing. I immediately thought of the many times I had lunch with him in the Juanita cafeteria. He would be eating his lunch and as soon as a girl would walk by and say “Hi Jake”, (which happened often), he would start that amazingly wonderful laugh of his and I knew lunch would take a back seat to his flirting! Bev, you and your family are in my prayers. One can hope to live a life and make a difference in this world. Jake did just that.

  • Judy & Darryl Zaccaria says:

    What a beautiful gathering yesterday at Jake’s home to celebrate his life. We were touched by his spirit and accomplishments – such an inspiration to all of us. One thing we noticed was his beautiful smile in all the photos that were displayed. In his absence he taught us that no matter what life has in store you can smile through it. Thank you Jake! God bless all of you.

  • Martha & Tom Schulte says:

    We are deeply saddened by Jake’s passing and wish to convey our sympathy to the whole Sweet family. We were always delighted to see Jake at “What’s Next” bowling. So when there is thunder in the sky, we will know that he is bowling in heaven, without a ramp or bumpers, and getting a strike everytime. His presence,his smile, and his eyes revealing that he was absorbing all that surrounded him, was very special. We will truly miss him. Martha, Tom, and Nathan

  • Nancy Hutchison says:

    Our street will never be the same without Jake, His joyous smile and enjoyment for life was contagious and he just made you feel good whenever he was around. Although he is now free from his physical limitations and surrounded by the peace and beauty of heaven, sincere sympathy is sent to his loving mother, Bev, his ever-faithful sister, Cailin,and to all of his family members who will miss him so much.

  • Samantha Smith and David Shaffer says:

    I remember Jake out in the front yard with a big smile on his face and greeting me every time that I saw him. I feel honored to have known him and he is such an inspiration and testament of the human spirit. He was always the constant in the neighborhood whether hanging with Bender at his side or running around in his Red Ride. We will truly miss Jake every single day. Our thoughts/prayers go out to Bev, CJ, and all Jake’s friends and family. I hope that knowing Jake is free and at peace will provide solace during this very difficult time.

  • Aaron Stodola says:

    At a loss for words. He was surrounded by love all his days on earth and now I am jealous to know that he is surrounded by those loved ones who have gone before us. He was a reminder of just how precious life is. I am relieved to know that he is free and will someday greet me when I am sent home. To honor his spirit we will all be sure to never take that for granted. Love you Jake, save me a spot at the kids table!

  • Scott Rose says:


    My life is but a weaving
    Between the Lord and me;
    I may not choose the colors–
    He knows what they should be.

    For He can view the pattern
    Upon the upper side
    While I can see it only
    On this, the under side.

    Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
    Which seems so strange to me;
    But I will trust His judgment
    And work on faithfully.

    ‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
    And He knows what is best;
    So I shall weave in earnest,
    And leave to Him the rest.

    Not ’til the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly
    Shall God unroll the canvas
    And explain the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needed
    In the Weaver’s skillful hand
    As are the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned.

    ~ Benjamin Malachi Franklin

    Honored, touched, and enriched by my interactions with Jake. My time of knowing Jake was short. I never got to see his bright smile nor hear his infectious laugh. I did however appreciate Jake’s spirit through those expressive eyes – and I do hope he is smiling and laughing once again.

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