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Husband, father who died during credit union robbery remembered for ‘making life fun’


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The O’Haver family. | Courtesy GoFundMe

AMMON — Jacob O’Haver lived life how his wife hopes their children will grow up — happy and full of love.

O’Haver, 33, suffered a medical emergency during a Mountain America Credit Union robbery in Ammon on Thursday before passing away. He leaves behind his wife of 13 years, three girls and one boy.

His wife, Sydney O’Haver, said Jacob was not only known for joking around and making life fun, but he was always there for other people.

“He was like everyone’s brother. He took everyone in as family,” she told “He (was a) ‘protect you until the end’ kind-of-person.”

RELATED: Credit union employee dies from medical emergency during robbery; suspect identified

Jacob and Sydney grew up in Arizona and were high school sweethearts. She laughs when she reminisces about the first encounter they had with each other.

Jacob was on a football team and Sydney was going into sports medicine. He made a bet with a friend that he could kick a football and hit the sports medicine cart that was off in the distance. Instead, he hit Sydney, who was nearby, on her back.

“He’d always say, ‘He took my breath away when we first met,'” Sydney says with a smile.

Jacob O’Haver. | Courtesy GoFundMe

About five years ago, the couple decided to start a new life. They sold what they didn’t need and packed up their belongings and headed for Idaho Falls.

Jacob spent the past three years of his life working as assistant branch manager at Mountain America Credit Union in Ammon. But Sydney says there was so much more to Jacob than work. He loved sports and spending time with his family.

“Our girls had danced for years, but they just started softball and he was over the roof to have a sport to embrace with them,” she said. “He tried to be at every game as possible, and he bought so much softball gear to help them.”

Sydney said he also had a passion for soccer and years ago, spent time at Mesa Community College playing the game he loved. He had recently spoken to Sydney about his desire to start coaching youth soccer teams in the area.

The youth held a special place in Jacob’s heart. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The couple served as youth Sunday School teachers and he was in the young men’s presidency before that.

Sydney says he cared about the kids he was in charge of not just on Sundays, but all week long. He’d go to the youth’s swim meets, football games and other activities to show his love and support.

“He loved working with the youth because he was like a big kid,” Sydney said. “He related to them so well.”

Sydney said because of the life Jacob lived, both their families have spent the last few days sharing laughs as they’ve reflected on the memories they have to cherish.

She said Jacob would want people to be happy right now, rather than spend every second of the day in tears.

“He was a good man,” she said. “Everybody seemed to love him and many people (have) said, ‘I don’t think there’s anybody who didn’t like him.'”

A viewing will be held Thursday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the church building at 1155 First St. in Idaho Falls.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with the financial burden after the unexpected loss of their husband and father. Click here to donate.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.