JONESBORO — Severiano “Sam” Acebo Jr., 83, of Jonesboro, passed from this life on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro.
Born in Belleville, Texas, Sam was a U.S. Army veteran and served in Korea. His passion for optical started in the military where he was an Optical Lab Specialist. Following his years in the Army, he continued his passion for optical with his Uncle Tony in San Francisco.
After a move to St. Louis, he met the love of his life, Shirley. A genuine love story of 50 years of marriage followed. They married in 1962 and optical took his family to Jonesboro in 1977 to operate a wholesale optical lab.
In 1990, Sam and Shirley purchased the lab and opened a retail store, LensMasters, along with it. He loved telling how he had the first optical lab in Arkansas to grind plastic lenses when the norm was glass. He was forward thinking, a hard worker and so proud that the optical business he started is still thriving today after more than 40 years.
He attended Central Baptist Church and enjoyed fishing and traveling. Sam was a member of the Jonesboro Senior Softball League and participated in Senior Olympics. Many, many fond memories and friendships came from years of softball.
Sam was known as an avid story teller who could charm you with his amplified details of events. But, above all else, his favorite pastime was following and supporting his grandchildren in all of their sports and activities.
Sam was affectionately known as Papa to his grand and great-grandchildren and their friends, and you could definitely hear his enthusiasm at any game he attended. He was so passionate and invested in what his family was doing.
Sam was a past member of the Greater Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Jonesboro Association, the Exchange Club of Jonesboro, Optical Laboratories Association, the Opticians Association of America and lifetime member of the Opticians Association of Arkansas.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents Severiano Sr. and Maria Espinoza Acebo; wife Shirley Mae (Briley) Acebo; and two brothers Ricardo Acebo and Raymond Acebo.
Survivors include sons Billy Joe Petrosky of Texas and Severiano “Rusty” Acebo III (Holly) of Jonesboro; daughters Timi Saffell (Reg) of Bono and Tonya Heer (Carl) of Jonesboro; brothers Vic Acebo (Sharon) of Oklahoma and Joe Acebo of Virginia; eight grandchildren and their spouses Justin Schaaf (Jessi), Megan Farley (Jimmy), Nicholas Schaaf (Leigh Anna), Hunter Saffell (Chelsey), Severiano Brock Acebo (Madison), Haven Wise (Garrett), Annika Acebo and Rykar Acebo; and four great-grandchildren, Easton Farley, Judah Farley, Laila Mae Schaaf and Collier Schaaf.
A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Emerson Funeral Home. A private burial will be held in Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery, where his grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
For lasting memorials, the family asks that consideration be given to Central Baptist Church, 3707 Harrisburg Road, Jonesboro, AR 72404.
Online registry at www.emersonfuneralhome.com