Kathe Teschner (Solis-Cohen) Jacoby, 86, of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, one of the first computer programmers, died on December 16, 2012 of pneumonia at Abington Hospital. She was the daughter of Myer Solis-Cohen (1877-1960) and Rosebud (Teschner) Solis Cohen (1903-1990), and was proud to continue the work of a prominent Philadelphia medical family that traces its lineage to the American Revolution.
She was born July 15, 1926 in Philadelphia and received her BA in mathematics from Swarthmore College in 1946 and her MS in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948. At the University of Pennsylvania she programmed Eniac (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), the first electronic general-purpose computer, and Edvac, one of its early successors. She continued working as a programmer and engineering supervisor for Philco (later Philco-Ford) and was a part-time lecturer at the Graduate School of Engineering at Drexel Institute of Technology. She moved to the Franklin Institute Research Laboratories in 1964 where she worked as a senior research engineer, but two years later her family relocated to London, England, where she worked for EMI (Electrical and Musical Industries) as a senior systems analyst. In 1968 she returned to Philadelphia and her previous position at the Franklin Institute. In 1969 she started work for First Pennsylvania Bank as a systems consultant until she retired in 1990. While at First Pennsylvania she served for one year on a Governor's State Commission to improve the efficiencies of state government. In addition to her programming and management talents, she was especially interested in human-machine interfaces and design automation.
She was a member of the Valley Forge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served as Regent of the Germantown Chapter from 1992 to 1995 and from 2001 to 2006. Kathe worked tirelessly to facilitate the merger of the Germantown Chapter with the Valley Forge Chapter, preserving the work of Germantown Chapter and insuring its continuance into a new century of service. In the Valley Forge Chapter, Kathe served on the Audit & Bylaw Committee and was chairman of Commemorative Events and Constitution Week Committees. She also held numerous chairmanships in the Germantown Chapter. Kathe will be honored at the DAR State Memorial Service in April 2013. Additionally, Kathe was an active ice skater at the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society and was a certified U.S. Figure Skating Judge. She was a member of the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society and attended Congregation Mikveh Israel.
Kathe married Marvin Jacoby in 1945 and had three children, David Alexander (1948- ), Edith Sharon (1950-2005) and Alice Louise Egan (1952-1986). She is survived by her son David Jacoby, grandchildren Jennifer Egan, Keith Egan, Shannon Egan, Suzanne Nichole Jacoby, and Alexander Jacoby, and three great-grandchildren Beatrix MacNeill, Roma Cervino and Ila Cervino.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Congregation Mikveh Israel, 44 N. 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19106. In lieu of flowers, donations to Germantown Academy, the Morris Arboretum, or the USFSA Memorial Fund would be appreciated.