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Jesse was born on May 27, 1956 in Downey California and passed from this life November 29, 2023 in Burns, Oregon.
He is survived by his love, Lilly, his children Michelle, Sarah, and David (Stacey), grandchildren Jayden & Benjamin, brother Rick and sister Jennifer (Mike), niece Brandy and her children Bella, Jori and Winter, nephew Arly (Vera) and their son Enzo, Aunt Margie and Uncle Jack, as well as many cousins and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Gwin and Janice Lawson.
A Celebration of Life was held Saturday December 9, 2023 11am at the Life4Square Church 74 S. Alvord, Burns, Oregon 97720
His children have requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to Crossroads Ranch of Harney County, PO Box 327, Burns, OR 97720 in his memory.
Jesse was born with an enlarged heart and at the age of 12 had surgery to replace a malfunctioning valve and then when he was 28, he suffered a stroke on a Los Angeles area freeway which led to another valve replacement. That stroke forever changed him, and he struggled with many things in his private life after that.
In elementary school he was a star of track in the 50 yd dash, even breaking some records. He also excelled in baseball playing not only in school but also in Little League and Pony League where our Dad was his team manager and Mom was the score keeper. There were a number of years he was selected for the All-Star team as well. It was during his Little League years that we made some lifelong friends, the Stankis family, whom we spent countless hours with barbecuing, playing games, figuring out strategy for the next baseball game, visiting the donut shop on Saturday mornings with many fishing trips to Legg Lake in there. Dick was the team coach, Elaine was the ‘Team Mom’ and the boys John & Jim are still brothers to us.
Jesse always struggled in school, and it wasn’t until he was in 6th grade that his teacher, Miss Parker, figured out that he couldn’t read but got along by memorizing words. She then worked with him and helped him figure out a way to begin learning.
Dad and Mom didn’t ever take us on elaborate vacations but rather we’d go camping up by Bishop or to see the national parks in Utah and some trips to see family in Oklahoma. On one of those trips to Oklahoma besides winning the ‘let’s see who can eat the most bowls of homemade ice cream’ contest, (which 1 year he won with 8 bowls), he had his trusty 22 caliber six shooter strapped to his hip and decided to practice his ‘quick draw’. They never did take the bullet out of his calf. He didn’t practice that anymore.
Dad had a black & white 1956 Ford pickup for as long as I can remember and when Jesse got his license, he and Dad started fixing it up together. They put a, I believe, 460 motor in it, redid the interior to classic tuck & roll and had it painted gold. Of course, it had cool rims and wheels. He never let me drive it except for 1 time when he had to get the folks’ station wagon home I had been driving. He told me if I gave it more gas then he thought I should, that I’d live to regret it, forever! I believed him, that was his baby. I chose life over romping on the gas pedal.
After graduation he met and married Linda, the mother of Michelle, whom he always claimed as his own. 6 years later Sarah joined their family and their son David joined them in 1992. His kids were his world. As a family they were involved in softball, and many other after school activities. After Jesse & Linda divorced, she and the kids moved to the San Francisco area for her work and Jesse moved north as well to be closer to them.
In 2017 he went to work at Grocery Outlet and remained there until his passing. He loved his job, the people he worked with and his customers. It did my heart so much good to see the wonderful comments on the Grocery Outlet facebook page about how much he will be missed. Thank you from the entire family.
Prior to that he moved to the Bend area and to Burns in 2014 after his nephew’s car accident and that’s when he met and married Lilly. They held a deep, caring love for each other. We have been learning since he passed that he had put into motion the process of getting Lilly settled into a new home and some of the legal things done because he knew something bigger was going on with his health. We don’t know if he knew it was going to happen this quickly or not but are so thankful for the time God gave us with him.
When he left this world him arm was stretched out to take the hand of his Savior Jesus and I know that he would want all of you to know that healing love that comes only from accepting the gift of reconciliation with God through Jesus who was born, died and returned to life to eternally break the bonds of death. Jesse knew that Jesus doesn’t require us to be healed before we can accept the gift of eternal life with Him but rather He wants us to come to Him just as we are, right now, because we don’t know when our time to leave this life will come. The alternative to eternal life with Jesus (which begins when you accept His gift of life) is eternal life in hell. Jesse’s in Heaven waiting to great you all with a big smile and probably a joke of some kind.