Donald Gordon JESSE

July 24, 1943 – January 1, 2013

Surrounded by the love of his family, Don passed away peacefully in Campbell River at New Horizons Community of Care on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, after a two-year battle with brain cancer that he fought with grace and dignity right to the end. He was 69 years old.

Don’s passing is mourned by his loving family, wife of 45 years, Janice (neé Beer) and their children: Deanna (Jeremy), Leah, and Gordon as well as their grand-children: Susannah, Paige and Gabriel.

He is also survived by his step-mother Margaret Jesse, his sisters: Joyce Cochrane, Barbara (Hugh) Ashwell, Edith (James) Belbeck, Lois (Bryan) Balint and his brothers: Eckhardt (aka Sonny) Jesse, Robert Jesse and Norman (Lee) Jesse.

He was a beloved uncle to many nephews and nieces. To some he was more like a father.

Survived by family members in Campbell River: Gordon and Ronda Beck, Olga Bilesky, Lynda and Eric Snagg, Marjorie Beer, Joanne and Graham Webster and in Port Alberni: Gerry and Nicole Beer.

He is pre-deceased by his parents, Eckhardt and Martha Jesse, his sister Doris Wilburn and his brothers-in-law, Amos Beck, Thomas Cochrane, William Wilburn and father-in-law, Gerald (Jerry) Beer.

The Beck, Wells and Franzen families ‘adopted’ Don into their homes and hearts. He felt very honoured and blessed to be considered a part of each family.

He held all of his family very near and dear to his heart. He was considered the patriarch of the Jesse family and made himself readily available to them all whatever their need. To Don there was no such thing as step-family, half-siblings, in-laws, blended family, extended family, or foster family.

Don was born in Athabasca, Alberta in 1943 and the family moved to Golden, BC in 1951. He spent his late teens in and around Edson, Alberta. In March of 1966 Don packed up his chainsaw and headed for Campbell River where he found work as a Faller in the local logging industry. He and Jan were married in 1967. He continued Falling for another year and then took a Real Estate Licensing course and sold Real Estate for about a year. He didn’t like wearing a suit and a tie so he decided that he’d rather build and sell houses and wear a bright yellow hard hat and khakis instead. He built his first house on Marina Blvd. in 1971. Jesse Homes Ltd. was formed in 1972 and he went on to become a successful builder of houses and commercial properties.

Don was an active member of the Daybreak Rotary Club for over twenty years. During that time he enjoyed taking part in many community projects and activities sponsored by the club. He took the club’s motto: “Service Above Self” very seriously. He volunteered his services and resources as the project manager for the construction of The Maritime Heritage Centre. He quietly gave of himself, his expertise and his funds with no expectation of reward or recognition. The Club recognized his many contributions over the years by honouring him with “Rotarian of the Year” in 2010.

A humble and private man, Don will always be remembered for his generosity, hospitality, honesty, his loyal devotion to his family and friends and his love and respect for God’s creation. He loved to hunt, fish and hike only so he could be out in the wild with the animals, nature and his buddies.

His passing has left a huge void in our lives, but he will always be in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Flowers gratefully declined. Please consider a donation to a charity of your choice.

As a Tribute To Don’s Life, a Reception Tea will be held at the Maritime Heritage Centre on Saturday, January 12, 2013 from 1:00 pm. to 4:00 pm.


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.