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JESSIE ALENE HARRISON
February 4, 1939 ~ October 24, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Jessie Alene Harrison was born February 4, 1939, in Madisonville, Tennessee, the daughter of William McKinley and Allie Eugeania Blair, who preceded her in death. Jessie passed away peacefully at home on October 24, 2023, at the age of 84.
Jessie accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at an early age, and in her young adult years she became a cherished member of Good Hope Baptist Church, where her heartfelt solos in the choir were always a beloved treat to the congregation.
Jessie’s mother was a highly skilled homemaker, she lovingly cared for ten children, while Jessie’s father worked on the railroad prior to his employment at Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her father maintained his own land, which included raising livestock and farming. Many of Jessie’s cherished stories revolved around growing up with her siblings and cousins. She was a wonderful storyteller and could hold your attention for hours on end, connecting her childhood experiences and family history. She was most proud of the self-sufficiency of the Blair family. She loved telling the story of how her father diligently saved to buy property, sketched blueprints for a house, and with great determination and grit built the house that became the loving home the Blair children grew up in.
Jessie and Franklin D. Harrison fell in love and married in 1956. They raised a son and four daughters together until separating in 1974, at which time she made the decision to leave her dear hometown and her job at Thomas & Betts Corp. to start a new chapter of her life in San Diego, California. Jessie’s west coast family’s love and support was instrumental as she set up her new home and planned for the future.
With four daughters, Jessie had become highly skilled at hair care, she refined her skills further when friends and neighbors wanted to ‘sit in her chair.’ This inspired her to enroll in beauty college. Jessie graduated from Bay Vista College of Beauty, passed her California State Board Exam, and obtained her business license in September 1979. This marked the beginning of a successful twenty-five-year cosmetology business.
Jessie’s top three hobbies were reading, crossword puzzles, and cooking. Her signature dishes and desserts were enjoyed at her Sunday suppers, holiday dinners and summertime barbecue get-togethers. Summer get-togethers were her favorite because she could always choose a beautiful park location where she could enjoy watching her grandkids run and play while she grilled to her heart’s content. Jessie was an expert baker; she could effortlessly put together an old-fashioned pound cake in the blink of an eye, without a recipe! She would bake her picture-perfect sweet potato pies and red velvet cakes to celebrate the holidays delighting her family year after year.
Family, friends, and colleagues knew Jessie to be a loving mother and grandmother, devoted sibling and aunt, and a caring friend. Her pride and joy were her five children and twenty-one grandchildren with a special badge of pride reserved for her son ’s distinguished career in the US Navy. Jessie is survived by one sister, her son, three daughters, ten grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, one great great granddaughter, and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.