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JESSE, Kenneth Allen

March 5, 1938 – Lethbridge, Alberta
December 30, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta

Kenneth Allen Jesse passed away peacefully at the age of 76, having enjoyed the gifts of life and the love of his wife and high school sweetheart Grace Florence Jesse (nee Booth).

He treasured the love of his three daughters and their families: Karen and Greg Hess, Shannon, Max and Zack; Linda Jesse and Harold Visscher, Heather (Matheson) and James Bird; Paula and Greg Coxson, Benjamin. Ken often said he made two terrific decisions when he was young. One was to marry Grace and the other was to become a teacher.

Ken was the son of Max and Helen Jesse. He was close to his twin brother Richard (Dick) and his wife Arlene, sons Melvin and Ken and daughter Janice. Ken is survived by his wife Grace, his three daughters and their families, his mother Helen Jesse, his brother Dick, Melvin, Ken and Janice and Grace’s sister Leona Peter, nieces and nephews.

Ken was an educator in the province of Alberta for 34 years. He was a strong supporter of public education and he felt it was a privilege to serve students, parents, teachers and trustees. During his career he served as a teacher, principal and superintendent. Ken started his teaching career in Burdett and went on to work in Calgary, Red Deer and Banff. His work was recognized locally, provincially and nationally.

When Ken retired, he and Grace spent their summers in Sundre with friends and family. Building, gardening, biking, golfing, cooking and entertaining filled many of the pleasant summer days at ‘O So Kozy’.

At Ken’s request there will not be a public funeral service. A Private Celebration of Ken’s Life is arranged. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, a memorial tribute to the Ken Jesse Education Fund may be made by contacting the University of Calgary at phone number 403-220-5854 or toll free 1-800-972-8632. . https://netcommunity.ucalgary.ca/do-donation-form-ken-jesse-education-fund

In living memory of Ken Jesse, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Gordon Chapman :

    Ken was a good friend. He set a great example as a hard worker, great thinker, a kind and loving family person, neighbor, educator, sportsman. He will be missed by me and many, many others. My sympathy to Grace and daughters, Karen, Linda, and Paula.

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  2. Pam, Rick, Aidan Murphy :

    Grace, we were so sad to hear about Ken’s passing. We enjoyed so many summers at the trailer with both of you. He will be missed by many. Please pass on our sympathies to the rest of the family.

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  3. Ken and Grace made a great team, and raised a lovely family. Grace and family,, I’m with you in spirit, always!

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  4. Dan & Carole Aspden :

    Grace and all the Family
    We are very sad to hear of Ken’s passing and send you our condolences. He was a wonderful guy and we loved him. He was our “second brother” always.
    With Love
    Dan & Carole

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  5. Don Alexander :

    Ken Jesse – a great guy, a super teacher. My Mom, Hazel was extremely proud of Ken’s teaching accomplishments. Grace Booth – the unofficial, but absolutely best INDIAN LEG WRESTLER in Taber High School – extremely hard on we boys pride and egos, so we kept it quiet. Terry and I wish Grace and the Girls the best. Don and Terry Alexander, Calgary

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  6. David and Buena Lamont :

    Grace, Linda, Karen and Paula:

    We are so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. We have many good memories of times spent at Sundre. Ken was always eager to help with building sheds and other things in the park. He will be missed very much.

    Dave, Buena and Cherie Lamont

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  7. Alan and Sharon Cooper :

    It was a pleasure and honor to work for, and with Ken when was the Superintendent in Red Deer. He exemplified commitment to public education, strong leadership and collegiality. He leaves a great legacy in public education in Alberta and Canada. He was a role model to many of us. All members of his family need to know that he will be missed a great deal.
    Alan and Sharon Cooper, Grand Forks B.C.

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  8. Bill Townsend :

    Grace and family: I am so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. It was always a pleasure to work with, and be, a colleague of Ken’s in the Calgary Board of Education. Bill Townsend

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  9. G & Johann Vouri :

    Dear Grace and family
    People pass the window of your life and are gone,
    Some pause for awhile , and a few leave an echo in your heart,
    Ken left an echo in his family’s hearts and in all who knew him,

    Wonderful memories are forever with you..

    G and J Vouri Calgary ………………………………………(Red Deer Composite High…)

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  10. Roy Hetherington :

    My condolences to the family of Ken Jesse– I was employed by C.B.E as Director of Maint. And Ken always supported me in my Department. A great fellow to work with –when he was Supt. of Schools in Red Deer he supported our group of S.P.O.S.A.– He will be missed

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  11. When I first arrived in Alberta in the mid 80’s Ken Jesse was a larger than life ‘character’ in education in all the positive qualities of that word. He was first of all devoted to Grace and his children, students, colleagues in education, his community and his 1964 Plymouth! This did not take long to discern because he was quite open about his priorities and his feelings. He has left a legacy of which to be proud and celebrated.

    David Lynn
    Past President – CASS
    Superintendent, Foothills SD #38 (Ret.)

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  12. Grace,Linda, Karen and Paula
    I was sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. His priorities in life were always clear with family being uppermost. He was an important role model in my life and as a colleague in the Calgary Board of Education. His influence as a strong and dedicated administrator impacted staff in a positive and constructive way. His legacy will always be a powerful example.

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  13. The Speakman family :

    Ken was a giant of a man, a truly Herculean figure.

    He wrote of his belief that he lived in ‘fortunate times’. He considered himself to have been exceptionally fortunate – he treasured his friends, appreciated his colleagues and dedicated himself to the advancement of education in the communities he served. He was a proud Canadian and Albertan. But above all else, he was a family man; his first and last thought was always of them. He loved them dearly.

    There was nothing he liked better than to give. He gave so much to everything he did and to everyone he came upon.

    Tennyson’s Hercules includes the line ‘I am a part of all that I have met’. He’s right – and we count ourselves incredibly fortunate to have met Ken, to have been set an example to follow, to have been under his influence. It will be hard to live up to his expectations of us.

    We may live a long way away, but Ken and Grace were always very close to us, and we hope we will still have very close contact with our Albertan family of Grace, Karen, Linda, Paula, Heather, Shannon and Benjamin – and their extended families. Our thoughts go out to them all at this difficult time.

    With love from us all in Dorset, England

    Tennyson again:

    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

    Paul, Bethan, Catherine and David Speakman

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  14. Bob & Moe Fahey :

    Grace & Families,
    We are so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing, his wisdom on the golf course will be sadly missed. He was a very funny & wise, his stories were always a lesson in life’s retirement.

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  15. Lisa Gamble (nee Vrabec) :

    Dear Jesse Family,
    So sorry for the loss of Ken. We grew up on Vancouver Crescent with Ken and Grace and the girls. He was such a kind man, we have many fond memories….. Our thoughts are with you all.
    Lisa

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  16. Grace and Families,
    So sad to hear the passing of another of our extended Vancouver Crescent family.
    Such great times and fond childhood memories as we all “raised” and watched out for each other on the Crescent!
    Thoughts, prayers and love with you all.

    Greg

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  17. Zonia & Eugene Kulmatycki :

    Dear Grace and Family: Please accept our most sincerest condolences on the passing of Ken. Ken was a giant of a man: a giant in stature, thought and action. Above all Ken was a man who loved his family members very much. He cherished them and was proud of them. Ken extended his care and concern to his extended family: all those he touched as an educator. Our thoughts are with you today! Eternal Memories! Zonia and Eugene Kulmatycki

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  18. Laurie/Sabina MacKenzie :

    We only knew Ken for a short time in our time at Sundre. We became good friends and will never forget us taking the Ironman Tournament @ Coyote Creek G&CC. We two ole boys took the young ones down. I enjoyed his company and I miss him not being there to chat with on Friday going to our trailer. Our thoughts will always be there for Grace and family.

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  19. Janet Buechler :

    My sincere condolences to Heather and my son, Jamie, and all the family on the loss of such a kind and loving man. He will be sorely missed by all.

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  20. Don and Jenny Matheson :

    Ken truly a nice guy and true gentleman! Both Jenny and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our prayers are with you.

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  21. Ken was hardworking, focused and as a superintendent dealt fairly with those who worked under his leadership. May his family find comfort in remembering all his achievements and their good times together. God has raised him up on eagles’ wings and holds him in palm of His hand.

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  22. Carol (Reid) Palmer-Gooch :

    Expressing my deep sympathy to Grace and girls, Karen, Linda and Paula, and all their families, upon losing your life partner, Father, and GrandFather. Remembering so many good times together…
    Especially Ken’s joviality, good humour and flashing smile never to be forgotten.
    Living on within all of you.
    Blessings, Much Love and Big Warm Hugs to you all.
    Your Cousin and Friend, Carol

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  23. Grace: My sincere condolences to you and your family. I always enjoyed working with Ken. He will not soon be forgotten–at least not by me. May God bless you and your family and may Ken sit on his right hand, Marshall

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  24. Ken will be sorely missed by many but will hold a place in the hearts of those who knew him. He was one of my most cherished friends and I will miss him greatly.

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