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Jessie Keller

Jessie Arnold Keller

Living with patience and kindness for others for 90 years, Jessie died in peace on November 30, 2009. Jessie Jean Arnold was born on September 17, 1919, to a farming family in Sharon, Wisconsin. She was the third of seven brothers and sisters. In the mid 1930s, her family settled in Tucson, Arizona. Jessie graduated from the University of Arizona in 1942. She married Charles Sortomme, an Air Force meteorologist who was lost during a reconnaissance mission in 1945. She then joined the US Air Force and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Jessie was stationed in Germany in the late 40s, where she met her future husband John Keller, another Air Force officer. They were married in Tucson in November 5, 1949. Jessie and John endured 14 moves before arriving in Davis seven years ago.

Jessie was smart, patient, and forgiving. Being sensitive to injustice she championed others rights. She loved gardening, the smell of a freshly mowed lawn and bread fresh from the oven. Jessie was gentle with animals and especially enjoyed many winged friends, their songs and company. Her qualities of deliberative action, love of learning, and respect for our environment live on in her six children: Jessie, John, Ed, Jeanne, Barbara, and Tom.

Jessie is survived by her husband John, her children, brother Brigham Arnold, sister Ruth Wesner, seven grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

A memorial Mass is scheduled at 11AM December 5th at St James Catholic Church (1275 B Street, Davis). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Yolo Hospice or the SPCA.



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