A lifelong area resident, she was born Dec. 9, 1917, in Ashville, N.Y., to Charles S. and Florence D. Manhart Leach.
Jessie was a 1936 graduate of the former Chautauqua High School. In earlier years, Jessie worked at Chautauqua Institution and after raising her children had worked at Bigelow’s Department Store and at Jamestown Mutual Insurance Company/Unigard Insurance until she retired in 1976.
She was a member of the Zion Covenant Church and was a volunteer at WCA Hospital, the former Jamestown General Hospital, and the American Red Cross. She was also a Girl Scout Brownie leader and enjoyed knitting baby items for “A Sparrow’s Nest” in her later years.
Jessie loved her family and enjoyed baking cookies for them. She also enjoyed gardening, needle work, her home on the lake, and making puzzles while snacking on M&M’s. She loved spending time outdoors watching wildlife and walking in the woods with her beloved cocker spaniel, Penny.
Jessie was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Lawrence E. Nelson, who died April 28, 1997, her son Bruce A. Nelson, her granddaughter Carrie Nelson, her sisters, Hattie (Walter) McKee and Gertrude (Louis) McKee, nephews, John, Stephen and Gary Nelson and nieces, Lucy Nelson and Donna Sanders.
She is survived by her daughters, Jean E. (Ronald) Pigman of Frewsburg, Joanne E. Nelson with whom she made her home in Jamestown, her grandchildren, Scott (Vera) Pigman of Austin, Texas, Aric Pigman of Parkton, N.C., Matthew Pigman of Columbus, Ohio, Bruce (Melanie) Nelson and Larry Nelson both of Floral City, Fla., her great-granddaughters, Scottlyn and Londyn Pigman of N.C., Alexia Pigman of Texas, and nieces, Sharon Mckee of Lincoln, ME, Carol Sleigh of Poplar Bluff, MO, Brenda Williams of Longview, Texas, Norma Johnson of Maryville, Tenn., Jan Pangborn of Jamestown, Kathy Goodwin of Stoneboro, Pa., and nephews, Doug, Chuck and Tim Brandow of Jamestown and Kennedy, N.Y.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, in Zion Covenant Church. The Rev. Rick Miller, pastor will officiate. Burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery.
Friends will be received from 9-10:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, prior to the service in the church.
In lieu of flowers, Jessie requested that memorials be made to Zion Covenant Church, 520 Fairmount Ave., Jamestown, NY 14701 or to the “Penny Nelson” Chautauqua County Humane Society Fund, c/o Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St. Jamestown, NY 14701.
Click here to DONATE to the “Penny Nelson” Chautauqua County Humane Society Fund in memory of Jessie Nelson.
Published in The Post Journal July 30, 2016