Leland Edward Jesse
Leland was born December 5, 1932, in Spring Creek Township, rural Black Hawk County, IA, the son of Edward William Jesse and Amanda Elizabeth (Benorden) Jesse. He graduated from LaPorte City High School with the class of 1950. He served his country with the United States Army during the Korean War as a secretary to a colonel. On March 2, 1957, he was united in marriage to Betty Lorraine Reimer in LaPorte City. They made their home on the family farm between Jesup and LaPorte City.
Leland was a lifelong farmer, even as he attended school and held other positions. He worked for Deere, Rath Packing, Wayne Lange as a truck driver, and was the LaPorte City Postmaster. He began his teaching career in 1964 as a math teacher at Geneseo in rural Tama County, until 1966 when he started teaching in Waterloo, IA. He became a principal at Janesville, IA, in 1968 until he became the HS/JH principal in Jesup, IA, in 1972. He held this position until his retirement in 1995.
Leland took a sense of pride in the good relationships he formed with the faculty and students at each of his schools. He knew every student by name and attended every school function as possible. In 1998, he was recognized by the Iowa High School Boys’ Athletic Association with an award given to principals that are top supporters of student activities.
Leland’s pride and joy were his grandchildren. He always made it a point to be at each one of their events. In his later years, he was an avid Union High School volleyball fan. He was recognized at the state tournament as Union's representative receiving the Sportsmanship Award. He was lovingly known by the volleyball teams as “Grandpa Jesse.” He was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, Jubilee, serving many roles including deacon and cemetery board member.
Leland is survived by three sons, Brad (Renee') Jesse, Brian (Chris) Jesse, and Barry Jesse, all of LaPorte City, IA; one daughter, Traci (Felix) Stevens of Ashland, VA; six grandchildren, Mark, Eric (Shawna), Sara, Gabriel, Zachary, Jonah; one brother, Willard (Lois) Jesse of LaPorte City, IA; one sister, Margaret (Richard) Brust of Monmouth, OR; and one sister-in-law, Donna Maas-Klug of Blairstown, IA.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty; five brothers, Raymond Jesse, Virden Jesse, Melvin Jesse, Russell Jesse, and Edward Jesse; three sisters, Florence McDonald, Wilma Marshall, and Winona Fehl.
Funeral services were at 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 28, 2019, at Zion Lutheran Church, Jubilee, rural LaPorte City, IA, with Pastor Michael G. Ashman officiating. Burial followed at the church cemetery with military rites conducted by Pump - Sheer American Legion Post 342 of Jesup, IA.
Visitation was 2- 5 p.m., Sunday, October 27 at White Funeral Home, Jesup, IA. Visitation continued for an hour before services Monday at the church. Memorials may be directed to the family to be divided between Black Hawk County Alzheimer’s Association and Jubilee Zion Lutheran Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund.
Online condolences may be made at www.White-MtHope.com.
White Funeral Home, Jesup, IA, was in charge of arrangements.