Jessie Welch (Lester)
Jessie J. Welch, age 81, of Janesville passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loved ones on Thursday, November 30, 2017. Jessie was born in Gays Mills, WI on July 27, 1936, the daughter of the late Earl and Thurley (Long) Lester. Jessie graduated from Gays Mills High School in 1954, where she was a member of the band, playing clarinet as well as being on the cheer team. On February 5, 1955, Jessie married Donald E. Welch and he predeceased her on September 22, 1978.
After they were married, Jessie and Donald moved to Janesville where she was a stay at home mother until she went to work as a nurse’s aide at Mercy Hospital. Jessie later earned her nursing degree from Blackhawk Technical College in 1985. She worked as a nurse in the operating room at Mercy Hospital for over 20 years. Nursing was a career that Jessie truly loved. Jessie was also an avid reader, who enjoyed sharing her large collection of books with her friends and family. She enjoyed playing cards at any time, whether it was a scheduled card club date or an impromptu game. She was a fan of UW Men’s Basketball. Jessie will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
She is survived by her children: Donald Welch of Denver, CO, Daniel (Carol) Welch, Lori (Glen) Shockley, and Douglas (Jodi) Welch all of Janesville; 9 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her sister: Elaine Strait of Readstown, WI; her brother: Allan (Sharon) Lester of Houston, TX; other relatives and friends. In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by two sisters: Cheri Herbst and Lorena Holman; and two brothers: Reggie Lester and Joe Lester.
A Memorial Service Honoring and Celebrating Jessie’s life will be held at noon on Saturday, December 16, 2017 with Rev. Jerry Amstutz officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the funeral home. A luncheon will follow the service in the community room at the funeral home. Memorials would be greatly appreciated if they were made to Agrace Hospice Foundation.