Jesse O. Hester, 79, died Friday, Jan. 14, 2005, at Northern Montana Hospital of natural causes.
A funeral service was held Wednesday at the Mulberry Flats United Baptist Church in Leitchfield, Ky. Interment followed at Mulberry Flats Cemetery.
Jesse was born Aug. 19, 1925, in Edmonson County, Ky., to the Rev. Jeff and Gertha Norris (Rigdon) Hester. Jesse was raised and educated in Edmonson County. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served during World War II in the Pacific Theater aboard numerous ships. He was later honorably discharged.
Jesse also served with the Merchant Marines in the Great Lakes and in the Pacific. His travels took him around the world several times and he has visited more than 100 countries. He retired in 1984.
He purchased a small farm in Grayson County, Ky., and also worked odd jobs to keep himself busy.
In 2000 he moved to Havre to be near his son due to Jesse's failing health.
Jesse was a member of the Havre VFW and American Legion. He was a former member of the Leitchfield Moose Lodge. Jesse volunteered at the Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen and was a very kindhearted person who loved to help others.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Vanda Hester; brothers, Winford and Opal Hester; two half-sisters, Janie Carroll and Clara Wilson, and two half-brothers, Earl and Thomas Hester.
Jesse is survived by five sons, Gregg (Lynn) Hester of Havre, Phillip (Linda) of Franklin, Ky., Jeffrey (Kathy) and Thomas Hester, both of Los Angeles, Jomar Hester of Bowling Green, Ky.; four daughters, Karen (Marty) Hansel of Orlando, Fla., Kristy (Mark) Roan of Shepherdsville, Ky., Shawnee (Jody) Cowart of New Albany, Ind., and Jessica McClure of Bowling Green, Ky.; a brother, Delmar (Wanda) Hester of Louisville, Ky.; three sisters, Naomi (Robert) Wade of Louisville, Ky., Catherine (Steve) Wade of Clarkson, Ky., and Mary (Jay) Harrison of Annetta, Ky.; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions in Jesse's honor may be made to the Montana State University-Northern Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 7751, Havre, MT 59501.