In the company of her devoted family, Stella J. Jessmer, 92, a longtime Howard Street resident, passed away quietly on Wednesday afternoon, October 25, 2023, at the North Country Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Stella, the daughter of the late Alfred and Elizabeth (Kanoff) Baxter, was born in Massena on July 29, 1931. She went to school at Massena, where in 1949 she earned her diploma from Massena High School. Father Dowd officiated her marriage to Chester W. Jessmer on July 24, 1951, at the Sacred Heart Rectory. Her predecease was December 15, 2003, with Chester.
Before beginning her family and providing a loving home for her children and grandchildren, Stella briefly worked as a seamstress for Warner Brothers.
After raising her children, Stella started working at Westcott Stationery, later working at House of Fabrics and Walmart where she retired in 1999. Stella also dedicated 21 years to the Girl Scouts as a scout leader and trainer. She was a lifelong communicant of the Church of the Sacred Heart and was always active within her community as a member of many organizations including the Massena Hospital Auxiliary, Seaway Valley Senior Citizens, Friends of the Massena Library, St. Regis Mohawk Senior Citizens, a volunteer for Massena Museum, a board member at Massena Senior Citizens, Dirty Knees Garden Club, TRIAD, and the St. Lawrence County Senior Citizens. She loved gardening, sewing, reading, and cherished the time she was able to spend with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Stella is survived by her children and their spouses, Howard and Megan Jessmer of Louisville, Elwood and Eleanor Jessmer of Massena, Mary Lisa and Jeff Whitton of Louisville, and Diana J. McDonald of Massena; her beloved grandchildren, Wendy, Jeremy, Jimmy, Julie, Katelyn, Noah, Jen, Lauren, Christina, and Bruce Jr.; 13 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Eleanor Baxter; and numerous nieces and nephews.