William (Bill) J. Jesse, age 90 of Rhinelander died peacefully in his sleep March 24, 2018, in Muskego, where he resided for the past three years. He was born Aug. 5, 1927, in La Crosse to Joseph and Wilhelmina (Lemke) Jesse. The family moved to Dodgeville where Bill attended school and graduated from Dodgeville High School.
Bill enlisted in the Navy and then attended UW Madison. He met Barbara (Gilbertson) Jesse and they were married Sept. 1, 1951. They enjoyed more than 58 years of marriage until Barb passed away in January 2010. In 1957 they moved to Rhinelander and started Jesse Food Products along with his parents, Joseph and Minnie Jesse. They were active in the family business for more than 40 years. In the 1980s they began to winter in Stuart, Fla., where they eventually purchased a home and became Florida residents.
Bill was a member of Nativity of Our Lord Parish since moving to Rhinelander in 1957. He was a longtime member of the Rhinelander Country Club and over the years was in involved in Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, Lions and the M&I Bank Board. He enjoyed golfing, pontoon boat rides up the river, sitting on his screen porch watching the birds and other wildlife and going out for Friday night fish fry.
Bill is survived by four daughters, Mary (Patti Berg) Jesse of Rhinelander, Ann (Ralph) Sterzinger of Muskego, Kathy (Iver) Warren of Sturgeon Bay and Jane (Peter) Wick of Wales; his son David (Cheryl) Jesse of Green Bay; 12 grandchildren, Paul Bastian, William (Anne) Wick, Amy (Mike) Groth, Becky (Brad) Sawallich, Jody (Jeff) Rosemeyer, Lindsey (Charlie) Wilder, Kirk Warren, Dana (Greg) Hoeffler, Morgan (Nick) Henning, Tyler Jesse, Erika (AJ) Dahlstrom, and Evan Warren; 17 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Joan (David) Hughes and his brother, Roger (Dorothy) Jesse, along with numerous, nieces,nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Barbara, as well as sister-in-law, Ruth (Donald) Bremer; brother-in-law, John Snyder and sister-in-law, Arlene Jesse.
A celebration of life will be held June 9, 2018 in Muskego. A memorial has been established in Bill’s name and will be directed by the family.