Jessie Anne Campbell Somerton
October 26, 1934 to September 14, 2020
Born in Culdesac, Idaho to George and Rose Campbell, Jessie was the youngest of 12.
She learned her love and appreciation of nature, and her love of books, from her mother.
She married Hugh Somerton in Portland, Oregon in 1951. He preceded her in death by 111 days. They raised 6 children – beginning in Portland and moving to Boise in 1967 – Jane, Helen, Beth, Carl, Wes, and Julie – who all went forth and multiplied! They have numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as a vast amount of nieces and nephews … who all miss her. She is survived by her children, their families, and a sister, Ethel.
Jessie was a room mother for her kids, member of the PTA, 4-H leader, Junior Great Books leader. She was a volunteer and advocate, working with the developmentally disabled children and adults at Idaho State School and Hospital – which led to her being on the State Mental Health Advisory Board.
She was presented with many, many awards as a volunteer from numerous civic agencies during her life.
She fought against Domestic Violence. She fought for Mental Health rights. She fought for Women’s rights. She fought for Gay rights. She fought to save our planet.
She was a property manager for many years, and fell in love with her tenants.
Jessie’s love of nature led her to birdwatching, which led to building – and maintaining – scores of bird boxes in Valley County, Idaho – many of which are still there! She loved to hike the mountains and identify wildflowers and trees and birds. She became a Master Gardener. “Fingernails were meant to have dirt under them.”
An avid lifelong reader, Jessie passed on her love of books to her children. “If it’s a choice between housework or a book … choose the book!” She loved Winnie the Pooh. She never learned to play bridge.
Jessie won over dementia. She knew her children until the end!
A private service will be held in the spring when her beloved wildflowers are blooming on her beloved mountain.
If you feel moved to, please donate to your local women’s shelter in her name. Plant something pretty. Be kind.