Jesse Norris

  • "To the light of my life"
    - Delia Norris
  • "Jesse was a fun guy to know. One time back in the day he..."
  • "Jesse was our best customer for Christmas items at the..."
    - Leo Scotti
  • "Mr. Jesse Norris will be missed dearly. What a kind and..."
    - Robert Felan
  • "Mr. Norris was a giving person to all. I remember he and..."

Jesse Edward Norris Jesse Edward Norris was born in 1931 on the family farm in Missouri. He attended a one room school house until graduating from high school. Jesse passed away on Sunday, August 17, 2014 on his yacht in Morro Bay. In the 1950's Jesse came to Long Beach with the U.S.Coast Guard during the Korean conflict. He joined the Coast Guard because he had never seen the ocean. He decided that Calif. had much more to offer than Mo. so he planned to stay after his service was completed. Jesse met June Studer.They married at the Brentwood First Presbyterian church in 1955. Jesse and June came to Cal Poly as newlyweds. Jesse studied and learned to teach agriculture. June worked faithfully at CDF to put him through college. June said that she earned the PHT degree (Putting Husband Through College). He graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Animal Husbandry and a Masters Degree with academic honors in Ag Education. He managed to accomplish this in four calendar years. After graduation Jesse became a high school Ag teacher. He taught high school Ag in Colusa and Reedley, Calif. In Colusa they lived on a purebred sheep farm where they joked of putting netting over the basinet of their first son so the mosquitos didn't fly away with him. In Reedley they lived on a citrus ranch with some livestock. June used to take the sick sheep to the vet in the trunk of her car. In 1963 the family returned to San Luis Obispo and Jesse began working for the SLO County Office of Education. He retired after 20 years as a Deputy County Superintendent of Schools. Some of the projects that he was especially proud of include developing the Regional Occupation Program ("ROP") and "Rancho El Chorro", the outdoor education facility. Both of these projects are still active today. He also developed a Marine Science learning center at Piedras Blancus. Along with his position at County Schools, he owned and operated the Sands Inn and Suites on Monterey Street, The Campus Motel on Santa Rosa and Olive and the Best Western El Rancho in Morro Bay. Jesse has been very active in the community. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and of the Rotary Club. He joined Rotary in 1972 after being sponsored by Bill Trussler. Through his Rotary membership he sponsored an annual Cancer Luncheon where the three local clubs came together at the Sands to raise money to support cancer research. The luncheons have raised over $75,000. Jesse was elected to the SLO City Counsel in 1973. He was on the Calif. Men's Colony Advisory committee for many years. A perk of that position was getting free haircuts by the inmates in training. Scissors and inmates never seemed like a good idea to the rest of the family. Jesse was appointed to the Mid State Fair Board of Directors by the Governor where he served multiple years. His favorite part of the fair was judging the apple pie contest and driving the Queen candidates around in his convertible. He enjoyed having his photo taken with the stars that performed at the fair and displays the pictures in the breakfast room at the Sands. In addition, he was on Boards or Advisory Committees for many non-profit organization including: Achievement House, Women's Shelter, Martin Luther King scholarship, Chamber of Commerce, VCB, FFA, 4-H, Campfire Girls and Boy Scouts, United Way, various Lodging organizations, Kiwanis, Friends of Hearst Castle, Yacht Clubs, World Neighbors and many more that are not listed. Jesse was the "Honorary El Presidente" of La Fiesta. He supported Cal Poly in many ways his favorite being the Cal Poly band. He took international trips as a VIP with the band. Jesse and June were married 50 years when June died after what Jesse called a "heroic 12 year battle with cancer" in 2005. Jesse was committed to being with her and providing June with the best care possible during her illness. They were blessed with three children who survive them; David, wife Susan Ong, and grandchildren; Nathan and Sarah of Portland, Ore. Susie, husband Jay Mendelsohn and grandchildren Aaron and Andrew of San Luis Obispo. Son, Dan Norris and partner Lisa Cooper of San Luis Obispo. In his early years Jesse's hobbies included horses. He rode on the Caballeros ride for a number of years. Jesse enjoyed having livestock but tired of it after the cows kept getting loose on the freeway and he would have to go round them up in the middle of the night. He liked to river raft the Kern with his buddy Dave Romero and his gang. This was an annual event even as they grew older. Always interested in boating, Jesse purchased the "Dream Boat". A yacht that he took up and down the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Canada. More than that, he enjoyed just sitting on the Dreamboat relaxing. He entered his boat into the Morro Bay boat parade a number of times. His second favorite R&R spot was the Condo in Las Vegas. Not a gambler or drinker, he was fascinated with people watching and the excitement of the City. Jewelry and antiques became a passion of his. He loved to buy estate jewelry. His Rotary pin is one of the most talked about pieces of jewelry in town. He collected intricate antique furniture, crystal, Lladro statues and Hearst Castle replica pieces. On October 4, 2006, Jesse met Delia Padilla, another widower. They were engaged on October 4, 2008 and married on October 4, 2009. The family was very happy that he met someone who he really enjoyed being with and who took great care of him. Delia and Jesse traveled all over the U.S. and the world. They called themselves the "traveleros". Between Delia and Jesse they have over 100 years of marriage experience. Jesse is survived by his wife, Delia, and her children, Dan, Loretta, Lorraine, Frank and their families. Jesse enjoyed going to charity and political fundraisers. He loved auctions, both silent and live, and if you were a non-profit organization, you definitely wanted him to attend. Jesse thrived on having many projects going at the same time. In recent years, he decided to remodel his patio. He did that, then decided to add a glass roof. When that was done he installed an indoor fountain. Next was an extension of the deck. Finally he put an antique bar in it and a disco ball. The joke was that no one but Jesse had a ballroom right in their houseespecially one with a disco ball. Jesse and Delia enjoy entertaining and have had lots of parties at their home. He always had lots of irons in the fire which helped to keep him young and vibrant. As if he needed more to do, he recently decided to add some chickens to his patio. That is another story entirely. A few years ago, Jesse scripted his headstone. It is to read: A Generous Man, His contributions to the community made a difference, A visionary able to see the new and better. He will be missed by all, but especially by his loving wife, Delia. A viewing will be held on Friday, August 22 from 4-7 Reis Family Mortuary. A service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Sign his guestbook at
Funeral Home
Reis Family Mortuary and Crematory
991 Nipomo Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 544-7400
Funeral Home Details
Send Flowers
Published in San Luis Obispo County Tribune on Aug. 21, 2014
bullet Korean War bullet Rotary International bullet Teachers