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Passed away on September 2, 2017 at home in Richmond, VA at the age of 64. Surrounded by his loving family, he departed this life too early after a short but valiant battle with cancer. His life enriched ours and his legacy will continue to impact and inspire us all long into the future. Bob was born in Oak Harbor, WA, the second child of Harold and Alice Jesse. A lifelong learner, his formal education included Univ. of NH, (Biochemistry, 1974), Medical College of Virginia (Ph.D Biophysics, 1980; MD 1984; Internal Medicine Residency; Cardiology fellowship). He had an illustrious medical career as professor at MCV/VCU and Chief of Cardiology at the VA Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Ultimately he became Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs in Wash., DC serving as a tireless advocate for America's veterans for over 30 yrs. Despite the countless accolades for his academic expertise and visionary leadership, he remained humble, his biggest reward coming from taking care of his patients and being a mentor. Bob was a brilliant and fascinating man - a creative thinker, enthusiastic supporter and early adopter. He was thoughtful, humble, witty and compassionate - he impacted many as a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend, mentor, physician, and colleague. His personal and professional interests were diverse and he approached them all with passion and expertise. He is survived by his adoring wife of over 40 yrs., Janice; son Zachary; daughter Amber Tillman (Josh); brothers H. William Jesse, Jr. (Jessica) and Phillip Jesse (Kay); sister Mary Petersen (Robert); many loving nieces and nephews; and an entire fan club of friends and supporters. Family will receive visitors 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, September 8, 2017, at Bliley's - Central, 3801 Augusta Ave., Richmond, VA. A service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, September 9 at St. Mark's Episcopal, 520 N Boulevard. A scholarship fund is being established in Bob's honor. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do something in his memory can learn more  

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Published in The Washington Post on Sep. 6, 2017.
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10 entries
September 14, 2017
I experienced Dr. Jesse's mentorship and kindness firsthand for the first time of many back in 2006 when I was in VISN 6. We were at a conference together and I was just starting in VA leadership. He bought me lunch and taught me some of the ropes. I loved him for his wisdom and generosity. I went on to be a Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief Medical Officer with his inspiration to emulate. Many of us were very, very sad to see him leave the PDUSH spot. Losing him here makes me long for heaven all the more. May God comfort you in your loss and may your cherished memories sustain you.
MaryAnn Curl, MD
September 14, 2017
Blessings, hope and love to you all after the loss of such a great man, Dr. Bob Jesse. He brilliantly spearheaded many projects I worked on at the VA. I will always remember him.
Diana Rogers
September 11, 2017
Bob Jesse was one of the most decent men I had the privilege of working with within the VA. Bob Jesse was the yardstick that we should use to measure those who serve our veterans in a leadership role.
I will greatly miss Dr. Bob. He was a very decent, compassionate, and honorable man who dedicated his extensive talents and vision to serving our veterans. The VA truly needs more men like Dr. Bob Jesse.

I will truly miss you.
Robert (Bob) Cerza
Robert Cerza
September 8, 2017
September 8, 2017
Dr. Jesse was a wonderful human being. I had the opportunity to work with him during my time working for Veterans Health Administration. His talent and presence will be missed by many!
Toni King
September 7, 2017
As an advocate for wounded warriors, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Jesse, whom I found to be an extraordinarily caring, compassionate individual. He will be deeply missed.
Ralph Ibson
September 7, 2017
Dr. Jesse was brilliant, compassionate, caring and a true leader. He was a pioneer in Veteran Health. His love for Veterans was genuine. I will miss him. May you find comfort knowing that he was well respected and admired by many. Peace be with you.
Annie Spiczak
September 7, 2017
Dr. Jesse, you will be terribly missed. Thank you for your kind smile.
Adrienne Reaves
September 6, 2017
I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Jesse twice. Both times he was so kind and professional. His passing must leave a deep void in your daily life. Please take comfort in the joyful times and the memory of a life well lived.
Marcia Dobrick
September 6, 2017
I didn't know you Sir, but as a Veteran of the U.S. Army and worker at the Orlando VAMC, I say Thank you for your service!. Rest in Peace.
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