Jesse ("Jess") Albert Dooley beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather died peacefully at his home in Calistoga on June 5, 2014 at the age of 97. Born on January 11, 1917 in Standish (Lassen County), California, he grew up with a love for the outdoors and the farm life.
Jess attended school in Standish, then Susanville, where he was pitcher of their baseball team, participated in track, and played on the football team as well. He graduated from Lassen Junior College and later received his B.A. from San Francisco State University.
Inducted into the Army in 1941 he trained at Camp Roberts in Central California with the 188th Field Artillery Battalion and met his future wife, Virginia, that same year. Having been transferred to Washington state, Jess & Virginia were married in Yakima on August 16, 1942. Their first son, George, was born in 1943 in San Francisco, so she stayed with her parents while Jess' unit moved east to prepare for overseas deployment.
Jess served in World War II from 1943 to 1945. His unit was the first artillery group to debark at the Battle of the Bulge, and they fought through France, Belgium, and on to Berlin-where Germany surrendered.
Back home after the war, he worked as a forklift operator at Herlong Ammunition Depot while his family grew by two with daughter Nancy and son Bob. In 1947, he moved his family to Sebastopol and worked at Henderson Furnace while Virginia taught school. In short order, he pursued his teaching certificate so he could have summers off too! Their fourth child, Don, was born in Sebastopol.
Jess' first teaching job was in a one-room schoolhouse on Orr Springs Road, west of Ukiah, where the one room was partitioned into two so that he could teach grades 4-8 while his wife taught grades 1-3. Jess proudly and successfully led his students in an endeavor to build a school playground and create a baseball field for the small school.
Searching for a less remote place to raise a family, the teaching couple spent four years in Monticello where Jess was happy organizing sports for the upper grades, planning programs and events for the community (graduations, holidays, field days), and being in a place where there was good hunting and fishing. He made many hunting pals and continued hunting with his sons and grandsons until he was over 90 years old. They would probably have remained there but for the fact that it had to be flooded to make Lake Berryessa.
In 1956, the family moved to Calistoga, where Jess taught the reminder of his career at Calistoga Elementary School. Jess was an amazing teacher and outstanding role model. His kindness and knowledge made a lasting impact on his students.
Their youngest daughter, Janice, was born completing the family. Jess was a loving and caring father. He was continuously sharing his skills and wisdom with his children. His love of the outdoors; hunting, fishing, and farming, led to many wonderful adventures.
Jess and the children were active in Tucker 4H, raising sheep and rabbits. He had also been a member of VFW, American Legion, NSGW, Creative Living, Calistoga Pinochle Club, RV Motor Club, Respite Center, and he loved to tend his garden: fruits, vegetables, and plenty of flowers.
Jess will always be remembered for his patience, kindness, and sense of humor. Jess was well known and liked by all that knew him. He will be greatly missed.
Jess was preceded in death by his father Jacob Dooley, his mother Maggie Dooley Roberts, his brother George and his two sisters Barbara and Gladys.
Jess is survived by his loving wife Virginia and children George (Melisa) Dooley, Nancy Case, Bob Dooley, Don (Polly) Dooley, Janice (Dave) Ardizzone Robey; grandchildren Jim Dooley, Debbie (Anthony) Carpenito, Ken (Ashley) Dooley, Janet (Leon) Dickson, Brian (Brandi) Case, Sharon (Dan) Shaw, Jonathan Dooley, Jillian Dooley, Cody Dooley, Amanda Ardizzone, Angela (Joe) Data, and Jessica Ardizzone; 12 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandsons.
A memorial gathering for family and friends in celebration of Jess' life will take place on Father's Day,Sunday June 15 at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, from 2-4pm. The family asks that memorial donations be directed to Napa Valley Hospice (414 South Jefferson St., Napa, CA 94559), Calistoga Community Church (1407 Third St., Calistoga, CA 94515), or the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga (1420 Tainter St., St Helena, CA).
Arrangements under the direction of Morrison Funeral Chapel, St. Helena, CA.