Jessie Elmore Beaman Fischer, 87, passed into the arms of her Lord on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Jessie, the tenth of eleven children, was born in Norfolk, Virginia on October 31, 1924, to the late John Branch Beaman and Sallie Dunning Beaman. Her siblings and many who knew her well, joked that she was a perfect "10" from birth. Her life long love of music surfaced at an early age when she declared "There's a tune in that piano and I'm going to find it." As a youth she often played for church choirs and services and later in life spent many a happy evening with family and friends gathered around her piano.
After graduating from Maury High School in 1943, Jessie attended Madison College in Harrisonburg, Virginia; as a native of Tidewater, she was awed by her first glimpse of the Blue Ridge mountains. She graduated in 1947 and returned to Norfolk to begin her education career as an art teacher at Norview High School. Jessie returned to the mountains to obtain a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Virginia in 1952, where she met her husband of nearly 59 years, Glenwood F. Fischer. Always witty and quick with a pun, Jessie liked to say that she got her MS and MRS at UVA.
Jessie worked as an educator for 30 years in the Norfolk County, Norfolk City and Chesapeake Public School Systems, five years as a teacher and 25 years as an Elementary School Supervisor. She reluctantly retired from the Chesapeake Public School System on medical disability in 1976. Jessie taught extension classes for the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia and was an active member in Delta Kappa Gamma until her retirement. She was a local PTA member and officer when her children were young and a charter member of the Sarah Constant Chapter of the National Society of the DAR. Jessie was active in many professional and civic organizations during her working life and she was recognized for her achievements in Who's Who of American Women 1979-1980. Jessie joined the Methodist church as a teenager. A former member of McKendree United Methodist Church in Norfolk, Jessie and her family became members of Great Bridge United Methodist Church after moving to Chesapeake in 1966. A true southern lady, Jessie will be remembered for her wit and wisdom, her grace and generosity, her kindness and hospitality. Jessie was a mentor to her former students and colleagues and a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. She made her home a comfortable gathering spot for friends and family and especially for her children's friends who hold many fond memories of time spent at the "White House" on Briarfield Drive.
Jessie is survived by her husband Glenwood; her sisters Sarah Lee B. White of Ennis, Texas and Ellen B. Beamon of Norfolk; her daughters Anna B. Fischer of Fairfax Station, Virginia and Karen F. Gavrilovic and her husband,Vladimir, of Charlottesville, Virginia; grandchildren John F. Gavrilovic and Elena T. Gavrilovic and a number of beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. Jessie was blessed by the friends and family members who visited her and kept her in their prayers as her health declined. The family appreciates the staff at Liza's Residential Care (Luz, Alan, Liza and Dan) and Karola Hall (formerly of Julia's Home) who tended Jessie with care and kindness for many years.
Memorial donations in Jessie's name may be made to: The
of Southeastern Virginia and Tidewater, 6350 Center Dr., Suite 102, Norfolk, VA 23502 or Great Bridge United Methodist Church, 201 Stadium Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23322.
Interment will be at a later date in Shenandoah, Virginia in the Fischer family plot, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge mountains.