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Richard W. B. Jesser, 84, World Traveler

Richard Jesser passed away on Dec. 17

 

Richard W. B. Jesser died Dec. 17 in The University Medical Center of Princeton after a brief but devastating illness. He was born in 1927 in New York City, the third son of Arthur Edward Jesser and Vera Benn Jesser. He grew up in Hackensack. During WWII he enlisted in the US Navy pilot training program and was sent to Union College in Schnectady, NY where he received a degree in civil engineering followed by a Master’s at Harvard University.

In 1959 he married Sallie Willis of Princeton and soon after traveled to Jordan and from there Bolivia. Ten years later he returned to Princeton with his wife and three ch.ildren and continued his engineering career on numerous projects in the U.S as well as abroad. He was well known to local officials as he worked to make his town safe and efficient.

He was a member of Nassau Presbyterian Church; the Community Church of Westmore, Vt., where he was married; The Old Guard of Princeton, the Princeton Middle East Society and the Contract Bridge League. An avid skier, having met his wife in the Montclair ski club, he had the opportunity to ski in the United States and many other countries of the world. A skilled sailor, he cruised with his family and on many charters with the Princeton Ski and Sail club. His tennis skills peaked in 1961 when he and his Canadian partner won the men’s double championship of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The time he spent working in Africa, Europe, North, South and Central America gave him a truly global point of view and a sensitivity to the needs and problems of people everywhere. He was a devoted father, designing and building a home for them in Princeton and following their careers and those of his grandchildren with interest.

He is survived by Richard, Jr. and his wife Christine of Eugene, Ore.; Vera Lawson and her husband, Army Chaplain Kenneth Lawson; Nancy Jesser and her husband Hugh Urban, both of the Ohio State University at Columbus and seven grandchildren. Contributions in his name may be made to the American Cancer Society. A memorial service was held on Dec. 22 in the Niles Chapel at Nassau Presbyterian Church.

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