Willie James Jessie was born in Opp, Alabama to the late Freddie Jessie and Mandy Burns Jessie on November 11, 1939. He attended the local elementary school and He went to be one of God’s Blessed Angels on September 29, 2020. He was preceded in death by one brother and three sisters.Willie was united in Christ and joined Nazareth Baptist Church. He was joined in Holy Matrimony on April 7, 1962 to Gwendolyn Hartwell Jessie and to this union was born two children. He was drafted into the United States Army in June of 1964. He joined the 101, “screaming eagles” Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He later transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division with the same duties. He was sent to Vietnam at the height of the Vietnamese War and received numerous medals, ribbons, and commendations for his many acts of bravery, selflessness, and commitment to his nation. Willie remained in the army for twenty-six years where his hard work was rewarded with promotions through his years of service. He retired July 30, 1988 as first sergeant. After retiring, Willie and family moved back to Opp. He immediately enrolled in the local junior college to study upholstery. He later joined a grocery chain and managed several of their stores until he retired again. He spent his time fishing at the local lake. He leaves to cherish his loving memory: A dedicated wife, Gwendolyn, one daughter Bettina, one son Terrance (Tijuana), and two granddaughters; Annice Jessie, Ali Pate (Ken), two great-grand- children Asa and Kenji his brothers and sisters; Charles Jessie (Elnora), Karen Jones, Mack Jessie, Jeanette Tillis (Willie Calvin), and Gloria Jessie and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends.
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