Jessie Earl Cockerham, 99, of the Smethport community, went home to be with her Lord early on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Ashe Memorial Hospital, following a brief illness.
Ms. Cockerham was born on May 6, 1919, at the family farm in what is locally known as “Cockerham Holler,” on Elliott Road in Smethport, to Claud Oliver and Nancy Elizabeth“Nannie” (Weaver) Cockerham. She lived there nearly her entire life.
After graduating from Jefferson High School and the Draughon School of Business in Winston-Salem, she served her nation as a civilian worker at the Pentagon during World War II. After returning home, she became a bookkeeper at Parker Tie in West Jefferson. Following her retirement, she became a senior volunteer at the Ashe County Public Library and the county Arts Council, serving her community well into her 90s. She loved to paint and do a wide variety of crafts, and was an avid reader throughout her life.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, John (Jack), James (Pat), Joe, Charles, and Ned (Bud), and two nephews, Larry Cockerham and Charles Cockerham, Jr. She is survived by her sister, Mary Gladys Talbert of Eden, NC; nieces Becky Hunt, Sherry Thompson, Nancy Daniel, and Syvella Symonds; and nephews Dennis Cockerham, Frank Talbert, Kenneth Cockerham, Joe Cockerham, and Mitchell Cockerham; along with numerous grandnieces and nephews and great-grandnieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Smethport United Methodist Church on Wednesday, April 24, at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Smethport United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1022, West Jefferson, NC, 28694. Jessie was a devoted member of the church from childhood, her mother having been a founding member.
The family would like to thank the staffs of Forest Ridge Assisted Living, Margate Health and Rehab, and Ashe Memorial Hospital for the excellent they provided for Jessie during her final years.