Lorraine Jesme, age 98, of Canby, MN, passed away December 10, 2023 at the Sylvan Court Nursing Home in Canby, MN.  Funeral services will be 11 am on Thursday, December 14, 2023 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Canby, MN with Rev. Levi Bollerud officiating.  Burial will be in the St. Stephen’s Cemetery, Canby. Visitation will be Thursday one hour prior to the service at the church.  Houseman Funeral Home, Birk Chapel in Canby is entrusted with the arrangements.

Lorraine Jesme was born on March 9, 1925, in Canby, Minnesota to Dewey and Mabel (Jensen) Wells. She was a life-long resident of the Canby area. She was raised on a farm near Gary, South Dakota and attended school in Gary. After graduation, she attended the Teachers College in Madison, South Dakota. She taught school for several years at Rock Valley Rural School near Altamont, South Dakota. She and Arvin Jesme were united in marriage on April 7, 1948, at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Canby. They farmed and raised their family on the Wells’ homestead near Gary. She resided there until moving to Sylvan Court in 2010.  Lorraine was an active member in the community and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. She was a tireless volunteer as she participated in the American Legion Auxiliary holding many leadership positions – Sergeant at Arms for the Auxiliary, Auxiliary President, Chaplain and American Legion District 3 Junior Activities Chairman. She was a tireless leader for the Gary American Legion Junior Auxiliary for decades, winning many awards. She received the first Volunteer of the Year Award in Gary and organized the Memorial Day Program in Gary for many years. She and Arvin traveled to twelve National Legion Conventions throughout the United States. When the town of Gary started a Square-Dancing Club, Arvin and Lorraine were one of the first couples to join and continued dancing every week for decades. She sewed many square-dancing dresses with matching shirts for Arvin. She was the Chairman of the Buffalo Supper for the Historical Society of Gary for many years. She was an avid quilter and participated in Our Saviour’s Quilting Group. Her beautiful quilts were cherished gifts for her children and grandchildren. Each grandchild received a special quilt for their high school graduation.  Her church and faith were very important to her and she held many leadership roles in church including WELCA (Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), Sunday School Superintendent, Secretary of the Board of Education, the Yellow Medicine Fair Dining Leader, Our Saviour’s Women’s Bazaar, started and organized the Valentine’s Day Party, led Christian Women’s Bible studies weekly, and taught Sunday School for over 50 years.  As much as Lorraine loved her community and church, she cherished her family many times more. She was a devoted wife and mother who followed her children’s and grandchildren’s activities faithfully as long as health allowed. She loved the times together with family and desired nothing more than to be surrounded by her family. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a highlight of her life. She loved flowers and plants and watching her garden grow. The farm was her haven and she was most comfortable spending time there. Her dog and many cats were her constant companions. She had tremendous energy and drive. Even when her health failed, she continued on with her positive attitude and can-do spirit.

Lorraine is survived by her five children: Kathy Morreale of Eden Prairie, MN, Galen (Kathleen) Jesme of Merrill, IA, Sherry (Steve) Rader of Farmington, MN, Rick (Debbie) Jesme of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Tammy (Gary) Laurent of New Prague, MN; her grandchildren: Kirk Larson, Mark Larson, Lisa Hassman, Lacy DeRaad, Brittny Sward, Travis Rader, Jessica Rader and Brianna Jesme; and great-grandchildren, Katelyn, Adam, Zoey, Maci, Averi, Amirah, Reagan and Jackson.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Arvin; her parents, Dewey and Mabel Wells; one sister, Maxine Miller; one brother, Duane Wells and son-in-law, Jack Morreale.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Canby Sylvan Court for the wonderful care provided to Lorraine the past few years.