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Annie Lee (Kemp) Jessup passed away on Good Friday, April 19, 2019, at the Waterford at Bridle Brook in Mahomet after a lifetime of service to her family and friends.
She was born September 22, 1925, in Ada, OK, a daughter of Joel Leamon Kemp and Annie Laurie (Aldrich) Kemp. Her parents were Native American, including the blood of both the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indian tribes, members of the Five Civilized Tribes. She was a direct descendant of ancestors who made the historic Trail of Tears across the southern United States in the mid-19th century.
Annie spent her formative years in Texas and Oklahoma. She married Bobby Gene (Robert G.) Jessup January 1, 1946, in Harris County, Texas. Bobby Gene brought his bride back to his home in central Illinois after completing his service in the United States Air Force. She spent most of those years living in St. Joseph.
She survived the losses of her husband, Robert G. Jessup, on February 14, 1975, as well as their two sons: Robert G. Jessup II (November 19, 1968) and Leamon Kemp Jessup (August 20, 2017). She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Sue Fathree, George Kemp, and Harry Kemp.
Annie was a crafter, crocheting many gifts, sewing quilts for her family, dabbling in folk art painting and x-stitching her way through life. She shared her talents with the St. Joseph United Methodist Women for their annual bazaar for many years, as well as making gifts for her “girls” at the State Universities Retirement System. She was a fantastic cook and her family has tried to duplicate her smothered steak recipe for eons. The joy of cooking one of Annie’s favorite dishes was that she was happy to share the recipes and always wanted people to succeed at taking over as the cook.
She retired from the State Universities Retirement System and also served as the St. Joseph Village Clerk. She was a member of the Chickasaw Indian Nation and the St. Joseph United Methodist Church.
She is best described as the salt of the earth and loved her family beyond measure. She would say, “Bless your heart” and truly mean it. Annie is survived by her grandchildren: Jeremy (Nichole) Jessup and Joshua Jessup, both of Mahomet, Joel (Katie) Jessup of Seymour, and Annie (Tyler) Anglin of San Diego, CA. She is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Erin, Ainsley, Jack, Addie, Liam, Jameson, and Emmalyn.
A Celebration of Life service for Annie will be Saturday, May 4, at the St. Joseph United Methodist Church, 205 N. Third Street, St. Joseph, the Reverend Gene Turner officiating. Visitation will be held at 10:00 a.m. with a funeral to follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be in Patterson Cemetery, St. Joseph.
Memorial gifts may be made to the St. Joseph United Methodist Church.
St. Joseph United Methodist Church
205 North Third Street, St. Joseph IL 61873