Mike Jessup Mike Jessup

Mike Jessup

Rest In Peace...
June 2, 2023
Mike Jessup    
 Updated: November 7, 2023

Mike on DrumsBeloved father and friend, Michael Charles Jessup passed away peacefully on June 2, 2023 at the age of 76. Born March 23, 1947 to June and Charles Jessup in Moscow, Idaho, Mike was a graduate of the University of Idaho. Shortly after earning his Master's degree in Microbiology, Mike worked for the state of Washington Department of Social and Health Services where he was a pioneer in IT before people knew what Information Technology was. He retired after 31 years of service.

Mike was a talented drummer with a lifelong passion for music, particularly drum and bugle corps. He served as Director of Development for the Spokane Drum Corps Association, participated in the U of I Alumni Band and the Lilac City Community Band, and was an ardent supporter of the next generation of musicians.

A second generation volunteer firefighter, Mike proudly worked in Spokane County's Fire District 9, eventually serving two terms as Fire Commissioner.

Mike will be remembered for his quick wit, kindness, generosity, love of animals, and devotion to his family. He leaves behind his children, Heidi and David, grandsons James and Devron, and granddaughters Zelda, Emma, and Remington.

A celebration of Mike's life will be held in the fall. In lieu of flowers, please support live music.

 Updated: July 9, 2015
A quick update before the big 50th reunion.... I have Un-Retired as of about 2 years ago and am gainfully employed!!  I am a hospital accreditation surveyor and ISO certification specialist for a company (DNV-GL Healthcare).  In this role I travel about 2 weeks per month all over the nation doing hospital quality work -- quality management systems in diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine, pharmaceutical management, clinical laboratory services, and therapy areas.  As a result I'm not going to be able to be at the reunion as I'm in Cincinnati during that week and won't be back until Saturday (7/25).  I fly to Disneyland with grandkids the next day so....  I will really miss seeing everyone -- Have a GREAT TIME!!

Updated: May 29, 2010

Retirement life is busy, but really pretty good. The kids continue to be happy, healthy and doing well. My wife and I have been blessed with two grand-daughters: Emma Marie who is here in Spokane and just turned 3, and Zelda June who is 6 months old and lives in Seattle. Sweet and beautiful little girls!

In addition to being a grandpa, and taking care of 2 dogs and 5 cats, my life pretty much revolves around volunteer things. I still work with the Greater Spokane Drum Corps Association, and Spokane Thunder Drum & Bugle Corps. In the last competitive season, Thunder finished in 7th place in the nation in their division. As the vice-president of the group, most of my time is involved with fund-raising, so if you have any excess cash sitting around your home, please meet with me at the reunion!! My personal musical activities include playing drums in the Spokane Community Concert Band and in the U of I Vandal Alumni Marching Band.

I’m also the President of my church congregation (St. Matthew Lutheran) which seems to take more and more of my time, but it is rewarding work. We are in the midst of deciding between several “competing” courses of action (a church remodel, a building addition, calling a second Pastor, etc.) There are members with very passionate feelings about what should (and should not) be done. Keeping everyone satisfied and doing what is best takes a lot of “people skills” – I sure wish I had some of those skills!!

The Fire District that I used to be involved with asked me to serve on a historical committee (when you get old, that’s what happens to you!) to develop an oral and video history of the department for it’s up-coming 75th anniversary. I’ll be doing the interviews and completing the “show”. We are just starting to develop the questions and the concept, so there is much to be done. It is fun and gives me at least 2 more meetings to attend each month.

My wife Rhoene continues to work (somebody has to support my lifestyle!). She spent the last couple of years basically living in Oklahoma and Oregon as a Nursing Quality Consultant at two hospitals. Now she is home and is the Administrator of a home health agency here.

That’s about it for now….. I still struggle with Crohn’s Disease. About two years ago, I got pretty sick and had to have my entire colon removed (yes, I am officially “gutless”) and while in the hospital I “coded” and had to be resuscitated. That sort of experience really puts life in proper perspective - it can be gone in an instant. My advice is enjoy life and your family, be good to the people around you, forgive them and ask for their forgiveness, appreciate what you have, and remain faithful to the Lord. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion.

Updated June 1, 2005
As if I didn't have enough to do trying to appear busy when my wife is looking, my life has taken another turn -- I am now the Director of Development for the Spokane Drum Corps Association, Inc. We sponsor the Spokane Thunder Drum & Bugle Corps. This is a job (unpaid volunteer, but fun) that I really enjoy. Drum Corps has been in my blood forever, so this is great. The corps (ages 14 to 21) is only in its second year, but they are already getting noticed around the country -- they are very very good. They go on tour beginning in July (I won't be going --- I've done my time on drum corps tours in the past) and will compete in several shows.....

How is it possible that 40 years have elapsed since those "good old days"? Life was so much simpler then (and so was I, now that I think of it….)

In any event, here is my "life story" for the reunion website.

Following graduation I went on to the U of I to major in Electrical Engineering. After 2 years of that I was chosen to participate in a work-study program at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company in Sunnyvale, California along with fellow MHS classmate Mike Lowe. We shared an apartment in Mountain View along with another Vandal and had a great time being "rocket scientists". (Think about Mike and I and that should scare you…)

Upon returning to Moscow, I decided to change my major to Food Microbiology (the engineering math was a bit much for me --- sorry, Mr. Richman, I know you tried). I graduated even though I spent most of my time either at the Music Bldg (concert band, orchestra, marching band, pep band) or at the Radio TV center (KUID-FM, KUOI). After graduation I went to Spokane to seek fame and fortune doing health inspections and food poisoning investigations at the Spokane County Health District. After about 2 years there, I was offered a research assistant position (means you wash a LOT of laboratory glassware in return for no tuition) back at the U of I to get my master's degree.

With my MS in Food Science I went to work for the State of Washington in health care facility regulation (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) "until I find the job that I really want…". Well, 31 years later I retired (2003)! During that time, I moved into program management, and then changed course completely and spent the last 12 years of my career in Information Technology. In that roll I did a lot of work on national projects with the federal Health Care Financing Administration, and spent a couple of years traveling around the country working with other states on data processing issues (all at taxpayer expense, of course).

On the personal side I was married and then divorced about 15 years later. That marriage produced 2 of the greatest kids in the world. My daughter, Heidi, graduated from the Univ. of Washington and works as a research scientist for Amgen in Seattle. She does research on inflammatory disease processes, and when she tells me about her work, my eyes glaze over because I haven't a clue what she is telling me!! My son, David, is a computer wizard in Portland working on voice over internet and networking things (again, I'm a bit too illiterate to really understand). He and a couple of cohorts have just started their own company, and I expect it will be a great success. They are the "lights of my life", and I'm very proud of both of them.

In 1979 I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease (a nasty intestinal disease), and came close to leaving this earth. The Lord was watching over me, however, and provided a very fine, skilled surgeon who was able to patch my insides back together and save me. I still have flare-ups and take lots of medication (keeping the local pharmacy in business), but am doing fine. It's interesting that Crohn's is one of the inflammatory diseases that Heidi does research on.

In 1990 I married a wonderful lady named Rhoene who is an RN and does consulting work all over the nation. She travels a lot, and I stay home and tend to our 6 cats and 4 dogs. She has 2 boys - David who has his own landscaping business in Spokane specializing in water features, and Mark who is just completing his course work in Phoenix to be a Harley-Davidson motorcycle mechanic. They are also great kids.

Thanks to the reunion committee and to Bill and Connie Sever for this great website.

Looking forward to seeing everyone this summer……!


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