Welcome to the memorial page for

Mary Elizabeth (McGrath) Jessen

April 22, 1925 ~ February 28, 2020 (age 94)

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Mary Jessen passed away Friday February 28th, 2020 at the age of 94 years in Battle Creek, NE. No services will be held, per her wishes. She will be cremated and buried at the St Leonard’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Madison, NE next to her mother Sophia Dieter McGrath.

Mary Elizabeth was born on April 22, 1925 at home in Madison, NE to her parents, Lawrence Joseph and Sophia Cecelia (Dieter) McGrath. She was raised in Norfolk and attended school there.

On February 13, 1960, Mary married John “Jack” Arthur Jessen, he had two sons (John Michael and Roger). Mary and Jack had two children together (Thomas and Patrick). After moving several times for John’s work, they settled and raised their children in Madison, NE.

Mary worked in several beauty shops and owned Mary’s Beauty Shop. She was actively involved in the American Legion in Madison, Madison County Museum & Historical Society, A member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Battle Creek, and the Elks Club. She was a legislative representative of the Omaha Archdiocese Council of Women, a Deanery President for decades and a member of the Norfolk Country Club. She enjoyed bowling in league with more than 50 years competing at NE State Bowling. She was inducted into the Norfolk Bowling Hall of Fame and named Bowling Queen. Mary also enjoyed golfing (earned awards from several tournaments), gardening, ancestry research and fishing.

Mary is survived by her children, Thomas (Amy) Jessen of California and Patrick Jessen of Battle Creek,NE; brothers Richard (Lorraine) McGrath of Thornton, CO and Neal (Kay) McGrath of Norfolk, NE; sister Donna (Don) Schwedhelm of Hoskins, NE; sister-in-law Sandy McGrath of Norfolk, NE, grand-daughter Emily Jessen of Morenci, AZ and more than 50 nieces/nephews and great-nieces/nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her siblings Larry, Thomas and Robert McGrath, Marjorie (Marge) Bessmer of Norfolk, and Helen Ohlund of Stanton, NE, and stepson John Michael Jessen.

Home for Funerals was entrusted with arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at Mary Elizabeth McGrath Jessen Memorial Facebook page.  Memorials are suggested to the Catholic Woman's Scholarship Fund at

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