Jessie McChesney Was Active in Her Community

Jessie O'Brien McChesney, 86, died peacefully at her home in Edgartown on July 15, with her daughters at her side, after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late William J. McChesney of Edgartown.

Mrs. McChesney was born in Hamden, Conn. She was married to Ralph E. Rasche and they had two daughters, Pamela and Priscilla. Mr. Rasche died at age 42. He had been an official at Uniroyal Co.

After her husband's death, Mrs. McChesney began her college career, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Southern Connecticut State College. She taught elementary school in Chesire, Conn., for nine years. In 1959 she married William J. McChesney, a noted bird carver. In 1967 they moved to Martha's Vineyard, where for 11 years she was the reading coordinator at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School.

She was active in the community during her retirement. She was a trustee of the Mary P. Wakemen Conservation Center, president of the Martha's Vineyard Garden Club, a director of the Friends of the Edgartown Council on Aging and vice president of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital Auxiliary. She was also a life member of the Dukes County Historical Society and a member of the Edgartown Federated Church.

For the past three years, Mrs. McChesney had been a winter resident at the Penney Retirement Community in Penney Farms, Fla.

Mrs. McChesney is survived by her daughters, Pamela Smith of Belmont and Priscilla Rasche of Bloomingdale, Ill., and by her stepson, Peter McChesney of Vineyard Haven, and their families.

A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Federated Church in Edgartown.

Contributions in Mrs. McChesney's memory may be made to the Martha's Vineyard Nursing Association, Hospice of Martha's Vineyard or the Federated Church of Edgartown.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.