Jessie Evelyn Rossi, 91, of Salinas, passed away on Sunday, January 25, 2009. Our cherished mother, nana, sister, and friend will surely be missed. Jessie was born in Piane Crati, Italy in 1917 and emigrated through Ellis Island to Hollister, CA at the age of 12 with two of her sisters Mary and Erma and mother Angelina Felice in 1929. They joined her eldest sister Julia and with their father Giovanni, moved to their farm in Hollister. Growing up on the farm, she and her sisters worked very hard moving irrigation pipe, driving the tractor, pruning trees, and harvesting the crops. This work ethic carried on throughout all her life.

She met and married Joe Rossi in 1939 and soon moved to Salinas where they owned the Airway Market in Alisal. The store thrived through the 40’s and early 50’s and Jessie juggled raising her first two sons (Joe and Vic) while helping in the store. In 1952, Joe started in the beer business and Rossi Distributor was started. John was born prior to the move to their new home on Bruce Ave. Jessie was always involved as her children were growing up; volunteering at Sacred Heart Church, the Service League of Salinas Memorial Hospital, and being an active member of the Altar Society well into her 80’s. She was a member of the YLI (Young Ladies Institute), the Parents Club of Palma, the Sons of Italy, the ICF and enjoyed working in her vegetable garden. She always attended her sons’ sporting events. In 1968 her husband died. Joe would take over the business, Vic was in college, and John was just starting high school. Her life always stayed on course as her time was filled with enchilada luncheons, pasta feeds, cousin get-togethers, and watching her beloved 49ers.

Her sons married and began families of their own. This provided her more avenues to share her love. As family was the core of her life, she could always be seen attending a baseball, basketball, volleyball, or football game of her grandchildren. Eventually five great-grandchildren were born which added to the fabric of her life.

Jessie’s legacy lives on with her sister, Erma of Hollister, with her three sons, Joe (Diane) and Vic (Linda) of Salinas, and John (Carolyn) of Seattle, her eight grandchildren, Marilyn, Joe, John, Michael, Dominic, Victoria, Lauren, and Mari and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; sisters, Julia Cosco and Mary LaMacchia; daughter Marilyn; brother, Genuzu Felice.

The family wishes to express our gratitude to Westland House of Monterey, Hospice of the Central Coast and especially to Patty Perry and all of the caregivers who treated Jessie so wonderfully.

Funeral Mass will be held at 12:15 P.M. on Friday, January 30, 2009 at Sacred Heart Church, 22 Stone St., Salinas, CA 93901.

Entombment will follow at Garden of Memories Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Sacred Heart Altar Society, 22 Stone Street, Salinas, CA 93901; Hospice of Monterey, PO Box 1789, Monterey, CA 93942

Online Condolences:

Previous articleStanley Rodney
Next article‘Balers hold on for 47-45 win over Salinas
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here