Jesse Ray Emerson died in Baystate Medical Center on July 26, 2023. Born in California on June 22, 1984, he was brought to New England as an infant to live with his beloved mother Deborah in Wilbraham MA with his grandmother Judith Emerson. While living in Wilbraham he was cherished by his great grandmother Jennie Emerson and by his aunt Ginny and her family in Connecticut.
After a time, Deborah took Jesse to live in a family cabin on Lake Damon in Chesterfield; it was a source of wonderful memories for both of them. As it was not winterized, they moved to a home and flower shop Deborah created in Chesterfield. It was well-remembered by Jesse as friendships grew there as he did. They moved later to Cummington MA to open a farm stand at Lightning Bug where she created a small restaurant and Jesse worked to develop job skills. He developed strong relationships in town as his mother did.
When she died in winter of 2018, folks in Cummington took Jesse to heart, and out of gratitude for his mother's kind actions for town folks, they helped a young man survive his loss. Their landlord kept him in the home his mom had loved until it was clear that to receive Disability Housing Jesse had to be seen to actually need it and he received an eviction notice.
Placement took time. Jesse was in hospital care and treatment but eventually in Homeless sheltering in Pittsfield. In early July he was placed in Charles Hamblin Court in Huntington and landed safely among caring people with whom he made warm friendships.
On July 24 he called his Cummington caregiver to say he felt ill and when she arrived a neighbor had found him unconscious. He was taken to the hospital. His aunt Ginny spent the night with him saying goodbye for the family, but he was unconscious the whole time. At noon he found peace at the end of his journey, ministered to by the caregiver who had helped him through his troubled times.
We are grateful to the Town of Cummington where Jesse was sheltered, scolded as needed, helped to relocate when finally accepted at Huntington's Hamblin Court with love and listening, embraced for safe landing under a roof of his own for his final days.
Because of the distance between Emerson homes we are not yet planning a memorial service. There may be a gathering when the Fair is over. We would invite folks to remember Jesse and his mother Deb by sharing kindnesses with others, loving the natural world, enjoying fine baking, and by taking good care of personal health.
Williamsburg Funeral Home was entrust with his cremation.