It is with great sadness that we announce Jesse Ray Bussard, age 69, of Horseheads, NY, died unexpectedly Saturday morning, April 15th, at his home. Jesse was born to Charlotte (Slim) and Walter Bussard in Santa Ana, CA, in January 1954. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Anne, and their two sons, Matthew Ernest of Horseheads and Jason Alexander and Jason’s wife Angel and their two children James MacArthur and Autumn Rose of Orchard Park, NY. He is also survived by his siblings Walter and Anna Bussard, Kate Berger, Gerry Fulbrook, William Fulbrook, and Jim and Debbie Fulbrook. He was pre-deceased by his mother and father Charlotte and Walter Bussard and step-father Frank Fulbrook.
Jesse graduated high school in 1972 and entered the US Navy where he spent the next four years as a machinist mate in ships’ engine rooms keeping the ships running in tip top shape and also enjoying many beautiful ports in Europe. He met his future wife, Anne, in 1977 when his sister Gerry brought her home from college one weekend and he knew right then that she was the one for him. Jesse grew up camping with his family and he introduced Anne to camping and hiking in the Adirondacks where she proved her worth on their first outing by hiking Mt. Marcy with a concussion after stepping up on a bridge crossbeam that was not anchored and being hit in the head. The ride back to Rochester that weekend was spent listening to Cat Stevens’ “Looking for a Hard Headed Woman”! Despite the concussion, their romance grew and they married in June 1979. They relocated to Roanoke, VA, in 1980 and Jess became a Master Plumber and started Bussard Plumbing in 1982. They welcomed Matthew in 1982 and returned to New York in 1984 when Anne became employed with Corning Inc. They welcomed Jason in 1986. Camping remained an important family activity and they spent many enjoyable and memorable summer vacations in the Adirondacks camping, hiking, boating, and fishing. Jesse did climb the 46 Adirondack high peaks, which qualified him as a ”46er,” but he had no patience for going through the vetting process that would have formally designated him as a 46er.
Jesse was a plumber extraordinaire. He was adept at developing the tool or process or procedure that was needed to fix the current problem and he made sure that the job was done right the first time. He passed on his work ethic and “will do – can do” approach to Matthew and Jason. Jesse was also extremely proud of the wonderful, caring, thoughtful, and talented men their sons have become. Jesse welcomed grandson James in February 2019 and was able to spend time with him prior to the pandemic and then was able to FaceTime with James and then with Autumn when she was born in November 2021. He always had a tremendously huge grin on his face when talking with the grandkids and looked forward to seeing pictures and videos that Angel and Jason sent chronicling their escapades!
The funeral will be at Baker Family Funeral Home at 640 W. Gray Street, Elmira, NY, on Thursday, April 20th, at 11:30am, preceded by visitation beginning at 10:30am. The family requests everyone wear masks at the visitation and service. A graveside service and burial will follow at B’nai Israel Cemetery on Franklin Street in Elmira. In honor of the importance of family, not ever knowing how much time we have together with family and loved ones, and in lieu of a luncheon, please have a wonderful meal with your loved ones after the burial. A Zoom Shiva service will be held at 7:00pm on Saturday evening, April 22nd.
For those who are unable to attend, if it is possible to live stream the funeral and graveside services, a link will be provided by the family. The link for the Zoom Shiva service will also be provided by the family. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA, or a charity of your choice
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