LAPEER — Jim and Lorraine Jessop built their lives around their family, their community, and their passion for education. Deeply rooted in Lapeer County, they have impacted generations of students and organizations in lasting and positive ways.
Jim Jessop began his career at Lapeer High School in 1952 as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. He retired from teaching in Lapeer in 1990, having served in various positions. He positively impacted innumerable teachers, staff, and students during his 38-year career. He was a lifelong learner, even taking college classes well into his 90’s. In August 2022, Jim passed away at the age of 94.
Lorraine Jessop began her teaching career at Irwin Elementary in 1955. She retired from teaching in Lapeer in 1988 as a second-grade teacher at Schickler Elementary. During her career, she taught various grades at different schools, including a one-room schoolhouse. She positively impacted over 1,000 students during her 33-year career in Lapeer. After retirement, she took on the role of an 1880’s school teacher at Crossroads Village near Flint. She truly loved teaching elementary children and is considered by many to be their “favorite teacher.” Having called Lapeer County her home for over 85 years, Lorraine currently lives near her daughter in Missouri.
In addition to both being lifelong educators in Lapeer County, Jim and Lorraine supported their community with their time, talents, and treasures in numerous organizations, including the Lapeer County Historical Society, the local genealogical society, the Horticultural Society, the Eastern Michigan Hosta Society, Lapeer County Community Mental Health, the historic courthouse restoration committee, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Friends of the Library, Michigan Sesquicentennial Committee, and Trinity United Methodist Church, to name just a few. They were well known in the community for hosting annual “daylily auctions” using the flowers grown in their gardens. Proceeds from these auctions benefited numerous organizations in Lapeer County over the years.
In 2019, the Lapeer County Horticulture Society and the Eastern Michigan Hosta Society established a scholarship in the name of Jim and Lorraine Jessop that is currently administered by the Lapeer County FFA Alumni.
To honor Jim’s memory and legacy, his wife Lorraine and their children, Beth Boyer and Mark Jessop, have permanently endowed this fund with the Lapeer County Community Foundation. The Jim and Lorraine Scholarship Fund will positively impact future generations of high school seniors pursuing post-secondary education in the areas of horticulture, agriscience, or elementary education.
“We are deeply honored to work with Lorraine and the Jessop family to honor Jim’s legacy in such a meaningful way. Jim and Lorraine’s commitment to education and community will forever play a role in the lives of local students pursuing future dreams.” Said Nancy Boxey, LCCF executive director. “This fund will preserve the generosity of those organizations who initially established the scholarship.”
To learn more or support the legacy of Jim Jessop, visit: www.lapeercountycf.org or contact Nancy Boxey at 810-664-0691.