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Smith: Nothing less than Sunday best will do for Santa Rosa's Jesse Love

The church farewell for African-American community star, Pearl Harbor veteran and retired county hospital head housekeeper Jesse Love was all it should have been.

Jesse's caregiver, Catherine Ybarra, told the large, sad-hearted and grateful assembly at Community Baptist Church about asking him a while back what he wished to be buried in.

"My overalls," he replied with one of the world's grandest dimpled smiles.

Ybarra told him that sounded comfortable, but it wouldn't do.

Some time later, she asked, "Really, Jesse, what would you like to be buried in?"

Jesse, who was 91 and had lived in Santa Rosa since 1942, considered and then declared, "I want to go out the same way I came in!"

How very natural, very Sonoma County. But Ybarra told him that wouldn't do, either.

When scores of admirers filed past his open casket, and when an a honor escort of CHP and Santa Rosa Police officers and motorcyclists with the Patriot Guard led the hearse to Santa Rosa Memorial Park, Jesse wore the Sunday-best suit he'd have donned were the honoree anyone but he.

<strong>SOMEHOW JAY LENO</strong> caught wind of a sweet baseball moment between a Santa Rosa music teacher and his daughter, and it landed on national TV.


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