An angel arrived July 13, 2020 on a mission from God to recruit a piano player for God’s Angelic Choir. Jesse S. Poulson, the tenth child of Major Thomas and Gladys Griffin Poulson, peacefully and humbly accepted the call and departed this life at his residence in Onancock “Bayside”, Virginia where on August 10, 1942 he was born.
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Jesse was educated in the schools of Accomack County and graduated from Mary N. Smith High School in 1959. Once he finished high school, he went to Norfolk State University and graduated with a professional degree in Business Education in 1963.
Jesse’s first professional job was at his former high school, Mary N. Smith High School where he worked for seven years as a high school librarian. Soon after the desegregation of the county schools, Jesse was hired to teach Business Education at Onancock High School. In 1984, he transferred to Nandua High School as a business teacher. During that time, he went to Old Dominion University and received his Master’s Degree in Education.
As an educator, Jesse touched the lives of many of Accomack County’s young people. With a desire to share knowledge with others he became a Migrant Program Recruiter. His kindness, and friendly ways allowed him to develop lifelong friends with families from other states. Until his death, many of those families remained in contact with him.
Jesse was a member of Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Onancock, Virginia. He played piano for various choirs, sang with various groups, taught Sunday School, helped set-up for Vacation Bible School, and supported every group and activity of the church. He especially enjoyed working with the men and women in the kitchen. Often, he would, for fun, brag on the women or men just to keep competition going among the groups. As a lay leader, he attended most of the United Methodist Church Virginia Annual Conferences with both Adams and Metropolitan Church delegations. He was the designated driver. He encouraged and supported the children and youth ministries.
Because he had many, many nieces and nephews calling him “Uncle Jesse”, that name became his unofficial title for all the children of Adams and Metropolitan churches. “Uncle Jesse” caught on even with students at Onancock and Nandua High Schools. He proudly accepted the role of “Uncle Jesse”. He was devoted to his family and friends. He once said “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Therefore, when a need arises if I can, I will help all equally.” After the death of his niece Maretta White, Jesse helped his sister Loretta raise his great niece Aaisha and great nephew Eron.
His community services are too numerous to list, however, a few that he was affiliated with were, the Food Bank Drive, Salvation Army Bell Ringer, and Voter Registration Drive. At each of these activities he developed a reputation as being loyal, humble, friendly and yes, “Knowing Everybody by Name and Family”.
He easily cultivated friendships among diverse groups of people. He welcomed a varied group of visitors and caregivers. He especially was fond of Nicole Shrieves, Fredrick Parker, James Williams, Larry White, Brad White, and Diane Ames.
Jesse trusted God throughout his illness and appreciated the calls, well-wishes and the many prayers. He was grateful to his nieces, Valarie and India, who at the on-set of his illness took care of him.
Jesse was predeceased by his mother and father; brothers, Stewart, Lawrence, Major Jr., and Morris; and sisters, Chestina, Nellie, and Myrtle.
Surviving him are his sisters, Loretta Poulson White and Bessie Poulson Owens; his nieces and nephews; a host of unofficial nieces and nephews; and friends.