With profound sadness we announce the passing of Jessie Enge (nee Hickerson) at the Atikokan General Hospital in Atikokan, Ont. on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, a few months shy of her 90th birthday.
She was born on April 30, 1928 in Fort Frances, Ont. to William and Helen Hickerson.
Jessie began teaching in Dewart Township in 1948 at the age of 20 upon receiving her credentials from the teachers' college in Nipissing. She retired in 1995 after 46 years dedicated to her profession, having served the last 38 years in Atikokan, mostly at Hemlock Avenue School.
Teaching primary students was not a job for her, it was a passion.
While working in Nelles Township and subsequently in Fort Frances from 1950-53, Jessie met Melvn Enge. They married on Aug. 25, 1956 and were inseparable throughout life, totally dedicated to and supportive of each other until his passing in July, 2014.
In 1959, she and Melvin adopted sons, William and Edward, and forged a deeply-bonded family unit.
Besides teaching, Jessie enjoyed the out-of-doors and spent many years canoeing, camping, and cross-country skiing. She also shared this passion with her boys, her siblings, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as with a multitude of nieces and nephews who all miss her greatly.
For more than 30 years, her camp at Eva Lake also was a special place for many.
Jessie always was a kind but firm, considerate, and inspirational educator. In 1989, she was the first recipient of the Frances Poleschuk Award recognizing her as the most outstanding Ontario Primary School Teacher.
Her implementation of child-centered, activity-based learning was decades ahead of the rest of the province.
Jessie also served for a number of years on the executive of the Federation of Women Teachers Association of Ontario, serving some time as president.
Jessie is survived by her sons, Bill (Linda) and Ed (Heather); brothers, Horace (Fae) Hickerson, Bill Hickerson, and Frank (Frieda) Hickerson; sisters, Florence Kemp, Donna (Willie) Opie, and Lois Topping; sister-in-law, Mabel Hickerson; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; plus numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law (members of the Enge and Mason clans); and many loving nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, William and Helen Hickerson; brother, Edward Hickerson; sisters, Irene Alex and Shirley Ford; daughter-in-law, Lynn Enge; and by infant great-granddaughter, Samantha.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held in late May or early June.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to the Atikokan General Hospital or to a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com