Jessie Crichton McDowell, 91, passed away peacefully under the care of her family on June 22nd, 2020. She was born on November 5th, 1928 in Philadelphia, PA; daughter of Jessie Crichton Stewart Rossi and Ernesto Rossi. She spent several years of her childhood in Scotland and had a rich Scottish and Italian heritage, with a love for clothing instilled to her by her father, who was a tailor.
Jessie graduated from Frankford High School in Philadelphia. She then attended the Nursing Program at Northeastern Hospital before marrying her beloved husband, William Howard McDowell, whom she is predeceased by, in 1948. At 40 she went to college and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Holy Family University and went on to study Library Science in a graduate program at Drexel University. She was incredibly dedicated to her students as a librarian for the School District of Philadelphia.
In addition to her parents and husband, Jessie is predeceased by her brother, Ernest Rossi; her husband’s brothers with whom she was very close: Joseph, Warren, Henry, and Robert McDowell; and her granddaughter, Julianne Kara Zoback.
She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Jessie Zoback, and her husband, Steven, of Hatboro; and Maureen Jessie Morgan, and her husband Robert, of Philadelphia; her niece, Andrea Rossi-Young; her grandchildren, Jessica Erin Randall; Justin William Morgan; and Lauren Helene Zoback, and her husband Kobie; and her great-grandchildren Avarie and William Randall; Lillian Morgan; Briella and Micah Trawick; and Gray Jefferson.
Jessie loved to spend time with her family and friends. The water was her home, and she spent many hours in the ocean on LBI, NJ. She was well known on 5th St in Surf City as a friendly pillar of the community. She loved attending church services; her congregation is St. Luke’s United Church of Christ in Phqiladelphia. She loved to listen to music, travel, read, dance, and laugh. Her zest for life was contagious; she lived life to the fullest. She was tough and didn’t let anything get her down.
Her life will be remembered as an inspiration to all who knew her. Relatives and friends are invited to her Viewing Friday 11:00 – 12:00 Noon at T.J. Fluehr Funeral Home, 11010 Knights Rd. Religious Service 12:00 Noon. Interment Forest Hills Cemetery. Attendees should wear masks & observe proper social distancing during the services. To share a memory of Jessie or view a Live Stream of her Service, please visit www.tjfluehr.com
Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to St. Luke's United Church of Christ, 10151 Bustleton Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19116
Florists, all deliveries must arrive at the funeral home on Thursday no later than 3:00 PM.
To send flowers to Jessie's family, please visit our floral store.