Mary Frances Neller Jessup

Mary died September 17, 2023, in East Lansing, MI.  She is survived by her husband of 68 years, David W Jessup; daughter, Cynthia Jessup Sewell and husband James of Manchester, MI; daughter, Sharon (Brian) Grant of Livermore, CA; son, Donald (Cindy) Jessup of DeWitt, MI; sister, Suzanne (Ronald) Kregel; sister-in-law, Susan H. Neller; grandchildren, Ashleigh (Brian Halloran) Sewell, Caitlin Sewell (Michael Graham), David (Kyla) Grant, Andy (Dana) Grant and Liane Grant Sponberg (Eric), Stephen Jessup (Karli Hnetynka), Michael (Jessy) Jessup and Laura Jessup;  plus 11 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law.  Preceding her in death were her parents, Walter W. and Frances Harvey Neller, and her brother W. Richard Neller.

Mary graduated from Michigan State University and was affiliated with Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.  Mary was a community volunteer giving generously of her time to Central United Methodist Church, Sparrow Hospital, Kappa Alpha Theta and her many friends.

Her family shared her love of wildflowers, and they all anxiously awaited the first blooms in the spring. Numerous species of birds flocked to the birdfeeder she religiously kept filled year-round and enjoyed their antics as they nudged each other for their turn to feed. Genealogy was among her many interests, and she was the family historian extraordinaire; it will be hard to fill those shoes. Mary was a prolific note writer and loved to send words of encouragement, thank-you’s and well wishes. She often used her own photographs as postcards to share her travels. The whole family teased her about single-handedly keeping the USPS in business.

A service to celebrate Mary’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 29, 2023, at Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing, MI 48933, with the Rev. Linda Farmer-Lewis officiating.  Cremation has taken place.  In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to The David and Mary Jessup Dietetic Internship Scholarship Endowment at Michigan State University, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources or Central United Methodist Church, Lansing. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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11 Messages to “Mary Frances Neller Jessup

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Lynne Stader
September 18, 2023 at 6:22 pm

Mary was my mums pen friend since they were teenagers until my mum June’s passing in 2010. As a child I remember mums excitement when getting a letter from Mary all the way from Michigan to Newport Wales.
My deepest condolences to you all at this sad time. Mary certainly led a rich fulfilling life.
Lynne Stader
Calgary Alberta

September 18, 2023 at 8:51 pm

The Blaylock family sends our condolences to the family.

Joyce Joranko
September 19, 2023 at 9:40 am

Mary radiated kindness and generosity-always seeking knowledge

September 19, 2023 at 9:59 am

Mary always sent words of encouragement and affirmation. This was true even when she was very ill. She will be remembered forever. Our family’s condolences go to Dave and the rest of Mary’s family.

Gene and Caryn Welter

Elaine and Murray Brown
September 19, 2023 at 11:01 am

When we became members of CUMC in 1997 Mary and Dave were among the first to extend a warm welcome. In the years to follow Mary always reached out to inquire about our son’s progress long after he graduated and we were the recipients of many of her letters and cards on many occasions.
She was truly a respected pillar of the church and community. She touched many lives.
Our condolences to you Dave and to the rest of her family.

Lisa Speck
September 20, 2023 at 1:05 pm

When I first walked into CUMC, Mary took me under her wing and made sure that I felt welcomed. Mary’s friendship and support turned into her becoming my mentor/sponsor when I became a member at CUMC. Mary touched my heart and her friendship meant a lot. My deep condolences go out to Dave and the rest of her family.

Irma Farmer Moss
September 20, 2023 at 2:40 pm

Mary was a beloved friend who was faithful. Love to all. Irma

Sharon Plunkett
September 22, 2023 at 5:56 am

I never had the pleasure of meeting Mary in person. But I had the privilege of corresponding with her & she helped me with questions I had about our Neller genealogy! She was a blessing!

Bob Jacobs
September 24, 2023 at 10:28 pm

We were fortunate to meet Mary and Dave Jessup through their daughter Sharon and son-in-law Brian.

Words can’t adequately describe the depth of Mary’s spirit; Heaven’s gain is our loss. Every time we had the opportunity to be with Mary we were blessed and enriched by her gentle laugh, her good natured perspective and her ready friendship.

Her legacy continues on in the lives of those she knew and loved; ours included.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary’s family and especially with her husband Dave.

Jim and Ginny Hane
September 28, 2023 at 2:06 pm

Mary was a gracious host to the Young Couples Group at CUMC in the 1970s when our children were very young. RIP

Dr. James Hewitt
September 28, 2023 at 3:42 pm

As my mother (Freda Scott Hewitt) aged, Mary was a key person in Mom’s life. She would stop by the house to visit, made frequent phone calls and sent many cards. When visiting my Mother, I would usually hear the latest travel plans Mary had shared, or hear about the treat she brought for Mom. Mary made sure Mom felt connected to Central, even after she no longer could attend in person. I’m sure many, many others were the recipients of Mary’s caring ministry.


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