ETEC Trailblazer Jessemae Myers Noritake Passed Away

From Jim Campbell, ETEC President, September 15, 2021:


A good friend and longtime associate Jesse Mae Noritake passed away last week. She was the core of the old Roane Anderson Economic Council and was the first hire I made when I joined ETEC. She knew how to make things work, always with a smile. Her obituary is below.

Jessemae Noritake Obituary - The Oak RidgerJessemae Noritake

Oak Ridge – Jessemae Myers Noritake, age 94, of Oak Ridge, passed away Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at Patriot Hills Assisted Living, where she was a resident for the past year. She was born April 8, 1927 in Toledo, Ohio, the daughter of Jesse L. Myers and Catharine Chittenden Myers, and great-granddaughter of Ohio Governor, Charles Foster (1880-1884). She graduated with a BA from Carleton College, Northfield, MN in 1949. She married Henry M. Noritake October 3, 1953 and moved to Oak Ridge, TN where Henry was employed at K-25. Mr. Noritake passed away April 25, 2007.

Jessemae was very active in the community. She served as executive secretary for the Roane-Anderson Economic Council and worked 17 years, part-time, with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, Oak Ridge Waste Management Association, and the East Tennessee Economic Council.

She was a volunteer secretary with Grove Development Corporation for 15 years and a member of the group which founded the Childbirth Education Association. She had served as president of 3 boards: United Church Nursery School Board, Oak Ridge Girls’ Club Board of Directors, and the Emory Valley Center Board of Directors. She also served on the ORCMA board, the United Church Women’s board, Clinch River Home Health Board, and an active member of the League of Women Voters. She served as Girl Scout Leader for the Cadettes for 3 years and for the Seniors for 3 years. She was a member of the Oak Ridge Rotary Club and volunteered at the Children’s Museum.

Jessemae was a long-time member of United Church Chapel on the Hill. She enjoyed gardening, birdwatching, playing bridge, tennis, play reading, and traveling with family. She enjoyed dancing and was a member of the Oak Ridge Dance Club. She loved and appreciated her two canine companions over the past 15 years: Ginger & Rusty.

She is survived by children, Catharine Haffner (Johnny) of Smyrna, TN, Barbara Riggs (Eddie) of Oak Ridge, Richard Noritake (Vivien) of Miami Beach, Fl, and Nancy Edwards (Kelvin) of Powder Springs, GA; sister, Edith Ann McCorkle of McCook, NE; ten grandchildren, Anna and Will Haffner, Barbara (Haffner) Smith, Cody, Alysse and Foster Riggs, Umi and Mia Noritake, Nicholas and Austin Edwards; and great granddaughter, Anora Edwards.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, September 18, 2021 from 11am – 1pm at Weatherford Mortuary with a Celebration of Jessemae’s life to follow at 1 pm. Family will attend a private graveside service. Flowers may be sent to Weatherford Mortuary and/or contributions can be made in Jessemae’s memory to the Children’s Museum, Emory Valley Center or a charity of choice. An online guestbook can be signed at