Jesse L. Israel, Jr.

jesse israel, jr.
The Children of Israel announce the passing of Jesse L. Israel, Jr., 91, at the Hospice Unit of the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Betty Carter Israel; and his children, David Israel and wife Diane of Asheville, Lonnie Israel and wife Gail of Candler, and Janet Strickland and husband, Danny, of Canton; seven grandchildren, Alan Israel (Heather), Anna Howland (Jake), Amber Israel, Aaron Bryson (Courtney), Trevor Israel, Jessica Strickland, and Megan Strickland; eight great-grandchildren; sister Christine Israel Miller of Candler; and aunts Louetta O'Brien of Winchester, VA and Edith Lee Hatfield of Winston-Salem. He joins his mother, Sydna Reagan Israel, who died when Jesse was nine years old, and a great-grandson, Ashton, among the heavenly hosts. Mr. Israel was a graduate of Asheville Normal College. Like many young men of his time, he joined the US Navy at age seventeen. Serving his country in the Pacific Fleet during World War II, Jesse fought in many major battles and flew on the last air raid of Tokyo in 1945. As a distinguished Navy veteran, he was honored during the Honor Flight from ASheville to Washington, DC, in May, 2011. After marriage, Betty and Jesse lived on the seven-generation farm in Candler. They established Jesse Israel and Sons Nursery in 1968. There he bacame immersed in the growing of plants and the natural world. In 1982, along with David and Lonnie, he opened Jesse Israel and Sons Nursery and Garden Center at the WNC Farmers' Market in Asheville. Jesse continued to grow plants for the Garden Center with the help of daughter, Janet. He continued growing plants until his retirement in 1996. During retirement, his homegrown vegetables were shared with any friends and relatives. Graveside services with Military Honors will be at 3:00 p.m. Sunday at Piney Mountain United Methodist Church Cemetery, 14 Piney Mountain Church Road, Candler, with the Rev. Kevin Bates officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the church fellowship hall. Memorials may be made to the CarePartners Hospice Foundation, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813, or to Charles George VAMC, Attn.: Voluntary Service, 1100 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805 (with Hospice Unit on the memo line), or to Piney Mountain United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Betty and Family
    So sorry to hear about jessie we send our thoughts and prayers to all of you
    Sheryl Wiggins
    Arida Young

  2. From one of the many ‘Children of Israel:’ Because I moved away from western North Carolina in 1985 and returned in 2013, I only saw Jesse a few times after that. He certainly left a very visible legacy. In addition to his family, his business is very well known at the entrance to the Farmer’ Market. Lonnie and Gail, my prayers are with you and all the family.

  3. Always a Smile; sowing, planting, harvesting for sale at Nursery or give away. Mentored sons after they enjoyed Par-T-Pak at the Service station and listened to me on the Radio. His Variety of Life with family and spreading joy whomever was present. Growing his kind of Young’uns and plants paid off with full life and Happiness all around. That was Jesse. ‘Little’ Joe’ Brown who did the advertising.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that he will be dearly missed. My prayers are with you and your family

  5. My sincerest sympathy for the loss of Jesse. He always treated me with kindness when he would pay a visit to the Garden Center. My prayers are with the entire family.

  6. I had the great pleasure of being this fine man’s nurse for many years. There was never a time that he was in the office the he didn’t say ‘Thank you for taking care of me’. He, his sweet wife and family were some of my favorite patients. I am so sad to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with Betty and the rest of the Israel family. Mr. Israel you will be greatly missed by many.

  7. To Lonnie and family:
    We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Terry and Karen Roberts

  8. We are so sorry to hear of Jesse’s passing. Fond memories of him and the Israel family through out our lives. Our many thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  9. Betty, David, Lonnie, and Janet. I’m very sorry to hear of Jesse’s passing. He was a wonderful man. I know he will be missed, but his legacy will live on. Praying for his family.

  10. David, Lonnie and family, I am sorry to learn of your father’s passing. He was a friend to us when growing up on Pisgah highway. Many good memories.

  11. To all of the Family of Israel, we are thinking of you with pride, one of the first families of WNC. Your daddy was the current patriarch, so now younger ones will be stepping up to fill pretty big shoes. It’s never time to lose a parent, but you will have such sweet, happy memories forever.

    Our affection,
    Cynthia and Michael Justice

  12. Dear Mrs Israel, I am the daughter of Betty Virginia Frady Cole.. Before her passing I carried her to your home for the CHS Class of ’44 reunions on several occasions. She loved you both. You and your family have my deepest sympathy.

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