Jesse Nielsen Overgard passed away at his home in Boise, Idaho on Saturday, February 13th, 2021. He had just turned 87 and was surrounded by his loving family as were his wishes and our privilege. His big and caring heart had worn out.
Jesse was born on February 8th, 1934 in Boise, Idaho to Elias and Myrtle Overgard. He was the last of five children: sister Marie, twin brothers Wilford and Willard, and brother Richard. Always a hard worker, Jesse started at a young age selling newspapers on the street corners of downtown Boise, shining shoes and selling concessions at the ball parks. These skills would prove most useful later in his adult life. Jesse was an exceptional athlete, playing varsity ball and track at Boise High School while in junior high. All 6 feet 6 inches of him enlisted in the Navy in March of 1951. He had just turned 17. He proudly served on the USS Tawasa during the Korean War. A proud American whose father had immigrated to the United States from Denmark prior to WWI, Jesse also served his country with pride as did all his brothers. Jesse was honorably discharged from the Navy in January of 1955. He returned to Boise and joined the Boise City Police Department as a patrolman.
He met and married Beverly Jean Faubion, the love of his life, in 1956. Jesse had promised her father Rex, “I will take good care of her”. Thus always keeping his promises, they would have been married for 65 years come spring. A daughter, Nancy, was born of this union in 1956 and a son, John, in 1962. Together, they would share a lifetime of adventures.
Jesse went on to become a Sergeant in the Idaho State Police in 1965 and was assigned to Governor Robert E. Smylie as “Assistant to the Governor” until his term ended in ’67. It was from there that his skills in selling and influencing people were launched. He would work for the 3M Company for the rest of his working years in Government Affairs. Territory changes would take the family to Helena, Montana, back to Boise, Idaho, on to Sacramento, California, east to Denver, Colorado, and finally back to Boise, Idaho in 1982. His territory would include the western half of the United States and he traveled extensively. The State Houses would become his home away from home during the legislative sessions. He formed many lasting friendships wandering the marbled hallways. Jesse never met a stranger. His big stature made him easy to recognize and he was quick with a handshake. He was extremely loyal and dedicated to 3M, surviving two bouts of cancer to get back to work lobbying. He loved it and his family! He was especially excited when his children moved back to the home town and everyone was all together again. He rarely missed a game his grandson played in or an event that he was part of. He was so proud of his family. We knew that. We were so proud of him, a self -made man who had accomplished so much and provided for us so well.
After retirement in 1995, Jesse was appointed to the Idaho Board of Podiatry by Governor Batt as the public member and served until 2015. He kept active with the Idaho Retired Law Enforcement Association and the Idaho Peace Officers Association. Jesse enjoyed golfing with his buddies, bird hunting with friends, trips to Montana, salmon fishing, camping, boating, but most of all, time with his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle.
Jesse is survived by his wife, Beverly; daughter Nancy (Jeff); son John (Janene); grandson Matt (Allison); step-grandchildren Kyle, Krissi, and Jamie; and many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are under the direction of Cloverdale Funeral Home. Services will be held on Monday, February 22nd, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Cloverdale Funeral Home, 1200 N Cloverdale Road, Boise, ID 83713. A private viewing will be held at 10:00 AM.
The family wishes to thank the tender loving care provided by Harrison Hope Hospice and MultiCare Home Health, the dedicated team of physicians and nurses at St. Luke’s who aided Jesse through the years, and Dr. Tracy Morgan, our family care provider who guided us all in supporting his final wishes.
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