Giselle Antionette Harring was born May 17, 1923 in Hungary, the daughter of a diplomat. She spent her formative years in boarding school in Switzerland following the death of her mother. Jessie endured years in the Nazi concentration camp, Ghetto Theresienstadt, where her life was spared due to her medical knowledge and valuable work in a hospital facility. Jessie’s release on May 10th 1945 brought her to the beginning of a new life.
She worked, returned to school, and in a few years, made her way to Toronto, Canada where she completed a Master’s degree in microbiology. On a weekend trip to Chicago, she met Donald Calvin Harring, the man of her dreams. Don will always be remembered for saying, “I’ll take the one with the accent.” They married and settled in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where they raised 3 children (Jessie Anne, Donald Calvin, Charles Andrew). Avid interests in sailing and skiing brought the Harring family to Whitefish, Montana in 1970, where they all skied the Big Mountain and sailed.
Jessie dedicated her life to volunteer work primarily with North Valley Hospital Auxiliary and Whitefish Soroptimist. She was also very active in the Big Mountain Ski Club and as a ski ambassador with the National Forest service on Big Mountain. She was named First Lady of Whitefish and was recently inducted in to the Big Mountain Heritage Foundation (Skiers Hall of Fame.)
Jessie is preceded in death by her husband Don, daughter Jessie Anne and son-in-law Dicky Deats. She is survived by her sons, Donald Calvin Harring Jr of Brush Prairie, WA, (wife Martha), and Charles Andrew Harring of Whitefish, seven grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.
Her strength, resilience and positive attitude carried her through life. You’d see a smile on her face whether she was swimming, skiing, sailing or entertaining friends. On her eightieth birthday and on a few thereafter, she went skydiving. A celebration of her life will be held this summer in Whitefish.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Humane Society of Northwest Montana in Jessie’s name.