DOWNEY - John Lee "Jack" Bessent, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army during 1943-45, has passed away from a heart attack.He was born in Electra, Tex., on Sept. 8, 1918 to Downey residents Roy Perry and Frankie Lee Bessent. After graduating from Downey High School, Bessent attended one year of college studying Liberal Arts and took college classes in Fire Science and Business Law. He served in the U.S. Army, taking part in the Normandy, Ardennes and Rhineland campaigns. He received Good Conduct and Victory medals, and received a European, African and Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Inducted into the Masonic Lodge on Sept. 8, 1945, he won several ski medals in the Fireman Olympics held yearly. He is survived by one daughter, Christine Adele Schlager; brother-in-law, George Robert Marsh; and grandchildren Anne Elizabeth Engle, Dana Kay Laurie and Corbett Lee Laurie. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Jane Bessent; and two sisters, Dorothy MacDonald and Bette Greenamyer. Bessent was cremated, per his wishes. Interment will take place tomorrow at 12 p.m. at Downey Cemetery. There will be no formal service, but family and friends will gather at 1 p.m. on the third floor of Downey Masonic Lodge located at Downey Avenue and 3rd Street. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Masonic Lodge, 8244 E. 3rd St., Downey CA 90241.
********** Published: April 9, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 51