Jesse “Komo” Keesis Obituary

October 19, 2009 –

Jesse “Komo” Keesis was born Jan. 13, 1935 on the Kickapoo Indian Reservation at Horton, Kan., the son of Jesse and Dora (Williams) Keesis. He was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

He passed away suddenly on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 at the Shenandoah Medical Center at the age of 74 years, 6 months and 22 days.

Jesse, known to everyone as Komo, his Indian name, attended school on the common land through the eighth grade.

During his teenage years he lived in the Imogene area and has spent the last 50 years in Shenandoah.

On Feb. 7, 1959, Komo was united in marriage to Mary Etta Hall in Nebraska City, Neb. This union was blessed with four children.

Komo was employed many years at Mt. Arbor Nurseries. Later he worked for Farmaster, Eaton Corporation and Lisle Corporation.

After his retirement, Komo and Mary were self-employed with Keesis Lawn Service.

Komo enjoyed sports. He coached little league baseball and played a lot of basketball. He also started the Elkettes girls’ softball team in Shenandoah.

Whenever he had the chance, Komo would go see the Harlem Globetrotters. He often got out on the floor and threw some balls with them, as well as the Harlem Magicians.

But most of all, Komo enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. You would often see him sitting in his driveway on a hot summer day.

His parents; five sisters, Sophie, Shane, Nettie, Wishkeno, Florence Gibson, Corolene Potts, Franceline Masqua; an infant brother; and an infant granddaughter preceded him in death.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Etta Keesis of Shenandoah; his children, Jesse Wayne Keesis of Winner, S.D., Tamara Kay Gage and her husband Kerry of Clarinda, Rodney lee Keesis of Shenandoah, Larry Dean Keesis and his wife Erin of La Place, La; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and a sister Marjorie Pahmahmie of Horton, Kan.; along with many other relatives and friends.

Visitation with the family took place on Aug. 7 at the Kirsch Funeral Chapel in Shenandoah.

A Drum Ceremony was held Sunday, Aug. 9 at the Kickapoo Community Building in Horton, Kan.

Burial was in the Mason Cemetery at Horton, Kan.

Memorials are suggested to the Shenandoah Parks and Recreation Sports Programs.

The Kirsch Funeral Chapel in Shenandoah and the Mercer Funeral Home in Holton, Kan. assisted the family with arrangements.

(Courtesy of Kirsch Funeral Chapel, Shenandoah, Iowa)