The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher-Owner

Meet your neighbor Jessie Lynn Scipio of Stronghurst, born in Burlington, IA and raised in rural Carman and rural Stronghurst. Jessie graduated from Southern High School in 1999. She attended Southeastern Community College, then transferred to Monmouth College.

She said,  While attending Monmouth College, I felt the need to join the United States Navy. I served in the Navy from December 2003 until September 2012.

 After boot camp from December 2003 to February 2004, I went to Nuclear Power School outside of Charleston, SC. I was then stationed on USS Kearsarge from December 2004 to December 2009.

 While on the Kearsarge, I worked as a Machinist Mate in the Forward Pit (engine room) for two years and then was transferred to Security for three more years.

 I completed 2 deployments to the Persian Gulf, a joint training deployment to the Caribbean Sea, and a humanitarian deployment to Central and South America.

 During those deployments, I went to 19 different countries. When my time was finally up on the Kearsarge, I transferred to shore duty at Transient Personnel Unit Great Lakes.

After almost three years there, Jessie received an Honorable Discharge as a Machinist Mate Second Class (Surface Warfare) from the Navy due to a massive downsizing they undertook.

 I am just the smallest bit proud of the fact that I have more awards and served longer than any of the men in my family except, perhaps, my mom's cousin Bobby, Jessie said.

 My brother likes to give me grief that he made MM2 quicker than I did, but you can't really take a Bubble Head serious. Lack of fresh air for long periods of time affects their heads. I am now employed at the Henderson County Courthouse as Chief Deputy County Clerk. I have enjoyed coming back home and getting to interact with the people of my county.

Jessie enjoys making things in her free time. Anything from jewelry, parachute cord items, wine racks, or any other project or idea that comes into her head.

 I just finished making my youngest sister s wedding jewelry and am working with my mom to make the belt to go with her wedding dress. When it is nice out, you might see me in the yard playing with my husband and my French Bulldogs, Elliot and Pixie and our Chow, Sophie.

Jessie is also a part of the American Legion Auxiliary. The Auxiliary does things like raise money for Veterans that are in need in the VA hospitals, spending time with veterans in retirement homes, and sending care packages for deployed military personnel, just to name a few.

Her parents are Randy and Kathy Grafton of Stronghurst.  Dad works third shift at Champion Spark Plug and farms during the day. He also finds time to participate in a bowling league and his work golf league. And somehow he still finds time to help out his kids, family and friends when they need it. I don't know a harder working man than my dad.

My mom takes care of the home and helps my dad a lot with farm stuff. She also makes jewelry in her free time. She taught me a lot of what I know when it comes to jewelry making and crafting. She can cook better than most people I know and her pies are the must have at any family event. I am also proud to say she is over 6 years in remission from Ocular Melanoma.

Jessie has a brother, Clayton Grafton who lives in Brighton, CO just outside of Denver.  After serving in the Navy as a Machinist Mate on the submarine USS Providence for five years, he landed a job through a Navy buddy as a mechanic on down hole equipment for drilling oil at a company called Schlumberger.

Jessie has two sisters. Corie Lusch lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Brock.

 In February, 2013 they welcomed little Hezekiah to the family. He is growing into an inquisitive, intelligent little red-headed boy. Corie works at School Outfitters as Senior Data Management Coordinator and Brock is employed by Fidelitone Logistics as a driver and Xerox installer.

 My youngest sister, Brittney Grafton, lives just outside of Smithshire, IL with her fiancÚ, Brice Jack. They have an upcoming wedding in August. Brittney works for Head Start in Monmouth. Brice farms and runs Jack's Skid Loading business with his dad.

Her grandparents are the late Bob and Kate McGraw of Gladstone, the late Martha Grafton of Oquawka, and the late Melvin Grafton of Carman.

 We just lost my Pa (Bob McGraw) this last February. That has been a very large loss in our lives. I was very close to him and miss sharing sea stories from both of our time in the Navy and teasing back and forth with him.

 My grandparents showed me the strength of true, lifetime love. My grandpa took care of my grandma through her long illness with a devotion I have never seen before.

 I have missed my grandma Kate for several years now when she couldn t talk to us and then after she passed. I was probably the closest to her of all my grandparents. She was the first person I told when Henry asked me to marry him and she kept it a secret until I could tell everyone.

Me My grandma Martha took my mom into the family like one of her own. I feel like grandma Martha got the baby Kathy she had lost, returned to her in the form of my mom. Grandma made sure she saw every single one of her kids and grandkids one last time before she passed.

 My favorite memories of my grandpa Melvin were when I was very little and he let me and some of the other kids ride on his old Allis Chalmers tractors in parades.

 I met Henry Scipio in the last place that I would have looked for a boyfriend, let alone a husband Boot camp!

 We were in the same Division together. It wasn t love at first site. I didn t like him at all when I first met him and he says the same. I think we were both trying to keep people at a distance to get through boot camp as quickly and hassle free as possible.

 As luck would have it, we ended up with the same watch rotations and got to know each other. We kept in contact after that and ended up dating.

 Henry ended up stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI on the USS Salvor (salvage ship) and I was sent to Norfolk, VA on the USS Kearsarge (amphibious assault ship).

 We were married in a hibiscus garden in Honolulu on December 4, 2004. It was a little sooner than we had planned, but due to deployment schedules, we decided that was the time.

 We had to work hard at our relationship through seven deployments between the two of us and living on opposite sides of the world, but we got through it and are better for it. Luckily Henry s ship was decommissioned in 2006 and he was transferred to the USS Enterprise (aircraft carrier) in Norfolk, VA. His last deployment was to the Persian Gulf at the same time that I was deployed there.

Our ships had a photo op with USS Bonhomme Richard one day. Henry was on the bridge manning the Big Eyes (huge binoculars) when he saw me on the flight deck of the Kearsarge and then down on her gallery decks. That was a hard day, but when I got home from that deployment, Henry got to greet me on the pier for the first time for either of us.

Henry was done with his enlistment and soon enrolled at ECPI College of Technology. He currently works at Winegard in Burlington as an Electronics Engineer.

 Henry and I are working on making a home here in Henderson County. It s a nice quiet place to live after the cities we have lived in and being gone while serving our country.