Jesse J Perez passed away on Friday November 27, 2020, he was 96 years old.
I have known Mr. Perez for many years and one day a family member told me that we were cousins with the Perez family. Once I told Jesse we were cousins, like me he was delighted, and he would greet me “hello cuz” whenever we would run into each other.
He was a retired Chief Petty Officer for the U.S Navy and served in World War ll. He lived in the Floreciente Neighborhood most of his life and had been a community leader since the 1960’s.
In the 60’s he initiated the GI Forum Moline chapter for Hispanic Veterans. Through the GI forum, he and his colleagues were able to help get a grant to form the Hero Street, U.S.A park in Silvis, IL.
Jesse was the original President of the first Floreciente Neighborhood Association. And he was the Floreciente Neighborhood’s most passionate advocate.
His love for the community was only surpassed by his love for family, especially his grandsons Nick and Alex, of whom he was most proud of. Jesse would encourage all that he met to be their better selves and provide his wisdom for guidance.
Thank you for everything you did for our community “Cuz” and thank you for your service!