Remembering Jesse P. Schaudies, Sr.

More than an Advocate: A Guardian, Teacher & Friend

By Stacey Atkinson

Former South Carolina Chairman of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, Jesse Schaudies dedicated his life to building hope, speaking out & creating opportunities for those he lovingly served. Jesse understood at an early age the importance of living in healthy families, putting food on the table, teaching values and manners to the children and providing a roof over one’s head. He will be remembered as a compassionate, well-educated World War II veteran from a small southern town in Georgia but most Coalition of Juvenile Justice family members will remember Jesse as a true southern gentleman with a generous spirit, respected from Puerto Rico to Alaska, and an undeniable personal presence in heart, voice and stature. As Kay Anderson, a close family friend described, “Jesse was a regal man and loved and respected by all. He never met a stranger and always reached out with a helping hand”. Once Jesse know it was the right thing to do he would follow it through to the end. 

Jesse P. Schaudies, Sr., 86, died April 29, 2014, in Raleigh N.C. After working 36 years with Scott Paper Company, Jesse and Dele, his wife of 61 years, moved to Beaufort, SC, where they resided for 21 years, before moving to the Cypress of Raleigh. South Carolina, particularly Beaufort, was never the same when the Schaudies Family moved. We knew he was a “Gift”, like his Biblical name means, we just did not know how much he would impact our lives. His daughter, Carolyn Schaudies Morton, the youngest of four, reflected that the two words that best celebrate a man like her daddy was Thank YOU. As she so eloquently shared, “We thank you for teaching and role modeling how to be confident and competitive and still be almost satisfied with our best, to be encouraging and supportive of individual natures and desires to make a difference and to be humble.” Her Daddy and our friend, Jesse, had innate ability to uncover the talents and gifts of each individual and bring them together, seamlessly, for the common good. He was the go to guy when something needed to done; he’s the one who would greet you with a huge hug and a smile that could brighten your day or maybe shake your hand with that crushing grip, a pat on the back, or just a simple show of consideration & time. Sometimes it was little things that made the difference; a case of donated toilet paper for kids in prison, lunch at a favorite restaurant, a bag of peanuts or a long walk to a hot dog stand or ice cream parlor.

Jesse's service to the community was always a priority. He was made an Honorary Citizen of New Orleans in 1976. He was the President of the American Logistics Agency (liaison between business and Government) working closely with the Commissary network for the military. Jesse was a Trustee and Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church and served as a Presbytery representative at the annual General Assembly Meeting. In Beaufort, SC, Jesse was a founding member of the local Habitat for Humanity. He was extremely active in the Boys and Girls Club of Beaufort, serving as President and having significant responsibility for the construction of a new facility for the Club. He also received the Man and Youth Award in 1995. Jesse served several years on the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, also serving as Chairman of the Board. He was very passionate for the youth of his community, serving as The Chair of the South Carolina Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, 1996-2000, and was a Guardian Ad Litem during this period. The City of Beaufort recognized his generosity by celebrating him with the Community Service of the Year Award in 2001. Jesse was an active Rotarian for over 25 years. Jesse is a Paul Harris Fellow, and served as President of the Beaufort Rotary Association, 1992-1993. He was the recipient of the Rotary Bowl for Distinguished Civil service in 1994. In 1998, he was justifiably proud to be South Carolina's first recipient of Rotary International's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award, which had only been bestowed upon 123 world-wide recipients at the time.