Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Private eye Eldon Jesse ’71 ran his San Francisco detective agency out of his home, allowing him to maximize time in his favorite role: dad. Eldon grew up on his family’s farm in Oregon and attended Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, later studying economics at Santa Clara. He was drafted into the U.S. Army right after graduation. Thankfully, he saw no action and came back with just one tattoo. In 1972, Eldon moved to San Francisco, where he realized that he was in no way cut out for an office job and became a private investigator soon after. In 1986, he met his wife Ann Marie. They had three children, Alana, Erika, and Brian. An active member of St. Brendan’s Church, Eldon was a man of unwavering faith, truly believing “blessed are the meek.” He loved animals, and would go out of his way to protect any and all living creatures from harm. In his 50s, he became dedicated to coaching youth basketball. And in his 60s, he fell in love with rap music, and could often be heard washing the car to Kendrick Lamar. He spent much of his free time giving back to the community, either by volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul’s soup kitchen, at a women’s shelter, or by driving neighbors to the airport. He died May 15, 2020. As an avid obituary-reader for their forced brevity, let’s hope he would have appreciated this one.