Bette M. JessBette Marie Swanson was born February 25, 1931, in Fargo, ND, to Charlotte (Footer) Swanson. She was raised in Fargo and graduated from Central High School in 1949. Bette worked as a telephone operator at The Forum for a time. She was married to John Marks Jess Jr., on December 20, 1952, in Fargo, and they lived in Cooperstown, ND, and Goodridge, MN, where John taught school. They returned to Fargo briefly before making their home in Moorhead, MN, in 1962.
John died June 9, 2011, and Bette continued to reside in Moorhead. She died Sunday, February 17, 2013, at Essentia Health, Fargo, at eighty-one years of age.