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Jessie Lea (Downs) Cabe

June 28, 1927 ~ September 11, 2022 (age 95)


Jessie Lea Downs Cabe, 95, passed away on September 11, 2022. Born June 28, 1927, in the Rose Creek Community in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Charlie and Rosa Houston Downs.

She graduated from Franklin High School in 1945 and attended Berea College, where she graduated in 1949 with a degree in Home Economics. She married Leon Cabe, a childhood neighbor in 1950. They returned to the Rose Creek Community soon afterwards and lived the remainder of their lives there. Leon passed away in 2010.

Jessie worked in the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Macon County, retiring in 1985 after 30 years of service. In her work she was dedicated to serving Macon County helping to organize programs including, 4-H clubs, Extension Homemakers groups, the Macon County Fair and Maco Crafts among others. For her efforts she was named as a Macon Matriarch by the Women’s History Trail in March 2022 in recognition of her many contributions to the community. She was a long-time member of Snow Hill United Methodist Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher, UMW president and working tirelessly to support the church.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Floyd, Troy and Leroy Downs.

She is survived by daughters Peggy Kuppers and husband Bob of Franklin; Susan McCaskill and husband Kenneth of Franklin, and Jan Inman and husband Brian of Maryville, TN. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Amanda Kuppers, Lauren Hickman and husband Josh, Susannah Kuppers, Brett McCaskill and wife Morgan, Harrison Inman and Victoria Inman; and three great-grandchildren Alora and Charlie Hickman,  and Sadie Catherine McCaskill.

A private graveside service will be held for the family. A memorial service for family and friends will be held 2:00pm Saturday October 1, 2022 at Snow Hill United Methodist Church. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Snow Hill UMC Cemetery Fund c/o Kenneth McCaskill, 2031 Rose Creek Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Cabe family. Online condolences can be made at

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Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Jessie

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October 1, 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Snow Hill United Methodist Church

Memorial Service
October 1, 2022

2:00 PM
Snow Hill United Methodist Church

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