Town mourns Asda’s Jessie

Jessie McGowan (blue jacket, right) in her former commanding role of 'greeter' at Motherwell's Asda store.
Jessie McGowan (blue jacket, right) in her former commanding role of 'greeter' at Motherwell's Asda store.
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Motherwell’s best-known store worker has died, aged 86, prompting heartfelt tributes from her many local admirers.

Jessie McGowan, nee Shearer, was for many years the “greeter” at the town’s Asda store, and for thousands of people was the friendly face they invariably saw on shopping trips.

Jessie, of New Stevenson flagged up special deals with a personal touch and was the unofficial “face” of Asda - the person everybody knew and liked.

She had worked at Asda for 23 years - and had been working since the age of 14 - and although well pastretirement age had no thought of retiral.

Store manager Mark Allan said: “She had a real ability to make people smile and was always getting the best out of those around her.

“Jessie also did incredible work raising money for charities regionally and nationally and will be sadly missed.”

Colleague Gillian Devine said: “Most people will remember her as the person who met her at the entrance, but she also worked in the clothing department, and was very well thought of by everyone who came into contact with her.

“She had a great sense of humour and could always raise a smile - and was the best person to work with.

“The store will not seem the same without her, and I know she will be very badly missed by all of the staff and the many customers she knew individually.”

Also sad at news of her death was admirer Pamela McLellan, who wrote: “She was one in a million and deserves for her life to be celebrated and her memory to be shared. She will be missed by all.”

She added: “We all feel like we’ve lost a family member - she was so caring, thoughtful and loving.”

Jessie’s funeral will be on Friday at the Co-operative funeral parlour in Motherwell’s Windmillhill Street at 9.15am.

She passed away on Sunday (July 28) after several months of poor health, after first falling ill in December - following which many colleagues and customers repeatedly asked after her.

As former “greeter” at the store she was known personally to many hundreds of regular shoppers at Motherwell’s Asda store.

Jessie had continued to occupy a unique position in the store’s daily life long after workers in comparable jobs would have retired to enjoy a leisurely retirement - but invariably made it clear she had no intentions of taking it easy.

It’s expected the funeral service will be a celebration of her remarkable contribution to local life, reflecting typical comments mourning her passing.

She leaves a son, Alex, grandsons Craig and Stewart and two grandchildren.

A tribute page to Jessie has been set up {http:// http://www.dearjessie.org|here|DJ}