Grip and location scout Jessie Anne Harring Deats died June 12 at her home in Whitefish, Mont., after a four-year battle with breast cancer She was 49.
Wisconsin native earned a college degree in special education and moved to Montana to teach. Her life took an unexpected turn when she tutored the children of key grip Dickey Deats during filming of 1979’s “Heaven’s Gate.” She and Deats married in 1981.
After they were married, Jessie gave up teaching and became a grip so she could work with her husband. They worked together on films including “Table for Five,” “Jinxed!” and “The River.”
Jessie Deats went on to found Glacier Films, which handled location scouting and production coordination for the Montana area.
She is survived by her husband; her son; her parents; two stepchildren; two brothers; and three step-grandchildren.
Donations may be made to the Wings Foundation, (406) 752-1790, (contact Jennifer Schaffner); or to Christ Lutheran Church, 233 Kalispell Ave., Whitefish, MT 59937, (406) 862-2615.