Jesse Cameron Williams
Apr. 15, 1984 - Oct 13, 2007

 

Jesse's MySpace
Eclectic Collection
YouTube Video
Eulogy
Reception Pictures
Medical Examiner
Grave Site

I apologize for how long this has taken to get these things posted. But nearly a year and a half later, this is still done fighting back tears.

Jesse was a vibrant young man of twenty-three when he passed away peacefully in his sleep. We had no clue there was something seriously wrong with him. He needed to go in for surgery for an incisional hernia from his heart surgery. That was too routine to raise any concern.

Browse this site and you can remember him, I will promise to keep it up to date and add occasional tidbits.


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Jesse's MySpace

It took until May 2009 before I was able to figure out how to make Jesse's MySpace account visible to everyone. With the help if my dear friend Kurt, I opened his account so that everyone can see it. Dannielle made further changes so that people can see the remembrances that have been left for him.

Please add your own, if you wish.

Jesse's MySpace


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Jesse's Eclectic Collection

Dannielle made up a couple things to remember Jesse by. One was a CD of Jesse's favorite music--"An Eclectic Collection". If you would like a copy of it, get hold of me and I will send you one.

The tracks are:

  1. G-Love & Special Sauce – Beautiful
  2. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Crossroad
  3. Slightly Stoopid – Ain't Got A lot of Money
  4. Santana – Black Magic Woman
  5. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
  6. Can't Hang – Bird River Grove
  7. Neil Young – Old Man
  8. Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry
  9. Sublime – What I Got (Reprise)
  10. Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee
  11. Lamb Of God – Laid to Rest
  12. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Gin & Juice
  13. Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky
  14. Pimpas Paradise – Damian "jr. Gong" Marley
  15. Eric Clapton – Tears In Heaven
  16. Incubus – Wish You Were Here


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Jesse's Video

She also made the video to the right that is posted on YouTube. I am not sure how long they leave them there, so I am sorry if it turns into a dead link.

His obituary is here.


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Jesse's Eulogy

Without a doubt the most difficult thing I have done to date was to deliver Jesse's eulogy. Not only because he was my son, my first born, but also since there was a lot of strife between him and me. I wanted the eulogy to show my love to him and to make it something to he would say, "Word. Dad that was me" I am not sure I made that level of credit but I did my best and was able to deliver the piece without falling apart.

Following are my notes to keep me on track. I think I did a lot of ad lib, but mostly stuck to script. Since Jesse was into music so much, I had the selected cuts play at the shown intervals, they were songs Jesse loved and gave me a break to pull myself back together. The ones I have embedded in this page are close to the ones played. Old Man, Gin And Juice are close, but they are the video versions with a little extra thrown in at the beginning.

<<Play the Jack Johnson CD while people are filing in>>
Thank you, all, for coming here this afternoon to remember Jesse.
Many of you know me, some of you do not. Jesse is my son.
I am pretty sure you all knew Jesse; some better than others. Some of you knew his traits quite well and may wonder where they came from. Some of you hung around our house enough that you know where those odd traits came from; the oneís you did not know their genesis you might have been afraid to ask knowing a candid reply would be on the way possibly resulting in "Too Much Information". So I want to spend a few moments with you giving you a rundown of Jesseís defining early years. The years prior to us moving here in 1997 and when entered school at Skyridge.
Jesse was born April 15 1984, our first child. Jesse was our most difficult new born... it took almost 6 weeks before he slept though the night. Yes, six weeks, those of you with babies can express your jealousy later. You are probably still wishing for the peaceful nightís rest. He was potty trained early, walked early and excelled at everything he put his mind to.
Music...
As you all know Jesse loved music. This was very evident to us from the times before Jesse could even talk. At that point we lived on ten acres on Whidbey Island without water, power or phone. Around Jesseís first birthday we finally got power and one of our first tasks was to hook up our stereo. We lived in a 12x55 trailer called "cracker box palace" and it was bit of a struggle to get everything hooked up. The first song he heard was Janis Joplin belting out "Me and Bobbie McGee" off Janisí Greatest hits album (yes, actual vinyl). Jesse was bouncing around on the gold sectional that many of you have sat your butts on in Jesseís apartment (Yes, that same couch that many of you have also heard me say hundreds of time "Jesse, would you just throw that thing out!?!?") After the track was done, I had to re-arrange something and I turned the stereo off to make the adjustment. Jesse still dancing and singing on the couch, suddenly stopped and screamed. As you might guess this was the start of his broad and eclectic taste in music. Janus to Tupac, Zeppelin to Jack Johnson, Emenem to Tom Waits. Where Jesse went so did music. What Jesse was about to play was going to be a surprise to you. Jesse, as with his brother and sister, knew lyrics to songs that would baffle teachers and bewilder friends.
From his MySpace: "So... music is my passion. I live, breath and speak through the music I listen to. Lyrics, rifts and beats make everything in life better. I listen to nearly everything, mainly anything I can connect to, but I find myself listening to all genres of music at some point in time. Without music I do not know how I could have made or will make it through the tough times that I undoubtedly run into in my venture through life..."
<<Track 1: Me and Bobby McGee >>
Have you every wondered how Jesse be so unbothered by noise?
On that ten acres we had to haul water, feed animal and cut wood for heat. The latter entailed the summer long ritual of finding and cutting trees, spitting and stacking wood. Jesse was too young to wield a chainsaw so he was usually on the stacking end of the chore. I think Jesse actually enjoyed stacking wood. He and his mother would take and load back to the house and stack it and come back to get another load in the truck that I had been cutting. He would be smiling and proud of the work he had done, but since I was rarely as fast as they were he would take a nap until another load was ready. This most likely lead to Jesseís ability to sleep anywhere. As I mentioned, Jesse slept through the night for about 6 weeks on, but there were times (teething, illness, etc.) when any child does not want to go to sleep. While other parents would throw their kids in a car and ride around lulling their babies to sleep, all we have to do was to start up a chainsaw. Jesse (and subsequently any of our children) would fall fast asleep. I am sure many of you have seen Jesse fall fast asleep (or sleep in) places regardless of the noise level and wonder how the heck he did that. He had good practice.
The outdoors.
I am not sure I have to say anymore than we lived on ten wooded (and eventually later 20) acres, where, if we included a surrounding half mile circle, we might get the house count up to ten houses. This was 80% wooded and Jesse quickly developed the childhood knack for climbing trees, building forts and turning what appears to be only a set of crooked sticks into guns, grenades, animals, people, houses, forts, and whatever else he needed to fulfill the odyssey that was brewing in his brain. Tammi and I more than once had to find the little rascal as he had been silent a little too long (sure sign of trouble brewing) and have to calmly respond to the "Up here!" as he was at the top of some spindly 75 foot tree.
Soccer.
Jesse was also an extremely good soccer player. Yes, he did 5 years of soccer on the team that Tammi coached with Tom Peterson. In 1994 their team became a traveling team and laid shame to many of those "mainlander" teams that year.
BMXing, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking he loved the outdoors. Little did we know that he was so impeded by that "benign" heart mummer (which turned out to be a 3x5.5 cm hole in his heart), but after that was repaired in early 2006 many of you saw the big change in Jesse. Not just weight and color, but his increased activity outside doing things he could do with his new found oxygen. Hiking with Garrett, Jason and many other friends, Mountain biking with Garrett, out of doors was his second passion. A little sun and couple friends and Jesse was out.
<<Track 2: Sweet Inspiration [Actually Can't Hang, Bird River Grove Listen in another window] >>
No strangers...
Jesse was an "everybody" person, he did not look at who you are but what you are. From a very young age he knew no stranger—I doubt he had any enemies. This was no more evident than when he would do something related to my work, where a lot of people were strangers—some were even down right scary, even to me. But Jesse was at ease. He would go to the bathroom wash his hands, come back out, shake with his wet hands of one of my superiors and say, "don't you hate it when you pee on your hands?" I would cringe, everyone else would laugh and later I would get complements on how enjoyable Jesse and his siblings were. Actually I am not sure Jesse knew what a hand shake was. I have seen him do them... on occasion... don't remember the last time... Jesse hugged. He would meet you for first time and maybe shake your hand, but when you parted it was a hug.
Family...
Jesse loved his family. Although it was sometimes that was hard to see, he really did. But before I go into that letís try to define family. There, of course was Tammi, Dannielle, Garrett and myself, but then you have to add in his two other sisters—Vannah and Tori; his foster siblings—Nikki and John; oh and the other brothers Josh and Josh, his list might continue. But for his nuclear family he often told me that being a big-brother-roll-model was his hardest job. He might fight with Garrett and Dannielle (or Nikki and John) but soon the clouds would clear and they would once again be a single functioning unit, laughter and cajoling one another.
Jesse also had a couple of tattoos but the one he was missing amazed me that was the one with the heart that said "Mom". He was not afraid to tell anyone straight and simple... "My Momís my best friend". Sunday our neighbor, whom we hardly know, and knows Jesse even less, came to our house to tell us that. This is the best example of Jesseís unabashed love for his mother and family and willingness to let it be known
From his MySpace: "My Family is the most important thing to me. I am a family guys and I always will be. Although I find it really hard to convince them (my Fam) of it, or maybe I just can't convince myself that they realize how important they are to me..."
Jesse, We know that.
<<Track 3: Old Man PLEASE increase volume about 40%>>
Jesseís life ended in a mixture of peace and turmoil. Tammi and I knew that something was wrong, but that will forever remain a secret from us. He passed in his sleep and did not appear to have struggled or suffered any pain. Jesse was not religious, none of the family is and I am only marginally attached. Jesse I hope your soul finds peace and happiness.
<<Track 4: Spirit in the Sky>>
I have taken enough of your time and so I would like to ask others of you to say something about Jesse, your thoughts and remembrances, something funny he said or did. You do not need to come up here maybe just stand and talk loud so we can all hear.
<<Invite others people speak with no music >> [Other that spoke were "Mac" McGowen, Savannah Roger, Doug Dennis and Todd Grover.]
If no one else has anything that they would like to share publicly, I would like to thank you all again for coming. Please remember that Jesse has a memorial fund at Lifeline Connections where all donations will be used here in Vancouver for education and counseling of people on substance and alcohol abuse.
Also immediately following the services there will be a celebration of Jesseís life at the Wildlife Lodge on the north side of Lacamas Lake. Some of you may better know that as across from the "old boat ramp" or the Rod and Gun Club. There is enough food there to feed most of Camas and we have more pictures of Jesse. Please come and help us remember our son.
<< As everyone is leaving Track 5: Gin and Juice [This is not a family rated song, but it was a lot about Jesse. Many of his friends began to laugh when they heard this being played. I did not have the guts to play it solo like the others.] >>

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Reception

As mentioned above, we had a reception immediately after the service at the Wildlife Lodge on Lacamas Lake. We had plenty a food and a nice celebration of Jesse's life. For his twenty-five birthday (tomorrow, 4/15/2009) I wanted to add the placards from that reception but I have not been able to get a real good pictures. I hope these will suffice.

Click on any of the pictures for an 800K version that you will be able to zoom in on. I do not have a great place to take these pictures so they are a little fuzzy when you zoom in on them.

His card from everyone.

Life in pictures one.

Life in pictures two.

Life in pictures three.


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Medical Examiner

It took three months for the Medical Examiners Report to come back. As it turns out, Jesse's patch in his heart had developed some scar tissue that impeded his central conductive system and Jesse's heart simply stopped beating. He passed peacefully in his sleep about a half hour after going to bed.

Jesse's cremains are buried in the Bayview Cemetery outside Langley, Washington. His grave site is marked on this image (in case you want to visit).


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October 2008

For the first anniversary of his passing, Tammi and I went up to the island to clean up his site and plant some flowers. Following are some pictures of that trip.

The Bayview Cemetery lets you dress up the site and on this trip we planted a rhododendron that Cathy and Greg got him and an azalea that we got him. We also added a little vase that you can use to place fresh cut flowers.