Jessica Ann Rising of Whitney, NE, passed away on March 28, 2020 due to complications from Multiple Sclerosis. She was 36 years old.
Due to the Corona Virus and current subsequent restrictions, memorial services will be held at a later date and announced at such time.
In lieu of flowers, Jessica’s family is asking for donations made in her name to the MS Foundation.
Jessica was born in Colorado and grew up on a working cattle ranch located deep in the mountains outside of Meeker, Colorado. This upbringing and exposure to the western lifestyle provided a rich and wholesome childhood, simultaneously installing in Jessica both a nature of gentleness and true grit.
She learned early to be respectful, kind, gracious, and tenacious, all of which stayed with her for the remainder of her life. She was surrounded by and deeply loved animals and the outdoors, in particular horseback riding. No horse was too big, no mountain too tall; she was, in the most real and basic sense, fearless.
Jessica would tackle any task that was thrown at her with an “I can” attitude. Conveniently, “impossible” was simply not a word that existed in her vocabulary.
Although small in stature, Jessica was big in spirit; nothing was undoable. She was never afraid or embarrassed to try anything, and was rarely less than excellent at anything that she did attempt.
Part of this was aptitude, while much of it was her complete commitment and refusal to give up. She poured every once of herself into every task, and it showed. Jessica’s favorite words were “I got this!”, and she truly did.
As a child, Jessica was pure joy and fire wrapped up in a petite package. She was easy going, kind, and extremely intelligent. Jessica never knew a stranger, which was appropriate as people were naturally drawn to her.
In her teenage years, Jessica found great joy in cultivating many lifelong friendships. She had an insatiable thirst for learning and breezed through school academically in her typical bold and unstoppable manner. Her tenacity was a constant in her life; only her heart rivaled in size her strength of spirit.
With a long slew of friends and a contagious smile, she attacked life with a bravery and zeal that was hard to describe and nearly impossible to duplicate. She was always ready for adventure, whether that was riding 4-wheelers, road trips, or changing a transmission in her car with a ” how to” book.
Jessica never took life too seriously and was so painfully easy to love; anyone and everyone that met her instantly did, it was genuinely impossible not to.
Jessica met and married her husband Jerome in her early twenties, and the couple built a life together in western Nebraska. Soon after they began growing their family, a task Jessica approached with her standard determination and unmatched sense of humor. She loved being a wife and mother more than anything else, and truly lived for her family.
After Jessica became a mother, her true calling became evident and the entirety of her life from that point forward was devoted to her children. She worked tirelessly in becoming the absolute best version of herself that she could be for them.
Jessica was extremely quick witted and had the most incredible sense of humor, traits that are both lovingly mirrored in her children. She had a very strong faith and truly loved attending Church, and shared that with them. She loved them fiercely and made it an utmost priority to be involved in any and every activity that they desired.
She was always ready and willing to help in any way necessary, and rarely if ever said no to helping anyone. Without doubt, if you needed her, she was there without question.
Jessica was never afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believed in, but she was also unwaveringly loyal and took on every challenge with an infectious smile.
Jessica was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis as a young adult, but she refused to let her disease define her. She was incredibly brave and faced her diagnosis with tremendous courage. She never let it prevent her from living life in the way she saw fit and did anything she put her mind to, whether is was accomplished in the conventional manner or of her own invention.
She was unapologetically herself, which gave everyone around her the power and approval to be exactly who they were as well. She was extremely accepting and loved her friends and family in an entirely unselfish manner.
Early in life, Jessica discovered her love of books, a passion she cultivated by reading constantly for the remainder of her life. This eventually led, through many years of determined hard work, to earning a degree in Library Science.
She loved children and her work as a substitute teacher for Chadron Public Schools, and went to work every day with enthusiasm. She was loved by her students and coworkers alike; her easy-going nature and flexibility were true assets in that field.
Jessica was a warrior in the face of a looming and devastating illness that robbed her in countless ways. Even so, she was never jaded and faced each day and every challenge with a smile, a sense of humor, and unequivocal grace.
An absolute light in the lives of those around her, Jessica possessed a palpable and undeniable energy of strength and an unmatched love of life. She was quirky, unique, and beautiful. She will be desperately and forever missed by her friends, family, and especially her children.
She is survived by her husband Jerome Rising, her three children: Alex or “John” to some, Brandon, and Rhedyn; her parents John and Kate Elliott and John and Krisann Raczka; her parents-in-law Skeet and Sonya Rising; her sisters Marti Elliott and Cody Anderle; her grandmother Ann Hughes and great grandmother Charlotte Smith; a well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins too numerous to list.
Jessica was preceded in death by her Grandfather Paul, who adored her and with whom she was equally enamored, as well as her great- grandfather Dwight Smith.