BRIDGEWATER — On Sunday July 14, Jessica Ann Johnson left to be in the company of her mother in heaven. Her infectious laughter will forever be echoing the skies above, reminding us of this beautiful spirit that has touched so many.
She was born on Feb. 4, 1978 in Rutland, daughter of Mark and Dona Johnson. Jessica was the youngest of three children.
She graduated from WUHS in 1996 and received an associate’s degree from Castleton State College in 1998 then moved to New York State. Several years later her journey brought her to Tahoe, Calif., where she spent many days seeking out life’s greatest pleasures in hiking, swimming, camping and being in the great outdoors. She was an avid snowboarder and a big fan of trap shooting. Friends gravitated toward Jessica because she was always up for an adventure.
In her travels Jess adopted a pit-bull dog that instantly became her greatest ally. She spent time doing community service by bringing “Bella Dona” to retirement homes for animal therapy. She shared great compassion for animals and animal rights. Her infectious smile and crocked side-lipped comments were utterly hilarious and always on cue. It was part of her nature to speak easy, break a silence or drop a witty joke. Her friends knew her for her ability to be caring, real and always a reasonable voice without judgment. She had the gift of finding the good in all people and the rare ability to forgive under all circumstances. Jessica had incredible perception and awareness that aged her well beyond her years. Most recently Jessica had been living in Burlington. She worked full time at a Juvenile Corrections facility where she had opportunities to give back to the community. She participated in volunteer work at the ACT One program as well as within the state prison system. Jessica was dedicated to giving back to the community. Jess holds a place in the hearts of many from the East to West Coast.
Survivors include her father Mark, brother Ben and pit-bull named Rosie of Bridgewater, and sister and brother in-law Angela and Gene Graves of Oregon. Jessica is also survived by a number of close friends she considered her family, all of whom will be forever grateful for the memories that remain.
She was predeceased by her mother, Dona Johnson.
A drug and alcohol free celebration of life in honor of our sister Jessica will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at the farm of Wib Putnam located just off from route 100A in Bridgewater. Family and friends are encouraged to bring a small dish to share, lawn chairs, pictures, stories and memories, along with instruments to be played.
In lieu of flowers, her family kindly requests donations are made in honor of Jessica to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors of Bridgewater Vermont PO Box 39 Bridgewater, VT 05034.
This obituary first appeared in the July 18, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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