Jessica Wendy Parker
July 17, 1976 – November 9, 2017
As a child, Jessica was a kind, gentle soul who was thoughtful of others. She was a good sport; taking situations of any nature in stride. Jessica had a vivid imagination creating art from her ideas or from ideas absorbed from the conversations of others. She loved farm life; riding horses, water fights, Halloween pranks with her sisters, hanging out in the old porch - affectionally known as the play house, and many other adventures which children find to have on a farm. She even had Vicky convinced that when picking rocks and roots, you had to pick the tiny ones too because they would grow into big ones, So, here comes Vicky with a handful of pebbles and twigs to put in the clearing wagon.
When not busy with school activities, such as yearbook club or the drama club’s production of Grease, Jessica liked to meetup with friends to play games of football - she had no problem tackling the guys. They also enjoyed shooting each other with paint balls and generally hanging out. At home, she would play crib with her Dad and sometimes her siblings. Jessica also enjoyed playing board games and puzzles, and was always willing to try something new or repeat something over and over.
She enjoyed many sports playing on school teams from junior high right up through college. Jessica’s favourite being basketball. You wouldn’t be surprised walking into her bedroom to find a poster on the wall of a favourite NBA player. High school Jessica discovered one of the benefits to playing organized sports when her team was able to travel to Oregon for a tournament, igniting her desire to travel.
Jessica’s enthusiasm and hard work earned her a variety of awards for her athletic efforts. Her enjoyment and desire to succeed in basketball earned her a place on a nationally placed Canadian college basketball team; winning 2nd in Nova Scotia in 1996, in a nail bitter of a game. Unfortunately, due to an accident while playing the following year, Jessica’s knee was injured, taking her out of the game for a while, but she was still able to help and be involved with the team.
Jessica graduated from the Grande Prairie Community College with a diploma in business administration, accounting major, gaining work experience with jobs in Vallyview, Edson, and Grande Prairie; eventually, taking her to Peace River where she began her career starting in logistics working her way up to a more administrative position in finance. Having worked there for fourteen years, Jessica gained a family through work, fostering many friendships both in and outside of work, out on the fire line and during professional development. She will be remembered for her professionalism and passion, going over and above to complete projects. Working with forestry, gave Jessica the chance to visit many areas in Alberta and B.C. to aid in forest fire services.
She offered her time to a variety of other organizations working or volunteering. She worked at the Grande Prairie race track, volunteered her time at the Grimshaw Rodeo, helped in Edson at the Trail Hall’s fall supper as well as other places and people that needed extra help.
Outside of work, a person could find Jessica hanging out with friends, having trivia nights, catching up on favourite shows, going out for supper and a movie (just not Titanic), doing crafting and sometimes playing board games. When the opportunity presented itself, Jessica always enjoyed a night out dancing or attempting some artistic challenges by attending paint nights and creating pottery.
Over the years Jessica took the time to travel the world. Not only was she able to travel with her sports teams, she travelled with friends and solo to achieve her dreams. Having her little sister living in Australia for a year, gave Jessica a good reason to visit the continent where she got to see the crocodile farm, the Great Barrier Reef, and where they went white water rafting. On a trip to Orlando with her friend Angie where they took some time to visit Disney world, and as a crazy Disney fan this was definitely at the top of Jessica’s adventure list. One of her last trips was to Europe for a Mediterranean Cruise visiting Rome, Italy, the Vatican and Greece.
As much time as Jessica spent at work and personal activities, she did her best to spend as much time as possible with her family. Even work trips to Hinton or Edmonton gave her opportunities to visit family members. When it came time to celebrate the birthdays of nieces and nephews she was right in the mix, many of Roxane’s kid’s birthday cakes had the aid of Jessica’s creative side during the decoration process. When a fire wasn’t keeping her away, Jessica always made it out to Malissa’s kids birthday family camping trips which most times was a celebration of her birthday as well.
In 2010, when Vicky was married on a mountain, and the only way for most of us to get to the celebration was by helicopter, Jessica was the most excited having experienced riding in them before for fire related situations. She was willing to let anyone else experience the front seat, but lucky for her we were all too nervous and preferred the back seats.
Jessica enjoyed life, she loved her family and her friends, she would do anything she could for anyone of them. The following poem sums up what we would like to say:
Sister and Best Friend
The moment I realized, my sister just died.
My hands cradled my face, and I frantically cried.
Why did this happen, and how could this be.
She had so much to live for, we could all clearly see.
My heart simply dropped, and felt a sharp pain.
My tears fell instantly, like a severe August rain.
I was truly lucky, to have a sister like her.
Countless others, nod and concur.
I will miss our talks, and her comforting voice.
And those random moments, where we'd mutually rejoice.
Rest in peace, Sister and best friend,
my deepest love, to the sky I shall send.