OBITUARY

Jessica Mae Carpenter

January 30, 1978September 10, 2020
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Jessica Mae Carpenter (née Wilson) died at her home in Round Rock, Texas on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 at the age of 42, owing to complications from her four-year battle with Stage IV esophageal cancer.

Jessica was born on January 30th, 1978 in Topeka, Kansas. She attended St. Matthew Catholic Grade School, Hayden High School, St. Mary College, and graduated from Kansas State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She married her then long-term partner Aaron Donohue Carpenter in Topeka, Kansas on December 18th, 2004 -- in total they enjoyed 23 years together.

He and their pet Turtle “Master and Commander Far Side of the World” survive, though they are heartbroken by her absence. Other survivors include Jessica & Aaron’s immediate family members: Joyce Metevier, John Metevier, Isabel Metevier, Allison Metevier, Emily Metevier, and Olivia Metevier of Round Rock, Texas, Jessica’s father Thomas Lee Wilson (Kansas), mother Bonnie Groves-Brown (Maryland), sisters Staci Dwyer (Kansas), Michelle Ricks (Missouri), Taylor Wilson (California), and Kathleen Wilson (Kansas), Jessica’s exceptional mother-in-law Kimberly Carpenter (Wisconsin), and numerous nieces, nephews, stepfamily members, and brothers-in-law. She was preceded in death by her pets, Spot, Rabbit, and Freddy Frog.

A 20-year career educator, Jessica was a Special Education Resource Teacher (K-5) at Brookhollow Elementary School in Pflugerville, Texas, after having taught briefly in Topeka at St. Matthew. Jessica’s greatest joy was in sharing stories and lessons with her students, all of whom she considered to be important and valuable individuals, each with the ability to achieve beautiful life stories of their own. Teaching was her mission. Certified for ESL, Special Education, and Art, Jessica also was the Science Coordinator, a Pflugerville Education Foundation Grant Winner for her innovations in bringing technology into the classroom, and the Pflugerville ISD 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year.

Jessica was also an accomplished painter, sculptor, and illustrative artist, a voracious reader of literature and novels of manners, and an avid fan of pop culture, procedural, science-fiction, fantasy, and supernatural genres across motion picture and television. As a well-known patron of the Austin, Texas comedy community, specifically Master Pancake Theater, Jessica was highly regarded for her uplifting sense of humor and supportive, effervescent nature. She was the personification of “Good Vibes Only”.

As a staunch advocate for equal justice, equal rights, voting rights, the right to guaranteed access to healthcare and bodily autonomy, the right to guaranteed access to quality education, and freedom from creeping fascism and tyranny, Jessica encouraged people to remain actively informed at the local, state, and federal levels, and to vote in every election, every time, as though their life depended on it, because often it does.

The people in Jessica’s life remember her as a devoted teacher, parental figure, collaborator, provider, and loving soul who encouraged them to find the silver linings, always keep fighting, and pursue lives free of regret. Attempting to list here the full scope of her impact to humanity would be to consume newspaper at such a rate that it would deforest the planet while also guaranteeing limitless solvency for the entire print journalism industry. She saved the world, a lot.

Meanwhile, in Pflugerville, a public visitation is scheduled for Sunday, September 20th, 2020 at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home & Cemetery from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a funeral procession and graveside service immediately following.

COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, including a mandatory mask policy, temperature scanning, and social distancing will apply. A virtual memorial streaming service will be available the week following, see details on Jessica’s “Good Vibes Only” page. Charitable donations may be directed to Donors Choose at https://www.donorschoose.org/ . The family would like to thank Jessica’s entire medical team, especially the physicians, nurses, and staff of Texas Oncology for their expert knowledge, technical prowess, methodical recordkeeping, and loving touch. They extended a three-month diagnosis into four years of rewarding life, and we are eternally grateful.

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, September 20, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Sunday, September 20, 2020

Memories

Jessica Mae Carpenter

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Kayla Abney

September 20, 2020

I had the privilege of shadowing Mrs. Carpenter for a year through the Pflugerville ISD Ready, Set, Teach program. She was so passionate about her students and she was such a great mentor to me. I am so glad I had the chance to know her - she was one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met. Rest In Peace, Jessica. Thank you so much for all that you did for me.

Bobbie Bossell

September 19, 2020

Looking back over our friendship over so many years is such a blessing, from the time I met you in the 6th grade classroom teaching you science at St. Matthew School to your last visit to share time with me here in Idaho, I have been so blessed to have you in my life. There are just too many special moments to list here. Your silver linings taught me so much about your courage and strength. You will always be with me in heart and thought. My deep condolences to your "my Aaron", the rest of your family and friends.

Darla Roessler

September 16, 2020

When trying to think of a particular memory I find myself realizing just how much a part of my life Jessica was. At least once a week I wear a shirt or a pair of TOMS that I bought while on a South Congress girl day out adventure. Several of those outings involved being gone ALL day and needing to have all 3 meals on South Congress. We also never missed going to BigTop Candy store for chicken feet gummies and some unusual bacon candy for Aaron. Every morning I have coffee using unique antique spoons that were purchased at our Annual Armadillo Bazaar trips. I still have a great supply of honey from our Annual 'A Christmas Affair' outings. So basically I was blessed with Many adventures with Jessica. 100 Monkeys and Jackson Rathbone knew who we were. The last trip we took was last October. I have been a fan of Randy Rainbow for several years and it didn't take much convincing that she and I needed to go see him in San Antonio. I did not realize the tickets I bought were 2nd row seats, center stage and a photo session, meet and greet, after the show. We waited to be the last 2 people so there was no rush. The night and laughter was magical and so much fun. Thank you Jessica, for so many adventures and memories that I cherish daily. I LOVE YOU!!

Coleen Weber

September 15, 2020

My youngest daughter was in Jess's first class at St. Matthew's. As a special education teacher in Austin, she credits Jess as her inspiration to enter the teaching profession. I am honored to have known her and call her friend. My deepest condolences to her family at this difficult time.

Robin Brown

September 14, 2020

Jessica was more than a friend, she was an advocate for my son and one of the BEST teachers he ever had. She used to let him go run laps outside when his body had too much energy to sit and learn. She let him be a boy. Our lives crossed paths after my son’s 2nd grade year! She always greeted with a smile and always had the best silver linings outlook. Upon her diagnosis, I offered to bring Aaron and her a meal. She laughed and said, “We aren’t there yet!” Anyone who had the luck to cross paths with Jessica was blessed! Keep a watch over us, Jessica. We need your guidance.

Staci and David Dwyer

September 14, 2020

Jess, my little sister, I have always looked up to you, not just because I’m shorter! Your strength and love and ambition in life was beautiful. I don’t even know where to start, so all of this is going to be jumbled up. We had some fun times growing up! Ok, I had fun times growing up with you! From what I hear, because I don’t remember a lot from back then, I was a terror to grow up with! From locking you and Michelle in a toy box (whatever, I think you both made that one up!), to chasing you around the house with a knife, goodness gracious don’t judge me people! I have a twisted sense of humor! I’m glad we all made it to adulthood! It wasn’t all terrorizing my siblings, I promise. I remember the time you beat Matt on his 10 speed running home when Michelle was attacked by pit bulls. You beat him to the house! You......running! Adrenaline is a heck of a thing! I remember spending time at grandmas all weekend with you! We loved spending time there. Now, all grown up, I loved watching you grow with your Aaron! The things you did together. The things you did with all of your friends! I’m so happy knowing that, girl, you really lived! You really really lived! The love you showed me was immeasurable! You have watched me stray and watched me come back. You’ve seen me go through hell and make it back in one piece. You have always been there for me through it all. I know you will still be there watching me and waiting for my stupid excuses to tell you why or why not I did something so stupid. But, I’ll tell you about all of the wonderful things too! There are so many things already I have to tell you since you left this crazy earth! I love you, Jess! I love you so much! Thank you for always being a part of my life and loving me like you did! Now, maybe you’ll know just how much you’ve done for me, because now you can see it all! Fly as high as you can and do somersaults in the clouds! Run and jump and dance to your hearts content, because now you can! I miss you so much!

Bonnie Brown

September 13, 2020

My sweet, sweet baby girl, I love you with my every breath and I miss you with every beat of my heart. I know that you’re in a much better place now and for that, I am eternally grateful. I am SO proud of you and the accomplishments you made over your short but beautiful life. And I know that you made a great impact on your students over the years and they will remember you fondly. If God would have just given you more time, who knows what more wonderful things you could have done. You were such a free spirit and I loved that about you. I’m just so happy, overjoyed and proud, that God gave me the highest honor, and chose me, to be your Momma. I will love you until there is no more time to love, and even then, I’ll keep loving you, my sweet, sweet baby girl. ❤️❤️💔❤️❤️

Linda Clark

September 13, 2020

One of my favorite Jessica memories involves a golf cart ride that left us breathless, laughing, and more than a little relieved to arrive at our destination. You may wonder how Jessica and I got from a friendship forged of books and reading to a wild golf cart ride, but I promise it all started with a book- a book which became a series of books, then movies, which led to a girl trip splurge on a Cabana at La Contera resort. The Cabana mentioned above came with a golf cart, presumably to shuttle the four of us to the main building. That morning we stepped outside our Cabana, noted the beautiful, crisp, sunny fall day, and opted for a little tour.
Jessica hopped into the driver's seat, wearing a gleeful and perhaps in retrospect slightly mischievous expression, along with dark sunglasses. Six feet into the drive, we grabbed the seats, or any other available support and held on tight, as Jessica laughingly raced us past quizzical guests and unhappy golfers. We visited an outbuilding and the golf course, so lovely and green and forbidden. Who knew? Then we flew to the main building and came to a jolting stop. It was a ride to rival any amusement park, and Jessica's laughter filled the air that morning. Jessica drove that cart like she did most things in life, with confidence, efficiency, courage, tremendous joy, and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.
I love her dearly and miss the laughs already. She was quite an amazing woman, and when she was at the wheel, it was a good idea to hang on!

Thomas Wilson

September 13, 2020

My beautiful,caring daughter who brought joy and happiness to anyone she meet. I miss her am so proud to be able to know she left a mark on a world that is need of more like her . Fly high with the angels above love you my beautiful daughter.

Michelle Ricks

September 13, 2020

You will forever be in our hearts. You will be forever loved. Fly high with the angels, my dear, sweet sister. 👼💜

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