Community celebrates life of courageous woman
BLACKFOOT—Dozens of people from all over gathered to attend Jessie Woodland's funeral at Hawker Funeral Home on Saturday morning.
According to Jessie's aunt, Tammy Cobbley, Jessie planned everything about her funeral. "We asked her if she wanted us to party or do something serious to celebrate her life and she said she wanted it all - which is exactly how she lived her life," said Cobbley.
Jessie's battle with gastric cancer has touched the hearts of many in our community and has brought us all together to help rally on her and her family's behalf.
Prior to the funeral we asked our Facebook friends: what it was about Jessie that can make an entire community come together and how has she managed to touch your life?
"Though I didn't know her well, I know her family. She touched many lives for good. I shed a tear as I drove by the cemetery early this morning and saw family and friends preparing her resting place. The last bit of service they could do for her. Hoping for peace and comfort for them today," said Kerry Keller Christiansen.
"She loved everyone and when you were her friend, it was forever, we love you Jessie," said Kim Vitelli.
"She was a very sweet person inside and out and she did not ever say anything to hurt anyone. You just had to know her and her family. She was so young to go through what she did. She showed us all grace in living and in dying. Now she is without pain and free to help us all some day. What a great family for sharing her with us," said Marilyn Jefferis.
"She was an amazing young woman who taught us how to have courage, love and faith in our journey here. Jesse, you are so loved," said Ann Packer Ropp.
"Jessie is my sister. I keep picturing her laugh, her smile and her kindness! Love you, Jessie sister," said Maggie Powers Wagoner.
"There were 14 men out there preparing Jessie's final resting place. Dug by hand with love and respect for our "little girl." I can't put into words how humbled I feel. I love my family, friends and this community," said Suzette Powers McBride, Jessie's mother.
At the funeral, Jessie's father, Wesley Woodland, said that Jessie stayed strong through the entire battle and "never let them see her sweat."
Every goal that was set for Jessie's "Go Fund Me" account, that was created and managed by Tasha Brumfield Grimmett to help raise money for the family to help with medical costs, has been shattered. Jessie's "Go Fund Me" account has officially raised close to $17,000.
There have been multiple fundraisers to help Jessie's family and the next one will take place on Saturday.
A coed softball tournament to benefit Jessie Woodland and her family has been coordinated by the Blackfoot Softball Association and is scheduled to take place on April 19 at the State Hospital Fields, 500 S. Pendlebury Lane.
Each team will be made up of five boys and five girls. The entry fee is $200 per team ($20 per person).
Teams must register by Wednesday so the coordinators can determine the brackets and an exact time to start the tournament.
There is a four-game guarantee for each team and rosters will be available for the players to sign the morning of the tournament.
Call or text Dana Steffensen at 604-5045 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Jessie Woodland Memorial Co-ed Softball Tournament Facebook page for any additional information.
Businesses are welcome to donate and/or advertise for the tournament.
An account has been opened for Jessie at Idaho Central Credit Union; all are welcome to contribute.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be sent to the Bingham County Humane Society at ww.bingchs.org/donate.htm or call 680-3381. The Bingham Crisis Center will also be accepting donations. They can be sent to 288 N. Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot or call Dixie Chapman at 785-1047.