SET FOR FRIDAY – Dancers, from left, Alli Christner, Allison Winger, Delaney Jayne McAdams, Grace Gjertsen, Zia Allen, Tayler Clifton, Fiona Ferguson, Autumn Dinsmore and Audrey Saiz take the stage in full costume at the Performing Arts Center Tuesday. The dancers will present a Sitka-themed version of the popular ballet "The Nutcracker." The show opens 7 p.m. Friday at the PAC. (Sentinel Photo)

Jesse Lynn Baxter Dies; Former Sitkan was 30

Jesse Lynn Baxter

Jesse Lynn Baxter

Jesse Lynn Baxter, 30, formerly of Sitka, Halfway, Oregon, and Baker City, Oregon, died suddenly Feb. 7, 2019, in Pendleton, Oregon.
A celebration of her life was held Feb. 16 at Harvest Christian Church in Baker City.
Jesse Lynn Baxter was born March 20, 1988, in Sitka to Dan and Melody Baxter. She spent her first four years in Sitka, where her family commercial fished on their F/V Venus. In 1992 the family moved to Halfway, returning to Southeast for the next 10 summers to fish on their F/V Northern Star.
Jesse was home-schooled, along with her five younger siblings, until her high school years when she took art, Spanish and writing at Pine Eagle High in Halfway.
 From an early age Jesse was a natural at almost everything she did. She thrived in sports, winning Best All Around Gymnast at her very first meet in Burns, Oregon, at the age of 8, and went on to win two state titles in her teen years – one with Baker City girls All-Star softball team, another with Pine Eagle girls basketball team.
Jesse’s other passions included scrap-booking, writing poems and life experiences; she loved documenting everything. She spent hours making photo collages of friends and family that covered her walls.
“She had the biggest heart you could imagine, and always was overly generous,” her family said. “Giving gifts was the highlight of her life; even when she had little to give she would take time to make something herself, and you could always feel how much of her heart really went into it. It was all personal with Jesse, no matter who or what, she truly cared.”
 She attended EOU after receiving her GED in 2005. She left college early to care for her grandma, Helen Baxter, who was fighting cancer. 
 This was the beginning of Jesse’s passion of caring for the elderly. She always had the biggest heart, taking care of everyone else first, her siblings, animals – anything with a pulse, she was saving it. After her grandma passed she worked the next few years in assisted living centers.
Jesse loved the beach, sun and the ocean. She wasn’t fond of winters but always thrived when the sun was shining warm. She loved sand, collected it and would bring it home from every family vacation. The beach was her happy place.
 Jesse always wanted to be a mother and have a family. At the age of 25 she was blessed with the most beautiful baby boy, Taylor John Baxter, who was the joy of her life.  In her last few years she met the love of her life and fiancé, Marcus Allen Nelson. They had a home together in Pendleton, and had plans to be married in the near future.
Jesse was preceded in death by her grandma, Helen Baxter, grandparents Gilbert and Gail Meyer, Pastor Bob Benton, friend, and brother-at-heart Taylor Royce Wood.
Jesse is survived by her son, Taylor Baxter and fiancé Markus Nelson of Pendleton, and her beloved family – parents Dan Baxter of Juneau and Melody Baxter of Baker City, siblings Callie of Sitka and Josh, Abby, Ben and Sam Baxter of Baker City, and many extended relatives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, beloved cousins and friends.
 “Thank you all for your love and support,” her family said. “Rest easy, our beautiful, Jesse.”
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres ...” – I Corinthians 13:7.
Those who would like to make a memorial donation in memory of Jesse to help with service expenses, or for Taylor’s future, may do so through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com.

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