My friend Melanie Krumrey, who is a pastor's wife, mom of three, and author (book photo at right), knew her well.
Below is Mel's heartfelt tribute.
"Jessica was such a presence! I remember meeting her a couple of months after moving here, and learning that she was really the only student to be a part of the beginnings of MERCYhouse, our church plant. She explained to me that she had talked quite a bit to John Ramirez at the Baptist Convention of New England about getting a church or ministry started at the University of Massachusetts. It was upon this meeting that I first saw her passion and tenacity in her love for the Lord and for ministry.
I remember her being in our home often and that the atmosphere was always one of joy and laughter and joking when she was present. She loved everyone – everyone was her friend! As my friend Shemaiah, who came here from Oklahoma to work with us for just a summer, has often said, “Jessica was my first friend in Massachusetts.” Jessica, who had known Shemaiah for all of about one hour invited her to go home with her that night and watch a movie with some other friends.
Jessica was always quick to inquire about how I was doing and was always so generous with her hugs and words of comfort. If I was considered “Mom” at MERCYhouse, she was “Mom #2” - always looking out for the needs of others – physical, spiritual and emotional. She considered it her privilege and duty to make sure all those around her were thriving. One Valentine’s Day she gave me and several others a painted terracotta planter. I still have it. It was such a blessing to me that she had thought of me along with her many other friends.
One of my favorite biblical topics is that of created masculinity and femininity. When I began leading a Bible study along these lines for the young women of our church, I also began to hear rumblings that Jessica was not necessarily thrilled with this idea. She never told me this directly, but the other girls did. She felt that “submission” was a bad word associated only with doormats! We eventually talked about it, and together came to a place of friendly understanding and even the ability to joke about it from time to time.
Despite these strong feelings regarding the idea of submission, Jessica greatly desired to be married. She came to me on several occasions expressing bittersweet feelings over her friends becoming engaged, and her own struggle with loneliness.
I know that she carried around in her heart a lot of inner turmoil, insecurity, and emotion. And yet when we worshipped together at church through music or prayer, she was fully engaged, seeking the Lord with her whole being. Watching her always brought joy to my own insecure, emotional, and even at times, depressed and lonely heart. She was an example and inspiration to me in her walk with the Lord in this fallen world.