Cover photo for Mark David Jessoe's Obituary
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1973 Mark 2022

Mark David Jessoe

December 26, 1973 — September 11, 2022

Davenport Crystal Lake

Mark Jessoe, 48, peacefully departed this life on September 11, 2022 at his home in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He was born on December 26, 1973 in Concord, Massachusetts and was fortunate to have called many places home during his lifetime, including the Palos Verdes Peninsula, California; Corvallis, Oregon; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Crystal Lake, Illinois. But, truth be told, his home was never in a physical place, it was always with the people he loved.

Mark was an ever-fun-loving kid who never outgrew the desire to have a good time, as long as it was shared with friends or family. He smiled and laughed easily and had a tendency to be a bit of a mischievous thrill seeker. There are endless childhood stories where having fun included a blurred line with getting into a bit of trouble and resulting in a subsequent parable to be retold through the years - exploring abandoned buildings, climbing trees (and whenever possible roofs), pulling fire alarms, breaking windows, crashing bikes (and later cars), getting stitches, racing his beloved green machine, keeping a secret stash of fireworks, nun-chucks, and throwing stars (amongst other unmentionables), scaring his younger sister at every chance, Halloween shenanigans (often involving bottle rockets and shaving cream), and infamous skiing adventures with Buzz the frozen chicken. And although Mark was often the instigator amongst his group of friends, he was loved by parents and teachers alike because of his quick smile, warm heart, and those dimples.

Mark took quite a journey to find himself during his college years. While his dad was fighting leukemia, he struggled to be on his own and make good life choices as a new adult. He stumbled. He fell. He fell again. And then he picked himself back up. There was a lot of suffering in those years, mixed amongst some epic parties and good times with close friends. Mark met Rebecca in 1999 and that was it, he’d met his person and the beacon he’d long been seeking to light his path forward. They were married in 2003 and welcomed Arwen with great joy in 2004. During this time, Mark finished his education degree at UNLV and started teaching 3rd grade.  In 2008, Rebecca was transferred back to Illinois and they moved to Crystal Lake.

Mark was an amazing father and his love for Arwen knew no bounds.  They shared the same sense of humor, a deep love of animals, and going on adventures together.  During Arwen’s elementary school years Mark was proudly a part-time stay at home dad while substitute teaching and running his own pet care business.  They were always together (and usually laughing), driving to visit local parks, libraries, museums, biking, visiting animal shelters, eating endless amounts of ice cream, volunteering together, playing mini-golf, and later watching their favorite television shows and movies.

During these early years in Crystal Lake, they also found a spiritual home at the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in Woodstock. Mark’s practice of meditation and living mindfully fit perfectly with his kind, gentle nature and would serve him well during the many years of his illness.

Mark was a life-long runner and had a deep connection with how physical activity helped to provide balance to all aspects of his life. He loved to be outdoors and ran all year round, regardless of the weather. This connection helped him realize very quickly that something was wrong during the winter of 2014/2015. His disease onset was slow and insidious and atypical in every way.

After four years with no answers, in 2018 the Mayo Clinic diagnosed him with a demyelinating neuro-immune disease. His neurologist in Chicago said he had Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder. In 2019, they transitioned him into a power wheelchair and changed it to Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. He suffered severe ups and downs with his health and mood, extreme fatigue, and chronic pain. Mark’s immense strength and ability to constantly reassess, build anew, and persevere were his gifts. His fierce love, easy laughter, and sincere ability to listen and relate with compassion were his gifts to us. Mark was an inspiration to so many. He was simply the best of us and will be greatly missed.

Mark’s amazing spirit will be carried on by his loving wife, Rebecca; their beloved daughter, Arwen; his birth mother, Joyce; his parents by marriage, Sue and Terry, his siblings, Stephen (Andrea) and Jennifer (Michael); his siblings by marriage; Jessica (Bill) and Erica (Tom); nieces and nephew, Rylee, Madison and Harrison; and a veritable plethora of extended family and loving friends (who were all just like family).

Visitation will be Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 10 AM until the celebration of life service at 1:30 PM at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave. (Rte. 176), Crystal Lake, IL 60014. The Celebration of Life will be livestreamed for those who cannot join us, please click the link to join virtually: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88213479042?pwd=OFpmOFdvZlVsNnVDYnRiUU5qakR3dz09

Meeting ID: 882 1347 9042
Passcode: 353875

Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mark's honor can be made to the National MS Society: https://mssociety.donordrive.com/campaign/Mark-Jessoe-Memorial

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mark David Jessoe, please visit our flower store.

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