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Jessica Joann PenderJanuary 25, 1982 ~ November 30, 2017 (age 35)
Jessica Joann Pender, 35, of Indianapolis passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2017.
Jessica was born in Indianapolis, IN on January 25, 1982 to George Michael Pender and Cathy (Waldrop) Lee. She was a lifetime member of Jubilee Church and a current member of One Way Christian Church. Jessica loved to sing, and she often sang in church, in addition to signing the lyrics so everyone could enjoy the music. From an early age she was a fighter, and over the course of her life she had 99 surgeries and medical procedures. She was smart, and could list off every single one, every single instrument, and every single medication she was on and was allergic to. She was a strong advocate for herself, and was not the type to take any snuff from anyone. She was one of the first to receive a new style of plastic brace for her legs, and was given a pair of unbreakable titanium arm braces to test out. To the chagrin of the engineers, Jessica managed to break them, causing a redesign and a new model to claim the title of "unbreakable." This fierce avocation extended to anyone who needed it, anyone she thought was treated unfairly or unequally. She was a proud supporter of many causes, including walks for breast cancer, autism, find a cure, and Cross Out Heroin. She was a March of Dimes Ambassador once she was old enough, coming full circle as she started out as a March of Dimes baby.
She cared deeply for those around her, and would enthusiastically help in any way she could. Jessica was the most kind-hearted person anyone could hope to meet, often giving away her own things to those in need, at the expense of herself. She grew a community garden that she all but funded herself, making sure the plants were in raised beds so she would be able to tend them from her wheelchair. She gave every vegetable grown away to the community.
Never one to let her medical conditions hold her back, Jessica was on the first team on Challenger Little League, a T-ball organization that let children with impairments play sports. Not that she saw it that way, Jessica always said she wasn't handicapped, but handicapable. She attended camp through Riley Children's Hospital every year until she aged out, and on her last year was able to finally conquer the beast known as "Cardiac Hill". She accomplished everything she set her mind to, including finding a way to mow the grass.
The love that she had for everyone went double for her family. She adored them, and spending time with them. Her nieces and nephews were like the children she never had, and she took great joy in spoiling them completely rotten.
Her spark and zest for life were unmatched, and her presence on Earth will be sorely missed.
Jessica is survived by her parents, Mike (Donna) Pender and Cathy (John) Lee; her grandmothers June Pender and Ada Waldrop; her siblings Gretchen (Rickey) Brown, Amanda (Brian) Ricketts, Erica Pender, Samantha Morales, Alicia (Brian) Driscoll, Andrew Robinette, Jennifer (Mike) Westfall, and Jessica (Bob) Bartley; her fur brother Otis "Odie"; many spoiled nieces and nephews; one great-niece; and many many more aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, and friends that loved her.
Jessica is preceded in passing by a sister, Melina; her grandfathers George Pender and Harry Waldrop; and a fur brother Bruno, who was her special buddy.
Funeral Service for Jessica will be 2PM, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at Fountain Square Cremation & Funeral Services. Visitation will be from 11 AM until the hour of service.