Jessica Lee Troyer, daughter to Floyd and Melanie Troyer, sister to Danielle, Nick, and Charlene, was a fun-loving, giggly girl who enjoyed summers in the sun, horseback riding, rap music, singing and dancing, shopping, gingerbread cookies, Skittles candy, and the color green. Jessie was interested in fashion and hoped to become an interior decorator after graduating from college.
Family was always very important to Jessie. During the summertime she enjoyed weekend getaways to her family's cottage in Michigan and going on vacation – especially to Florida. She also enjoyed holiday get-togethers and random visits to see extended family.
Jessie was a firm believer in Salvation through Jesus
Christ – the one and only way to heaven. Jessie was an active
member of her church and had a generous heart for children. She served her Lord and Savior by volunteering in the church nursery, AWANA Clubs, and Vacation Bible School. She also attended two mission trips with her church youth group. In 1998 she went to Montana to work on repairing homes in a poor Indian reservation. In 1999 she went to Oklahoma to help run a week of Vacation Bible School at a small church run by missionaries who are supported by her home church.
On Sunday, January 23, 2000, Jessie used her family's snowmobile to go snowmobiling with some friends after youth group – a favorite winter activity for Jessie. That evening she was involved in a snowmobile accident and violently struck a tree just outside her Frankfort Square home. Jessie died one week later on Sunday, January 30, 2000, at the young age of 17, after suffering head injuries from the accident.
On August 3, 2000, what would have been Jessie's 18th birthday, family and friends gathered and were still feeling a deep loss. It was then that the Something from Jessie Memorial Scholarship was created. Instead of grieving endlessly, Jessie's family and friends decided to make an impact for Christ and celebrate her life.
What started out as a simple, semi-annual Walk-A-Thon in 2001, transformed and rapidly grew into an annual spaghetti dinner that continues to expand each and every year!
Jessie attended Phantom Ranch Bible Camp as a camper and later worked during the summer of 1999 with her best friend, Karolyn. The Something from Jessie Memorial Scholarship focuses on sending Chicago inner-city youth to Phantom Ranch Bible Camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. It is the camp’s second highest scholarship, right behind the camp itself.
By attending a week of summer camp, students are given an opportunity to get out of the city and experience the great outdoors in a safe, Christ-centered, loving environment.
At Phantom Ranch these students get to go horseback riding, water skiing, make crafts, play games, and learn about Jesus Christ. While all those activities are a major highlight for these students, some enjoy camp for reasons we often take for granted. They enjoy three square meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and peace of mind knowing that they are safe from gang violence and dangers in their neighborhoods.
Sending students to Phantom Ranch is life-changing. After experiencing a week at summer camp, students go on to finish high school, attend college, and even return to Phantom Ranch as volunteers and summer staff.
Through the strong support of her family's business, Wirtz Rentals, and her home church, Parker Road Bible Church, Jessie's family and friends hold an annual spaghetti dinner to raise money to send inner-city students to the very same camp Jessie attended. 100% of all proceeds go towards this special scholarship fund and is tax deductible.
While Jessie's time on earth appeared brief, her life in Christ will go on forever in heaven.
For more information on how you too can accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, visit our Who Is Jesus? page. You can also contact us and we can get you connected with one of Parker Road Bible Church's pastors.
Jessie in the News
Below are newspaper articles that share the story of Jessie's accident and tragic death.