Jessica Rae Nelson was the first of three children born to Gary and Valene Nelson, Jan. 10, 1977, in Bismarck. She succumbed to pneumonia in the comfort of her home while snow fell during the early hours of Christmas morning, 2017. She was able to finally meet with her greatest love, Jesus Christ, on the day of his birth.

Her early years were spent freely playing and roaming the street of St. Anthony with friends, siblings, and cousins. Her family moved west, eventually settling in Monroe, Wash., where she graduated from Monroe High School in 1995.

Jessica spent several summers working in Skagway, Alaska, at a retail store where she was loved by her friends and coworkers for her wry sense of humor and her love for music and art.

At the age of 22, Jessica was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which greatly impacted the remainder of her life. With the love and care of her parents, she was able to manage her illness and lead a more fulfilling life.

Jess was known for her huge heart and hard head. No one could ever make her do what she didn't want to, and one could always trust her to be honest in expressing her opinions. She devoted her heart to Jesus and found joy in all of God's creations. She loved to shop, bake, do needle-work, draw, make jewelry, and write letters for her loved ones. She also enjoyed reading The Bible, attending church, and making crafts with her fellow churchgoers at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Monroe.

Jessica is preceded in death by grandparents, Ray and Lena Nelson; grandmother, Scholastica Mildenberger; and cousin, Eric Renner.

She is survived by parents, Gary and Valene (Mildenberger) Nelson; grandfather, Wilbur Mildenberger; brother, Chance Nelson; sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Barnard) Nelson; sister, Josie (Nelson) Allen; brother-in-law, Craig Allen; nephew, Gaelen Allen; nieces, Miranda Allen and Victoria Nelson; dog, Adam; and cat, Angel.

Jess was once our little angel and is now an angel watching over us from heaven.

A family service was held in Washington.

Cremation has taken place.

Service and burial in N.D. will be announced at a later date.