Jessie was born Aug. 5, 1946, in Kansas City, Kan., to Logan and Evalee Tyson. She was a beloved mother, teacher, counselor, mentor, sister, daughter, aunt, friend and most of all MeMa.
Live, laugh, love. Jessie lived a very fun and adventurous life. She lived in Germany for a few years. She traveled often, loved the water, and beaches of Mexico were a frequent destination. She loved spending time with her sisters. They often had sister weekends, most often in Wichita. They would shop, eat, lie around and laugh. She loved music and being up front at concerts. Once she got first row tickets, pretty much nothing else would satisfy her.
Jessie had several degrees from Pittsburg State University, including her master of science. She had worked as a school psychologist in the Wichita school district for the past 23 years. She, joyfully, had begun her retirement in August this year. She said she felt so free, like she had wings. She worked with emotionally disturbed students, which made her feel very fulfilled. She was a member of the suicide prevention task force and a member of the Wichita crisis team. She had recently said that she might not have been rich monetarily, but she felt so rich from the work she had done and how she impacted the lives of her students.
Jessie accepted people at face value and would not tolerate intolerance of any kind. She did so many wonderful things for her loved ones but also for complete strangers. She was the most accepting, generous, kind, fun person anyone could be lucky enough to have in their life.
She is survived by her son, Christopher O'Neal and his wife, Angela, of Wichita; grandchildren, Logan, Zander and Paris O'Neal, all of Wichita; three sisters, Linda and Bob Barnes of Nevada, Mo., Judy and Eugene Hollon, Carolyn and Buddy Tomlinson, all of Oswego; her nieces, Tracy Barnes of Kansas City, Lori and Ed Bures of Nevada, Mo., Angela and Michael Mix of Fort Scott and Tera Tomlinson of Oswego; her nephews, Tim Hollon and Kim Elkins of Tulsa, Brian and Christina Smith of Independence and aunt Martha Back of Hallowell; great-nieces and great-nephews, Robert Bures, Tia Hollon, Bryce, Miranda, Cy, Brayden and Mercy Smith, Miriam, Sam and Emma Mix, along with newborn niece she had just met, Evie Tomlinson; and many cousins, relatives and friends.
She especially enjoyed close relationships with her sisters, Tracy Barnes, Sandy Tullis, Jennie Simone, Valerie McKenzie, Karen Cahow and Pam Attebury.
In October she was looking forward to becoming a great-grandmother for the first time with her stepdaughter, Shayla Dawson, of Olathe. She shared an extremely close bond that will last through eternity with her beloved grandchildren, Logan, Zander and Paris, who will miss their MeMa more than any of us can imagine.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, many aunts, uncles and one great-niece, Hope Smith.
A celebration of her life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Funeral Home West, 2929 West 13th St., Wichita.
Memorials may be made in Jessie's honor to a schlarship fund for at risk children by contacting the funeral home (316) 943-2929 or a family member.
Online condolences may be left at www.hillsidefuneralhomewest.com.