Jesse Whisman brought joy to his parents, Norman Sr. and Freda Whisman, when he was born in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 19, 1990.
Jesse moved to Pagosa with his parents in July 1997. Our desire was to bring our son to Pagosa Springs’ Lower Blanco River because, as young as he was, his love for fishing, hunting, climbing, boating, wildlife and being outdoors could not be perfected in the city. All his family roots are embedded in Colorado and Oklahoma.
Our son was an expert marksman with rifle and bow. He felt it unfair to the elk and wildlife to use a rifle, so he used his bow to hunt; again, being very accurate with the bow. Jesse’s other interests included sparring with swords in the mountains with Dan Gnos and Mark Smith. Jesse also competed in a Tae Kwon Do Championship in Las Vegas, Nev., in 2005, bringing home two gold medals, two silver and one bronze.
He graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 2008. He went on to attend International Sports Science School and became a certified fitness trainer, however, having a desire to fill his dad’s shoes, he attended Honeywell ADI Security School in 2008 and received his certification.
His wandering spirit took him to Anchorage, Alaska, to explore the untamed wilderness. While there, he found support to allow him to open the very successful and infamous Town Square Grill in downtown Anchorage. He left a part of his heart there when he returned home to Pagosa Springs on Dec. 9, 2011, to be near family.
Jesse moved to Colorado Springs and went to the Bartending Academy in 2013 and received another certification, becoming a qualified mixologist; thus going to work at Jose Muldoons in downtown Colorado Springs.
While in Colorado Springs, he met the love of his life, Alexa Miller, who he intended to make his wife when he turned 35, when he was better equipped to care for and meet her needs.
Jesse was part owner of A-1 Pagosa Communications and felt privileged to stand shoulder to shoulder with his dad, and they became best buds. He also worked nights at Pagosa Brewing Company for Tony and Julie Simmons and was looking forward to Todd Stevens’ plans for him, and honored both of these men.
We could go on and on about Jesse’s accomplishments and our love for him, but, suffice it to say, he didn’t let any opportunity slip by the wayside and was ready for whatever life handed him.
Our son, Jesse, left this world doing what he loved the most: being in the mountains, climbing with his Jeep. He lived every day true to his life motto, “I don’t know where this day is taking me, but I’m sure excited to get there.” Son, you told me you will be standing at Heaven’s gate, waiting for us if anything should happen to you while on your adventures.
Jesse has a big brother, Norman Lee Whisman Jr., whom he honored and looked up to in full admiration. Norman Jr. is married to Kerri Whisman (Walker) and they have blessed us with four lovely grandsons — Jesse’s nephews that he always treasured: the bigs, Sterling (13) and Keegan (9), and the littles, Micah (6) and Preston Jess (4).
Jesse has an unbreakable bond with his Uncle Paul Kelly Pittman and Aunt Barbara Pittman of Bloomfield, N.M. His great aunt Ruby Uptain, from Lewis, Colo., was very dear to his heart and instrumental in his life. There are no words to express the connection between him and his second cousin, Danny Uptain. Jesse’s aunt Linda Adkins, of Arizona, bonded with him the first year of his life and, as everyone else, gave her a run for her money. He always waited till he got new shoes, then he and Aunt Susan would go looking for mud puddles. Other family members whom Jesse loved include Aunt Betty, Aunt Sherry, Aunt Chris, Uncle Steve, and Aunt Carol and Dan Avilez. Matt and Lisa Johnson of Pagosa were a second set of parents to him and he cherished Derrick, their grandson. Jesse has numerous cousins, way too many to list.
Jesse’s celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 11, 2015, at 11 a.m., at Restoration Fellowship, 264 Village Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. There will be a potluck reception immediately following at Norman and Freda’s ranch home. Please bring a side dish to share. Flowers are appreciated, however, if you wish, in lieu of flowers, you may make donations to Calvary Chapel Pagosa Springs in honor of Jesse’s name. Please send donations to Calvary Chapel, P.O. Box 4219, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157.