We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Tolono Location
Jesse Daniel Wood, 19, of Tolono passed away Tuesday (May 17, 2022) at home, the victim of an accidental overdose.
Jesse was born October 15, 2002, in Urbana, the beloved son of Michael L Wood and Melissa A (Parsons) Wood.
He is survived by his parents, Mike Wood of Pesotum and Melissa Wood of Tolono, and his sister, Anna, at home. Also surviving are his paternal grandmother, Frances Wood of Pesotum, his maternal grandfather, Ken Parsons of Danville, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom he loved dearly.
Jesse was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, James Wood, and his maternal grandmother, Kathy Parsons.
Jesse met his first friends as a toddler at The Caring Place in Urbana. He attended Unit 7 Schools until January, 2020. Halfway through his junior year, he left Unity High School and was proud to have obtained his GED in September, 2020, which would have been the Fall semester of his senior year.
Jesse had worked at Culver’s in 2021 and at Casey’s in Philo, briefly, in 2022.
Jesse had an interest in glass blowing. He had taken a couple of classes with local artist, Jason Mack, and was hoping to take more in the future.
Jesse had an appreciation for nature, instilled in him early since Turkey Run State Park was like a second home to his family. He had been visiting the lodge from the age of three months and had been camping since the age of six months. He took his first steps at Turkey Run on the lawn by the tennis courts. He learned how to ride a bike without training wheels in the campground at Turkey Run, with his beloved Grandpa Kenny at his side.
When Jesse was a baby, both of his grandmothers took special joy in caring for him one day a week while his mom worked. Grandma Kathy would travel from Danville to Pesotum, spend the night at his house and care for him the following day. She treasured those times and those times contributed to their special bond.
During Jesse’s elementary school years, Legos were his first love. He also enjoyed many happy hours playing with neighborhood friends, especially having Nerf wars. He enjoyed the Harry Potter books and had read the entire series by the summer after fourth grade. He loved cats, dogs, and little children.
Jesse’s favorite pastime was spending time with friends. He enjoyed playing chess and had taught some of his friends to play. He and his friends also enjoyed watching movies together, playing video games, cards, and board games. He loved his friends fiercely, and we are thankful for each one of you.
Jesse endured many hard times in his short life including his parents’ separation in 2010 (and ultimate divorce), his dad’s accident in 2013, his mom’s breast cancer journey in 2016, and the death of Grandma Kathy in 2019. He once remarked in a moment of despair to his mom that something bad happens every three years.
Jesse was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in his teen years and although he was taking a prescribed antidepressant, his anxiety was debilitating enough that he sought relief through self-medication with other substances. This led to substance abuse and addiction.
Jesse had been seeking treatment at Carle Addiction and Recovery since December 2021.
Jesse had also been attending counseling regularly for the past few years at Two Roads Wellness Clinic. The family would like to thank Felicia Li for providing a safe space for Jesse to talk freely about anything.
Jesse was a loving son who made a special effort to say goodnight to his mom every night. Even if he was hanging out with friends in the garage, he would say, “Let me know when you’re going to bed.” And he would come in and give me a hug, a kiss, and say, “I love you.”
Jesse also had a loving relationship with his younger sister, Anna. Jesse was always proud of her. They had many happy times playing together as children. They joined forces to survive their parents’ divorce and to weather the other storms that life presented them. They were a comfort to each other throughout their lives. Anna will miss him tremendously, and I know that had he survived, they would have always been there for each other.
He was a tender-hearted soul, maybe too tender for this world.
We pray that Jesse is now at peace; a peace he could never seem to find on this earth.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jesse’s memory to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Funeral Mass will be 11:00 AM, Monday, May 23, 2022 at St. John Catholic Church, 204 S. Pine, Arcola with Rev. Angel Sierra officiating. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Pesotum. Visitation will be from 2:00 to 5:00 PM Sunday at Freese Funeral Home, Tolono, with the rosary at 5:00 PM.