Jesse is survived immediately by his devoted husband of 15 years, Michael Pendergraft, and beloved fur baby, Jango the Bengal cat. He is also survived by his cherished grandmother Roberta Petty, grandfather Roland (MaryLou) McBee, his favorite aunt, Robbie Petty, cousins Jeremy (Tish) Burcham, Savannah (Jared) Howard, great-aunt Edna, and a host of close friends (James, Dan, Cesar, Gina, Sara, Rocio) as well as extended family and distant relatives.
He is preceded in death by his doting and revered mother Victoria “Vickie” McBee Pendergraft, his adored and treasured grandfather, Shelly Petty, mother-in-law Marsha Shelby, and his (other) favorite aunt, Lori Petty.
Jesse had a passion for music and loved to go fishing. He also loved to garden and work in the yard where he could watch the birds he kept fat by making sure all his feeders were always full. He was an avid music lover and a collector of classic vinyl records. He was known for his comedic “Jesse-isms”, his infectious smile, undeniable charm, and his kind and compassionate spirit. He could put a smile on anyone’s face and had an uncanny ability to please any crowd with his musical taste and playlists.
Jesse loved to travel to Georgia and Jacksonville as often as he could to spend time with his family. He loved his Grandpa Shelly dearly. When he and his cousin, Jeremy, were young their Grandpa Shelly would often take them hunting and would have them on their hands and knees to smell how fresh the deer tracks were. Whenever he heard his Grandpa’s truck crank, Jesse would run out the door as fast as he could to make sure he wasn’t left behind. He loved his Grandma, Roberta, with every fiber of his being and loved everything she cooked for him. Jesse loved spending time with his cousins and Aunts Robbie and Lori.
A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 27th, 2020 on Driftwood Beach in Jekyll Island, Georgia at 7:30 p.m. A GoFundMe account has been established to assist with final expenses, memorial service, travel expenses, medical bills and to assist his family during this crisis: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jesse-pendergraft039s-memorial-fund. While our goal won’t cover it all, anything will certainly help.
We ask everyone to consider donating the greatest gift--the Gift of Life. While Jesse was too sick at the end to endure the transplant surgery, there is no greater way to honor his memory and legacy than by becoming an organ donor.
The family would like to extend our deepest appreciation and most sincere thanks to Dr. Rajan Kapoor and his staff for the many years of compassionate, unparalleled medical care that he provided to Jesse. We would also like to thank and recognize Dr. Roman, Dr. Koteish, Dr. Guirguis, and the entire transplant team (N.P.’s Anna, Juliet, Elidalis, Debbie, et al), Dr. Alex Velazquez, Dr. Dreyer, Dr. Vanar, the doctors (Dr. Pacheco and Dr. Simaev) and nurses (especially Ray, Kristiana, JoJo, Shelli, Sean & Karen) of the Critical Care Medicine team in the ICU, and the entire nursing staff of the 3W PCU at AdventHealth Orlando.
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