This is not the post I wanted to write today. I wanted to click “Publish” on the draft we’ve already got saved named “It’s a GO!”
But God in His providence—a providence Jesse leaned so heavily on these last few months—decided to answer Jesse’s prayers for perfect lungs with a resounding yes, just not the way we wanted.
Today is a profoundly sad day for us, and no amount of platitudes could or should soothe the ache. But Jesse would tell you right now to run to Jesus.
I just set up a new fund on this site to help with Funeral Expenses and to support his family. Jesse was the sole income of his family. Please give generously.
Funeral and Family Expenses Fund1 min read
Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.
61 Responses to Jesse Petersen Has Passed Away.
Bridget Willard says
I’m so sorry for your loss, having experienced something very similar last year. I will continue to pray for you and your family. xoox
Theresa Jennings says
I’m so sorry for your loss – words can’t express. I donated to your medical leave fund before you put this up. I’m going to share this with the WP groups I admin.
Dustin Meza says
I’m so sorry to hear this news, not the news any of us wanted to hear. You and the family will be in our thoughts and prayers, Jesse will be missed greatly.
Cindy Baldwin says
I am so heartbroken to read this. My prayers are with you, Kristin, and your sweet kids.
Alex Juchniewicz says
With not knowing Jesse very much, only through affiliation through online and chatted briefly from my time at WP Valet, he was amazing. You guys didn’t lose anything, because you gained an incredible husband and father and brother in Christ to all of the people he touched.
Two months ago my wife and I lost our son, Colton, when Marie was 39 weeks along due to a knot in his cord he tightened up 2 days before we were scheduled to be induced. We gave birth to a stillborn and had the pleasure of saying goodbye to him after he went to be with our heavenly father. Even after 2 months it’s still hard sometimes, but we wouldn’t have been able to get through anything or have hope with out Jesus or our church community.
Now, losing a husband is completely different than a child, but I would switch places with him in an instant if I could. For Kristin, you will get through this, I want to encourage you because I had to step up and encourage my wife when we lost Colton. Allow yourself to grieve, take all the time you need and don’t be afraid to tell people to give you space when you need it. Surround yourself with people, I know it might be hard at first but you will need them , even if it’s just to be in the same room without saying anything, it helps. Know that God has a plan and lean into your faith that in time He will help you to understand. In the beginning it feels completely overwhelming and you don’t know what to do, your purpose as a wife and mother will go through your mind, but rest in God’s understanding that you will be taken care of, I promise.
To Jesse and your kids, thank you for being an outstanding father to your kids. Thank you for being a man who puts his trust and bold faith in Jesus Christ publicly. Thank you modeling what it means to be a husband and dedicated best friend to your wife. Thank you for your efforts in the WordPress community, working hard, volunteering your time to help others, putting them first before yourself. Thank you.
If you feel like you want to read our story about Colton and it might help with giving you hope, the website is https://dearcolton.com. I spoke to Marie and we are going to donate to help out your family since so many helped us when we were in need.
Please feel free to reach out to myself or Marie to just talk and vent about life, we are here for you guys and know that you are loved.
Alex and Marie Juchniewicz
Thank you! I sent you both a facebook request.
Brad Miller says
I’m so sorry for your loss. Jesse was a good guy and I know he loved Jesus and we all know he’s in a better place.
Jerry Petersen says
Ben, thank you thank you for all your help to Jesse and Kristin. What a mix of emotions as Mildred and I rejoice for our amazing son because he’s with Jesus, and yet our hearts break for Kristin and the boys as they deal with such a devastating loss and the countless decisions and adjustments they will be facing.
Grace and peace,
Ben Meredith says
It’s the least I could do for a good friend, Jerry. Sorry for your loss.
Jerry Petersen says
It means a lot. We’re looking forward to meeting you in person.
Wayne Stratton says
So gutted. Prayers and love lifted up high <3
Wendy Defosse says
My deepest condolences to Jesse’s family. He was such a great guy. I didn’t know him well but well enough to know he is happy with Jesus right now and will leave a great void for his wife and boys and many others who knew him. He shone his light brightly and ran his race well.
Paul Oyler says
My heart is breaking for Jesse’s family. I know the loss and the pain, and I also know the Hope that will surpass all understanding as they move forward in grief.
Be well, Jesse. You will be missed brother.
I’m so sad – Jesse taught me how to make genesis themes on Treehouse and I’ve been silently following your journey these last few months. I’ll be praying for your family during this difficult time. I know from losing my own dad in 2014 the platitudes don’t help but know he’s touched so many lives during his time.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
Jesse was a spiritual giant of man with lion’s heart. I’ve never met anyone with the fighting spirit that he had mixed with the tender lovingkindness that he had for his family. I was inspired by every minute I spent with him. Amazing, Godly man who was an example to everyone that knew him of what it means to love God, love our neighbor and share the good news of Jesus Christ with our actions.
Rosa Rexroad says
I’m so sad to hear about your loss! We will keep you in our prayers! I’m happy he is with our savior now! Heaven is rejoicing! Our love and prayers are with your whole family!
Alex Vasquez says
I didn’t personally know Jesse, but he made a profound impact on his community and that speaks volumes. I’m sorry for your family’s loss.
Ahmad Awais says
So sorry for your loss! Didn’t know Jesse personally, but he was a great member of the WordPress community. I wish we could have done more for him. Prayers for him and his family.
James Tryon says
We will meet up to argue again someday <3
You will be missed.
Tessa Kriesel says
I never had the pleasure of knowing Jesse, except electronically, but I have been watching his updates since I noticed a few posts about raising money for his family during his medical leave. Over the weekend, I really enjoyed his compassionate posts about the little girl needing a donation. An individual that can put a stranger before themselves (even just in conversation) is someone that I truly would have loved to have met. His post about eating, just in case he got the call, prompted me to spend time praying and thinking about him and his family. He seemed like an amazing person and I pray for peace and healing for his family during this difficult time.
Bet Hannon says
So sorry to hear this news. Prayers for all of you!
Sandi Batik says
Kristin, we are so sorry for your loss. Jessie was an amazing man who reached out with loving kindness to touch so many in the WordPress and Genesis Communities. Nick and I, with our Church family, have been praying for Jessie and you since he announced his need for the lung transplant. Please know that you and your sweet boys are surrounded in prayer. Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Jim Spencer says
I had the pleasure of hiring Jesse for a few client projects a few years back. He was professional, super knowledgeable and easy to work with. I appreciate his high standards and the example he set professionally and in the way he carried on his life. Blessings to all.
What an amazing legacy you have left. Inspiring young WordPress developers and plugin devs everywhere, and most importantly your two boys. You will not be forgotten.
Tamal Anwar says
I had some interaction with Jesse in his last few days over at Twitter. He was going to teach me some stuff about Genesis child themes. I was hopeful he would get well and I will get the chance to learn from him next year. I always gave him hope. Truly saddened by the loss.
Bjørn Johansen says
I never had the privilege to meet Jesse in person, but I enjoyed our online conversations a lot. He will sincerely be remembered as someone I respected highly.
Muhammad Adnan says
His talks and visuals are roaming around my head!
Beth Ross says
We are thankful that Jesse is with Jesus but we morn his loss and will keep Kristin and the family in our prayers.
I didn’t know Jesse well, but we emailed back and forth a bit when he was first launching his theme shop a couple years ago.
Here I was, a complete WP newbie, and he graciously offered to feature any theme I could create in his shop. He offered to review the code and help when needed.
In Jesse I saw a fellow father, working tirelessly to care for his family. His generosity and example encouraged me a great deal at a time when I really needed it.
I had to make different decisions, but I very much would have liked to take him up on his offer.
As brief as our communication was, it was clear to me that he loved his family deeply. It was obvious that he was a man of integrity, a man with a fierce love for our Savior.
It is now my prayer that the family and friends he leaves behind for a time will know God’s comfort and peace.
I pray that those that don’t share his faith in God will look to the faith he had — his walk of repentance and obedience to God’s word, and be encouraged to seek the gift of eternal life that Jesse now enjoys.
To his boys… you can see that your dad made an impact on people. He left you a Godly legacy. And as a brother in Christ and a father of three boys myself, I know that your dad’s deepest desire would be to see you walking in faith with our Lord. You are blessed indeed to have such an example in your life.
Boys, walk with God and you will see your dad again.
To Kristin… my wife and I thank God you are surrounded by such love. Our humble church up here in Canada will continually ask the Lord to grant you an abundance of courage, comfort and wisdom as you endeavour to groom your young men.
In Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
Patrick & Mimi O’Dacre
Shayda Torabi says
May your legacy live on through the lives of every single person you left an impact on, to the ones who personally knew you and the ones who knew you through your contributions with WordPress. Thank you for being my friend.
James Dalman says
No words can express the sorrow I feel right now for Kristin and the family. I’m so sorry to hear Jesse has passed away. The only comfort is knowing Jesse gave his life to the Lord and trusted in Him. I’m sure he’s rejoicing in Heaven, with no more pain or health issues.
I had the honor of working with Jesse at iThemes in 2009. He was always caring, genuine, and a great guy. We had many awesome conversations. He will be missed by many people.
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and his family.
Steven Gliebe says
I didn’t know Jesse but I’m glad to learn he knew Jesus.
God bless you, Petersen family.
Scott Mann says
Happy to pay it forward from our own hardships. Jesse and I bonded over shared beards and serious health fights at a WordCamp a few years back.
Godspeed Jesse. Praying for strength for your family and the legacy you built.
Tanner Moushey says
Jesse, you inspired me and so many others to live life more fully and love more deeply. I look forward to meeting you in person in heaven.
Marisa Porter says
Beautiful thought. Heaven.
Marisa Porter says
Nate and I are stunned and saddened. We prayed for Jesse and hoped every day to hear the news you also wanted to give. A few days ago I was prompted to pray for him and his family extra hard. I thought of little Parker. No, my prayers were not answered in the way I expected. And no, there’s nothing anyone can say or do to make this less sad. So glad to have known Jesse. He was one of the truly kind and generous people in the WordPress community, always encouraging of my efforts to learn more and reach out more.
Devin Walker says
Jesse is someone who I wish I knew better. The times we did cross paths, he’s been someone who I looked up to as a pillar of our community.
Tara Claeys says
I am deeeply saddened by this news. I have been following and praying for Jesse and have been inspired by him after supporting his cause to adopt baby Parker. A life taken too soon, yet a life lived fully with love and generosity. My thoughts are with his family as they grieve and find grace in their memories and the fond recollections of so many who were touched by Jesse’s life.
Katherine McKinney says
We are very sorry to hear this heart-breaking news. Please know our prayers for Kristin, theiir boys, and the whole family will continue. We are inspired by such a amazing legacy Jesse and Kristin created with God’s guidance and provision. We are very blessed to have your sister Ashley on our team; we pray together for you. With Love, Life Connections Counseling Center, Lutz
Katherine McKinney & Team says
We are very sorry to hear this heart-breaking news. Please know our prayers for Kristin, their boys, and the whole family will continue. We are inspired by such a amazing legacy Jesse and Kristin created with God’s guidance and provision. We are very blessed to have your sister Ashley on our team; we pray together for you. With Love, Life Connections Counseling Center, Lutz
Jen Eisenmann says
I have only known Jesse for a short time when he joined a Facebook CF lung transplant support group. But in that short time, I could tell he was a really good guy. I am devastated to hear this news. My thoughts are with his family and close friends. His voice, his honesty and his encouragement will surely be missed in our group.
Jesse was an amazing friend to me at WordCamps and beyond. We had our boys at around the same time and it was great to be able to chat about the joys of parenting with him. He helped me upgrade my MacBook at the last WCTPA, which was invaluable in running my business. He was always so kind, and thoughtful, and always willing to answer questions about WordPress and beyond. I am broken hearted for us all, such a huge loss. Thank you for your friendship Jesse.
Matt Cromwell says
I only met Jesse online through our mutual appreciation for nonprofits. We quickly connected as brothers in Christ as well. Jesse always struck me as very sincere, very compassionate, very God-fearing and a true family man. I respected him and appreciated the chance to get to know him even briefly. I pray the best for his wife and children and hope my meager donation helps.
Troy Dean says
I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with your family.
Ahmed Kaludi says
My condolences with the family and her wife.
Jathan Désir says
Prayers to all of Jesse’s family. He will be missed. Our interactions were always positive. He was a very patient and supportive person. The WordPress community and the life community will miss him dearly. Just learning of this and I’m so sorry for your loss.
Robert Martin says
Your struggle is over. RIP my friend! ✝️
“…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”