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Jessica N. "JJ" Dawson

September 14, 1995 ~ March 25, 2021 (age 25)

Obituary Image

Life Story

Miss Jessica Nichole “JJ” Dawson, beautiful daughter, sister, niece and friend, passed away Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 10:35 am at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. She was 25.

JJ was born in Elkhart on September 14, 1995 to Dennis Dawson of Phoenix, AZ and Judy A. DeFord of Elkhart; and is survived by a close-knit and loving family that includes her brother Dustin Mills of Elkhart and her sister Amy (David) Marks of Niles, MI; aunts and uncles Angie O’Sullivan of Crestview, FL, Kirk DeFord of Elkhart and Bruce (Nicole) DeFord of Berkley, IL, and her loving grandma, Irmgard DeFord of Cassopolis, MI. Also surviving is a host of cousins, extended family and close friends. JJ is preceded in death by her grandpa Larry DeFord and her uncle Kevin O’Sullivan.

A celebration of Jessica’s life will take place on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart. Viewing will held from 4-6 pm, followed by a funeral service at 6:00 pm, officiated by Billings Chaplain Jeremy Sarber. Burial will follow on Thursday during a private family graveside service at Prairie Street Cemetery in Elkhart.

JJ was very fond of children and decided early on that she enjoyed interacting with them and caring for them, making her the perfect babysitter for any family who needed one. She also had a very soft and loving spot in her heart for all creatures great and small, illustrated by the fact that she had two rabbits, two dogs and a gecko. (It is still unclear whether or not the gecko sold insurance!) She also loved being outdoors, and was an avid camper, kayaker and fisher-girl!

Sweet, loveable and caring, JJ had a heart of gold and a lending hand. Even after she had nothing left for herself, she would still worry about the needs of others before her own. Once again, these words echoed her well-thought intentions as her last earthly act was to make an anatomical gift of herself to those who face hopeless medical situations.

Thank you, Jessica, for your unselfish gift of hope and love. May your generosity live on in the hopes and dreams of those lives you directly affected.  We will always cherish the memory and honor of the life that you lived!

In the spirit of Easter, you gave new life.

Memorial donations made in JJ’s name can be given to the Humane Society of Elkhart County.

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