We lost a wonderful man on Sunday, September 1, 2013. Jesse Christian DeRusha -- son, brother, dad, grandson, nephew, uncle ("Knuckle"), cousin and friend passed away at the age of 39. At the time of his death, Jesse was living in San Diego.
Jesse was born in Santa Ana, California, on February 11, 1974. He graduated from Merced High School in Merced, California, in 1992 and served in the Navy shortly after graduation, where he was able to travel to many countries such as Japan and Australia. Jesse also lived in Pocatello; Great Falls, Montana; Idaho Falls; The Dalles, Oregon; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and Flagstaff and Phoenix, Arizona.
Jesse is survived by his Mom, Tana Smith; Dad, Brian (Brenda) DeRusha; sister, Jamie (Brandon) Knowles; daughters, Mikaela and Jocelyn; nieces and nephew, Taylin, Brekyn and Conley; Grandpas, Larry Goodson, Norval Scott and George Kom; Grandmas, Vida Smith and Jean DeRusha; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Jesse was an amazingly gifted graphic designer and tattoo artist. In addition to beautiful, original work, he took pride in transforming a poorly executed tattoo into a piece of art. He was a free spirit and loved discovering new and exciting places to live and work. Jesse had a lifelong desire to learn and was excited and happy to go back to college in San Diego in August.
Jesse made friends everywhere he went. His fun, easygoing, laid-back attitude was infectious and made him easy to love and a joy to be around. Jesse loved to tease his family and friends and was constantly making them laugh and smile.
Jesse wasn't only a son and brother to his family; he was a best friend, protector and hero. He had a special place in his heart for the children in his life, and they for him. He loved and was loved unconditionally. He lived life simply and yet, to the fullest. The world was Jesse's canvas, and he left his most beautiful impressions of art on our hearts.
Your smile and laughter will be with us always. We love you, Jesse.