It is with a broken heart that we write that the WordPress Community lost one of its own today. Jesse Petersen, a Genesis Preferred Developer, theme and plugin developer, and so much more lost his fight with Cystic Fibrosis today. Jesse was a valued contributor to the WordPress community and will be greatly missed by those who knew him. He was a WordPress user since 2005, a developer since 2008 and a friend to many.
Jesse is most known as being a Genesis Preferred Developer. As a Genesis-preferred developer since 2009, StudioPress trusted Jesse with their customers to assist with custom sites and he was often personally recommended by the StudioPress founder, Brian Gardner for work. He was dedicated to his profession and to his clients to build products that they can be proud to use on their website. You can find some of his newest themes at GenesisThe.me.
Jesse was also a plugin developer. His newest plugin was GenesisThe.me After Entry Widget Pro that added a widget after a post. He also has 5 plugins in the WordPress repository including Genesis Latest Tweets and Stealth Login Page. His last commit was only 5 days ago.
Jesse enjoyed being a WordCamp Speaker. He spoke at WordCamp Tampa and WordCamp Orlando in 2015 to name a few. Some of his talks can be found at WordPress.tv. He enjoyed being a part of the WordPress Community and sharing his knowledge of WordPress.
Also, Jesse was a member of The WP Crowd and was on many of their podcasts. He was also a Treehouse instructor. His lessons include Modern WordPress Workflow and Genesis Theme Development, which was released in August 2015
Jesse’s personal life was as full as his professional life. He was a family man with a beautiful wife and two adorable boys. Both of his boys came to them as foster children and then they became a forever family. You may remember his “surprise adoption” story of when they adopted their youngest son, Parker back in January, 2016. Jesse and his wife, Kristin, were foster parents up until they decided to take a pause from accepting anymore foster children. He was dedicated to his family and friends. He had a heart bigger than WordPress.
Cystic Fibrosis had other ideas for Jesse. CF is a genetic disease that affects the ability of chloride to pass through cellular walls. This results in a lack of water balance in cells. Lack of water balance results in a thickened mucus that creates a problem in CFers’ respiratory tract (including sinuses), pancreas, liver, skin, and digestive tract. The life expectancy for CF is about 37 years. Jesse was 38.
Jesse leaves behind a wife and two precious boys who will be going through a lot in the upcoming days. They also could use all the help they can get for last expenses and going forward. Ben Meredith has setup a Give fundraiser to help with the last expenses and for the family going forward.
If you would like to read his story about his past few months of waiting for a lung transplant, please see New Lungs For Me . His older blog about Cystic Fibrosis can be found at Cystic Fibrosis Fatboy.
Jesse said just two days before his passing on Twitter “Can you look over your life and say you’d be leaving those connected to you better off having known you? If not, start today.” I think we can all safely say, we are better off for knowing you Jesse Petersen.
Images used from Jesse’s blogs.