9-year-old Faribault girl dies after brief illness

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, December 23, 2014

By Camey Thibodeau, Faribault Daily News

FARIBAULT — A 9-year-old Faribault girl died unexpectedly on Friday at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul following a brief illness.

Jessica Lynn Jandro, a third-grader at Jefferson Elementary School, was born Sept. 22, 2005, to Dennis and Susan (Wegner) Jandro. According to her obituary, “Jess was a spirited girl with a huge heart and loaded with pizazz!! She always put others first, gave the most lovable hugs, and had a memorable laugh.”

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Faribault Public School District Superintendent Todd Sesker said an emergency response plan has been implemented in response to Jessica’s death and Jefferson Elementary will be open to students and adults from 10 a.m.-noon today. Counselors and social workers will be there for support.

“We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and hope they can find a way to get through this,” Sesker said.

Faribault Public School District Human Resources Director Nicole Yochum said there will be a memorial activity for kids to take part in this morning at Jefferson. The morning will begin with a moment of silence for Jessica and a message from Jefferson principal Jennifer Moliter about grieving. Then the meeting will be open to students and parents to tell stories and share memories of Jessica. A school social worker will then read a book about grieving. The morning will conclude after students put together a project with hand prints to give to Jessica’s parents to display at the funeral if they wish.

“I think we’re all really shocked and speechless,” said Yochum. “We’re trying to support students and parents as best we can. Hopefully tomorrow will help. It will be hard on staff too. We’re working as hard as we can to alleviate stress. Additional support will be available the week after winter break.”

Jessica was last in school on Tuesday, Dec. 16, but was absent for the remainder of the week, according to Yochum.

Jessica’s first-grade teacher Bonnie Peterson had her in class throughout the 2012-2013 school year and recalls seeing Jessica come in with a smile on her face every day.

“She was this little girl who had these lovely curls and big blue eyes,” Peterson said. “Jessica was always responsible and dependable. You could count on her. She was so enthusiastic and a hard worker. Other children loved her. She had lot of friends. People were drawn to her. This is just devastating. We’re in shock. She was such a sweetheart.”

According to her obituary, Jessica loved to dance with Studio of Stars, where she was quite the leader, and enjoyed playing basketball and gymnastics. She and her family had many special times camping. She liked fishing, playing with dogs, and spending time with her (best friend) Jersey, dressing up in high heels and a feather boa.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Faribault. There will be no reviewal or visitation at the church on Saturday. Interment will follow the service. All attending the funeral on Saturday are invited to wear purple in memory of Jess.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday at Parker Kohl Funeral Home in Faribault.

Jessica’s full obituary can be viewed at www.kohlmcraithfuneral.com/obituaries/Jessica-Jess-Jandro/#!/Obituary.

A call to the home of Susan and Dennis Jandro was answered by Susan’s sister who said the family did not wish to comment.