Peter Brian Jessup, highly respected humanitarian, died Thursday, Aug. 9, while descending the South Maroon Peak. He was celebrating his 27th birthday.Peter attended the Glenwood Springs schools and graduated in 1999.Peter is a cancer survivor. In summer 1997 he was diagnosed with leukemia. Upon his remission Peter determined that his mission was to help others.Peter attended Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and graduated with a major in theology in 2003. During his summer vacations Peter worked as a nurse’s assistant at Glen Valley Care Center, providing care for senior citizens. Peter also participated in a Semester Abroad Program, where he traveled to the Dominican Republic. There he became fluent in Spanish and assisted in medical care in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic.Peter spent several years employed by Catholic Charities-Western Slope, where he coordinated assistance and advocacy to Latinos of the Roaring Fork Valley. He also mediated and interpreted cases in the local court system.Peter took another step in becoming the community organizer at Congregations and Schools Empowered/Metro Organizations for People, where he wrote for grants within our schools and churches, again assisting communities from Aspen to Parachute.Peter was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year on Feb. 6, 2006, by the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce.As a high school student, Peter had a dream of becoming a marine biologist. This past year he determined that he still could chase that dream. He planned to return to Columbia later this fall and obtain his master scuba certification. His ambition was to dive the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. From there we may never know where Peter’s adventure and love of life would have taken him, with his sparkling eyes and infectious smile and laugh.In addition, Peter loved the outdoors and all it had to offer, good music, reading and dancing.Peter is survived by his grandmother, Ruth Jessup; mother, Judy Brittern, and her husband, Doug, of Glenwood Springs; father Ted Jessup and his wife, Mary, of New Castle; sister, Jennifer Wachtel, and her husband, Jonathan, of Denver; stepsister, Sarah Williams, and her husband, Zeph, of New Castle; half-brother, Kip Jessup; half-sister, Morgan Jessup of New Castle; and friend and wife, Alejandra Rico Jessup, of Glenwood Springs.
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