Jacqueline Leilani Prescott Pignone, 54, of Baker City, died at May 7, 2008, at her home surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with cancer.
A potluck party to celebrate Jackie’s life will begin at noon June 28 at the Pignone residence, 14780 Mill Creek Lane. All friends and family are welcome to attend and share memories and laughs. The family would like to encourage people to bring photographs of Jackie to the celebration to add to a memorial collage.
Jackie was born on Sept. 27, 1953, at Honolulu in the Territory of Hawaii. She was the “baby” of the four daughters born to Jackson “Jack” Thomas Prescott and Mary Agnes Lyneis Prescott. She spent her early years in Hawaii.
When she was 8 she moved to Eugene with her mother and sisters after her parents’ divorce.
Jackie found her direction in life in March of 1972 when her only child, and lifelong best friend, Andrea “Andie,” was born. Jackie was a wonderful, devoted mother who included her daughter in everything she did.
She met the love of her life, Rick Pignone, the following year, and they were married on May 20, 1978, in an outdoor ceremony at the family’s farm at Greenleaf.
Jackie was a stay-at-home mom until her daughter was in high school. She took care of everything on the family’s 20 acres, which included growing a huge garden every summer, canning fruits and vegetables, doctoring animals, moving irrigation pipes, and a little bit of everything else.
She loved being outside; the hotter the weather the better. She also loved animals, and they knew it! Over the years, quite a menagerie of lucky strays found their way into her life, family members said.
Jackie was also an accomplished telemark skier. Every weekend and school holiday in winter Jackie, Rick and Andie traveled to Sisters to ski at Hoodoo Ski Area. The family had many great times camped out at the ski area in their Volkswagon van or overhead camper. Jackie was a volunteer member of the National Ski Patrol for many years, participating in both first aid and search and rescue activities.
The family’s passion for skiing eventually led to a career opportunity for Jackie. In 1988, she became the food and beverage manager at Hoodoo. She held that position until she and Rick moved to Baker City to manage at Ski Anthony Lakes in 1998.
In the summer months she operated her own concessions and catering business, traveling to fairs and rodeos all over Central and Eastern Oregon. Jackie was an excellent cook and truly loved interacting with and helping people, which made working in the food service industry a perfect fit.
Jackie’s proudest accomplishment was becoming a grandmother, family members said. Her three grandchildren, Hannah, Kate, and Ian were the lights of her life, and she never missed an opportunity to do something special with or for them.
Jackie especially enjoyed making her annual trip to the Mexican Caribbean with her grandchildren, husband, daughter, and son-in-law. Jackie returned from the family’s most recent trip to Mexico in mid-April, and she was eagerly anticipating the arrival of her fourth grandchild (which she was convinced would be a boy) in June.
Jackie enjoyed family and friends above all else. She loved and gave of herself with her whole heart, and she brought out the best in those around her, family members said.
Her compassionate nature, contagious smile and laugh, and wonderful sense of humor will be sorely missed.
Survivors include her loving husband, Rick Pignone of Baker City; daughter, Andie Pignone Jesenko, and son-in-law, John Jesenko, of Baker City; grandchildren, Hannah, Kate, and Ian Jesenko, of Baker City; three sisters; two sisters-in-law; four brothers-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker City or the American Cancer Society through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 20, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor