Jesse Walter Petersen
Jesse Walter Petersen
  • December 18, 1978 - July 5, 2017
  • Tampa, Florida

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Jesse said, on Twitter, just two days before his passing, “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 having known Jesse Petersen.

Jesse Petersen, 38, passed away from complications of cystic fibrosis (CF) on July 5, 2017. He waited on the lung transplant list for 110 days, but ultimately he ran through the gates of heaven with the most perfect set of lungs. He was born December 18, 1978 in Boulder, CO to Jerry and Mildred (Sipes) Petersen. After spending most of his growing up years in Ohio, Jesse moved to Florida with his parents in 1994 and graduated from Land O’ Lakes High School in 1997. He graduated from the University of South Florida in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Jesse married Kristin Reilly on October 21, 2006 in Tampa, FL.

Jesse loved God fully, loved his wife fiercely, and loved his sons sacrificially. Jesse and Kristin served as foster parents to over 35 children over the past five years, and adopted their two boys in the process. Jesse had a significant following within the CF community. He wrote a CF blog where he documented his health challenges and how he faced each one with godly courage. He was devoted to encouraging and helping others with CF.

Jesse owned and ran, with Kristin’s help, Petersen Media Group and was greatly respected within the WordPress community. Jesse was most known for being a Genesis Preferred Developer. He was dedicated to his profession and to his clients in providing websites that would meet and surpass their expectations. He was a theme and plugin developer and enjoyed several opportunities as a WordCamp speaker. Jesse was proud to be a WordPress educator and small business expert.

In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his sons, Aidan and Ivan Petersen; his wife’s parents, David and Mary-Lynn Reilly; his sister-in-law, Ashley (David) Schmid; his brother-in-law Andrew (Nicole) Reilly; and his maternal grandmother, Marilyn Sipes. Jesse was preceded in going home by his older sister, Rachel Petersen in 1981.

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This funeral service at Idlewild Baptist Church will be streamed live at