Elise Susan Jamison . . . on earth she was briefly gorgeous.* From the moment she arrived, January 18, 1997, she was loved and made her presence known to the world. She made number 4 of our eventual family of 5. Our middle. Our center. Elise was unique, talented, thoughtful, kind, beautiful, brilliant, funny, cherished and very loved, but yet always fragile. It is cliché to say that Elise lit up every room she walked into, but she certainly did just that. If Elise was in the room, you knew it. She spiced up the room in every possible way and there was an energy and a light wherever she went.
In her short life, her accomplishments were vast. After graduating from Cardinal Mooney High School, she earned three degrees in Sociology, Criminology, and Political Science as a triple major, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina. During her time in Columbia, she took incredible pride in her work, advocating for imprisoned youths and children in need. She cared so deeply for kids who were less fortunate, and always strove to positively impact others who had been dealt a bad hand in life. Elise then earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and was just beginning to shine as an attorney at Goodwin Law in New York City. Through all of these amazing accomplishments and busy years, she was never afraid to reach out to someone who needed a friend. Her insightful and generous spirit was her special gift. It is what gave her strength and let others know they were not alone.
Elise’s life is one that we wish to honor for the light that it was and not the darkness that took her too soon from this world on August 18, 2023. Elise overcame challenges easier than most, but throughout her brief life, her mental health was her greatest battle. This was no secret to her friends and family. Elise had exceptional courage when she shared her battles with depression with the world in a Huffington Post article when she was just 17. She fought hard for many years and while this was our greatest fear, we must believe that she is free from her pain, she is with God, and she is at peace.
For those that she touched, hold her amazing spirit in your heart. Smile big. Be loud and proud. Wear pink. Plant daisies. Gather around a great home-cooked meal with those you love. Give big hugs and say I love you often. Help others in need. Always give a thoughtful gift. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who are struggling. She would be so happy to know her life and the things she loved are living on in all of you.
We, as her parents, Jim and Jamie, her brother, Matt, his wife, Lacey, and her sister, Kellyn, wish to thank all of the loved ones who supported her over the years and have held our family in your prayers. We all loved Elise so much and she will forever be a part of us. For those of you who ask what you can do . . . please keep her memory alive and do not be afraid to reach out and talk about our beautiful girl. We need your friendship and love now and always.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael’s Parish in Canfield on Saturday, August 26th, 2023, at 11AM. Our family has many cherished memories with Elise at Chautauqua Institution. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Chautauqua Foundation in memory of Elise S. Jamison at giving.chq.org (Ways to Give/Honorary/Memorial)
*On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong, is a book that Elise loved. She was on earth briefly, but always gorgeous.