Letchworth family’s touching tribute to 22-year-old after Wheathampstead car crash tragedy
PUBLISHED: 12:34 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:56 20 December 2017
The 22-year-old was returning from Winter Wonderland in London with two friends on Sunday, December 3, when the car they were travelling was involved in a collision at the junction of the B651 and Drovers Lane in Wheathampstead.
Jessie, of Glebe Road, was immediately taken to St Mary’s Hospital in London for treatment, but she sadly passed away four days later on Thursday, December 7.
She leaves her younger sister Jamie, mum Anita McArthur-Worbey, step-mum Fiona McArthur-Worbey, father Robert Worbey, his fiancée Claire Munnelly and her girlfriend Charlotte Gleave.
Jessie was born at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage on June 21, 1995.
Remembering her as a baby, mum Anita said: “Jessie was a very pretty and inquisitive baby, but she could be stubborn. When she was a toddler she loved to sing and she was into everything. We often found her digging for worms in the garden or singing on the sofa her favourite song.”
Jessie attended Pixmore Junior School, the Grange Junior School and Fearnhill School in Letchworth before going to the prestigious Hertfordshire College of Music.
Most recently, she was studying for a degree in Creative Musicianship at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and was proud to be awarded a distinction for one of her modules. She hoped to become a music teacher and follow her main passion to perform in the future.
Anita said: “Jessie’s love of music was always present. At school she showed an interest in all musical areas and wanted to play the recorder moving swiftly on to the violin eventually finding her love of playing the guitar and then finally her favourite instrument, the drums.”
Although Jessie loved all types of music she loved country and western music, and American artist Pink. One of her favourite songs was American Honey by Lady Antebellum.
Dad Robert said: “She played the guitar and the drums, and she really was a natural drummer. In her fourth lesson, her tutor was surprised to find she had only had four lessons and she was better than them after two years of playing.
“This love of music expanded into sharing her skills and tutoring younger people but her main passion was performing – she played at lots of gigs at college and in pubs.”
Step-mum Fiona said: “We were in awe of Jessie because she could play the cajón – a box-shaped Peruvian drum – and the guitar at the same time.
“I remember filming her at a pub gig while she played the cajón and guitar at the same time, and everyone was up dancing – but I wanted them to move just so I could record her!”
Jessie and her younger sister Jamie were extremely close and shared a passion for music. Mum Anita says they would often jam together for hours, laughing all the way – then they would perform to the entire family.
“We would write music together and she would often find one of my lines funny, so she would always sing it in a silly voice,” Jamie added.
Jessie had several YouTube channels, one of which was called Timekeeper Music, and here she would upload her own music to share. Another area she was exploring was anime music videos. These can be found at youtube.com/user/jwrockgurl.
As well as studying hard, Jessie tutored children at the Music Department, based in St Albans, on Saturdays and loved this role.
Dad Robert said: “Children always seemed to gravitate towards Jessie because she had so much patience. She was also godmother to one of her friend’s children, all children loved her.”
The young musician also gave up her spare time to volunteer at POhWER, a Stevenage-based charity which supports people with multiple challenges and issues in Herts and beyond. She would help out at events, helping people to enjoy their time and she would also help in the back office.
Dad Robert recalls how excited she was to have passed her driving test first time recently, and said she was looking forward to the freedom it would bring.
Her step-mum Fiona said Jessie had a talent for creating perfect cocktails and mocktails and her favourite was a pina colada.
Sister Jamie said: “When we were on holiday lying by the pool, she would ask if everyone wanted a drink and then she’d go in the kitchen and you’d hear the blender going!”
Jessie’s family say she had a close-knit group of friends and she absolutely loved being around people because she was so sociable.
Jamie added: “She was a very cuddly person. She would often come into my room and hug me, whether I was awake or not.”
Jessie was also a huge animal lover and despite having a dog, three cats and a snake, mum Anita said she was always lobbying for extra furry additions to the family.
“She loved her cat, Bec. She couldn’t have had a more appropriate cat because Bec always wants cuddles and Jessie was always a very cuddly person,” Anita added.
Her family say Jessie was known for her quirky tomboy style and was often seen sporting either her favourite trilby hat or, more casually, her beanie hats.
Jessie’s family say losing her is the single most devastating thing to happen to them and being so close to Christmas is especially painful for her loved ones, as it was her favourite time of year.
Anita said her oldest daughter had helped her adorn the house with Christmas decorations while enjoying a Baileys together on Saturday, December 2.
Since Jessie’s passing, her family have received kind messages of condolences from everywhere including her university and former college friends from the Hertfordshire College of Music.
HCM is planning a tribute concert to Jessie next year, and the establishment of an award in her name to honour the talented former pupil.
Jessie will be laid to rest at 1pm on Friday, December 29, at Holwell Cemetery Memorial Park. All are welcome.
Afterwards, her family and friends will be gathering to remember and celebrate Jessie’s life further. Details of the venue are to be confirmed.
Those wishing to make a donation in Jessie’s memory can do so on the day. This will go towards a memorial in her honour.
Those attending the service are asked to wear something bright. Orange or lime green were Jessie’s favourite colours.