Jessica Lea Beasley

jessica beasley
Jessica Lea Beasley (November 1, 1972-December 24, 2022) Our beloved Jessica Lea Beasley passed away on December 24, 2022, at her home in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was 50. Jessica (Jess, Jessie, Aunt Jess) entered the world with her twin sister Jennifer on November 1, 1972, in Nashville, TN to Bill and Beverley (Morrison) Beasley. Jessica attended Lipscomb Elementary, Northside Junior High, and Brentwood High School and was a loyal member of Brentwood United Methodist Church’s Sonshine Choir. Jessica graduated BHS in 1991 and enrolled at the University of Tennessee, where she joined Alpha Chi Omega sorority. While at UT, she earned her Master of Science Degree in Education with a minor in Special Education in 1996. Jessica’s life’s work and passion was helping people. She started her career at UT training teachers about inclusion for special-needs students. She later entered the classroom working alongside special-needs students in Knox County and transitioned to working with students facing behavioral and addiction challenges at the Village Academy. She later worked in community outreach with Belew Drugs to help combat the opioid epidemic. Her last role was serving as a successful Team Leader with Chik-Fil-A -in Knoxville. Jessica is remembered as a loving sister, daughter/granddaughter, aunt, and friend who always considered other’s needs before her own and used her personal battles and triumphs over substance abuse to encourage and inspire others to persevere and overcome. She was happiest when surrounded by family and took pride watching her nieces and nephew compete in various sports. Jessica was a “Vol for Life” and lifelong learner with a love of history, trivia, music, sports, and animals, especially her cats, Maggie, Elliot, and Gus. She was a loyal teammate and found pure joy contributing to the teams of which she was a part and working to achieve goals as a team, whether in her role as a twin, a BHS basketball and volleyball manager, a sorority sister, a family member, or a work team. She loved visits to Ponte Vedra Beach and New England to spend time relaxing and enjoying her family, attending concerts and sporting events, especially her beloved Tennessee Volunteers. Jessica’s most valued relationship was that as a child of God and her confidence in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and she grew in her faith alongside dear friends and leaders at Corryton Church. Jessica is survived by her parents, Bill and Beverley Beasley (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL); twin sister Jennifer (Lakeland, TN); brother, Bill (Franklin, TN); sister-in-law, Melissa; nieces, Davis and Cady, nephew, Will; uncle, John (Franklin, TN); aunt, Eve; and first cousin who was like a sister, Melody Crowder (Franklin); and many Beasley and Morrison/Jordan family members whom she cherished. A Celebration of Life: TEAM Jess has been planned for Friday, January 27th, at Brentwood United Methodist Church. Visitation with the family will be from 1-2PM; the service will be from 2-3PM with a reception following the service in the lower level of the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that charitable donations be made to K9s For Warriors in Memory of Jessica Beasley at Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, 6949 Charlotte Pike, Suite 104 (615) 857-9955. We proudly remain locally owned & operated.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Jess was more than my little sister, she was my family and had the purest heart of any person I have ever known. I didn’t deserve a friend like my little “Jessie Harris” Our family is absolutely devastated by this shocking loss and we will mourn her loss forever. Our deepest prayers and love to Bill, Beverly, Bill Jr. and Jenn. Ma and Pa Hamner (and Grace) will love you forever Jess

    • I met Jessica in Knoxville at Belew Drugs where we both worked. Jessica was very understanding and a great listener, she helped me just by talking to me. I will greatly miss her. Sending my thoughts, prayers and condolences to her family. Troy Moore CPht Nashville. TN.

  2. And Warren is so damn tall, this cut his head off. Jess would have loved that! And the fact that I can’t correct it.

  3. Isn’t a memory but I bet she is so happy the Vols won the ORANGE bowl lastnight. Jess was the kindest person, always trying to lift people up and telling them good job, etc. She always asked everyone how they were doing and talked to them if they needed it and would try to help anyone if they ever needed it. I’m going to miss her so much, its going to be weird going to work and not seeing her.

  4. Melissa and Bill and family, We are so sorry for the loss of your sister. Your family is in our prayers today. Katy, Chris, Anna Kate Clark

  5. I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful soul. I met Jessica while working at Belew Drugs and instantly loved her. She had a warm, endearing personality. I’m thankful to have known her. May God bring peace and comfort to the family.

  6. I am beyond grateful that I had the privilege to work with Jess at The Village Academy, she ask me weekly” how is your daughter? I am praying” .She was such an inspiration to all she came in contact with.

  7. This type of hurt overwhelms my soul. The world will never be the same without Jess. I truly loved her more than anything. She was the kindest, realest, most caring person you will ever meet. My mom has stage four terminal brain cancer. Which has made my life very difficult this year. But jess was there every step of the way holding my hand and telling me everything was going to be okay. And I truly believed her and I still do. No other person will ever be able to love me the way jess did. My favorite memory of her: I was getting ready to leave for my 16th birthday trip to Disney world. I had been saving everything for months to go. Right before I clocked out Jess came up to me and put a $100 bill in my hand. And she told me to buy whatever the hell I wanted at Disney world because I deserved it. I tried to refuse but she wouldn’t have it. No one will ever love me like Jess did. ❤️

  8. I first met Jessica as she graduated from UT with her education degree. She was passionate, vivacious, and always curious about new things. I worked with her as a colleague for only 2 years, but in that time it was a joy to watch her grow as an educator and as a young adult. What stuck with me most over the years since were the wide smiles that lit up her face and her willing laughter. I am very saddened at her passing so early and I wish ease and peace for her family and friends in their grief.

  9. I have so many memories from high school that include Jess. We weren’t BFF’s but were friends and ran in the same circles. I can remember Jess sitting in the hallway under the lockers in the morning, singing in the BUMC choir, going to ball games, house parties, and a memory getting a speeding ticket in that silver BMW that she and Jenn shared. She helped make our reunion great a few years back. Jess and Jenn were both sincerely so kind and giving when my dad passed in 2021. I will never forget that. With all my love to a wonderful family, Jennifer

  10. Jess- I will find you again, friend, and I KNOW that our first hug will remind me of your beautiful soul that I had. been missing. HE has plans for you – so shine that light on your family and wrap them in the blessed comfort that I know you will. This earth is missing you terribly, but I am certain Heaven is still celebrating your arrival. I have always- ALWAYS- loved your heart And I always -ALWAYS -will! ❤️❤️ -Kylie Menteer

  11. My life was forever blessed when you entered it in 1991! I don’t know what I ever did to deserve a friend like you. We packed in so many stories, secrets and memories that are going to last me a lifetime. Thank you for loving me and my family unconditionally. Every time we were around each other we laughed and laughed big. There are about 50 movies I will watch and have memories and quotes of you. I was so honored to be your “second big” sister. Pa, Grace and I will love you forever and ever our little Jessie Girl.

  12. It’s hard to share one memory of you Jess when so many of my high school and college memories were with you. One reason I chose this picture of us was because no matter what might have been going on with the rest of the world, there was never a shortage of hugs through the years between us as we just seemed to know when the other needed one. And even if we didn’t need one, we gave one anyway. I was blessed to call you friend and sister and the laughter that we shared through the years will replay in my heart until we meet again one day. You are missed, my friend. Until then— Ansley Carter

  13. Jessica was a friend like no other! Though we lost touch after I returned to the classroom and she moved on to other things, our time working together at UT changed me for the good. Thanks to Jess I am a better teacher, better friend, and a better person. Jess had a huge impact on all she met, me especially. When faced with a student with significant behavior challenges I can still hear her words walking me through the steps to support them better and create self management strategies to make them more successful. She and the other musketeers turned me into a true, I bleed orange, Vol fan. We sat together through 6 seasons of lady vols games cheering on the girls every step of the way. Football was a way of life in the fall as well. I truly think Jess was the biggest Volunteer Fan of all and her excitement was contagious. I am pretty sure the only things she loved more than the big orange was God and her family! Jess loved the time she got to spend with her family above all else. In our time together at UT we both added nieces and nephews to our families that became our true loves. We probably shared more pictures and stories of them when we traveled together than anyone else would have wanted to see. There were so many great times we all had together and I will continue to treasure who JLB was to me!

  14. Q: How did you meet Jessica? A: Good afternoon. Thank you so much for being here today to Celebrate Jess’s life with us and loving both her and our family so well. Each one of us is a piece of the beautiful mosaic that was Jess’s life, and she touched each of us in unique and remarkable ways. The stories you all have shared about Jess have uplifted my family and me during these difficult days. Jess was always my better half. She was my “wombmate” (a term Jess loved) “we were woomies”. Bill and Bev Beasley thought they were having a big baby boy on December 1, 1972. Instead they got two for the price of one on November 1st! After I was born, the doc said, I think there’s another one! Mom said, “Another what?” From that day forward, Jess and I brought plenty of surprises to their lives. I was the older by two long minutes, which I still make sure people know. I weighed 4.9 lbs and Jess was a petite 3.3 lbs. (It’s true, I know, hard to believe.). Jess has been a giver since she was 14 weeks in utero. That is when doctors say twins first recognize each other. That’s when she decided I needed the nutrients in the womb more than she did, so and she gave me hers. She always put other’s needs before her own. At 3.3 lbs, Jess required some extra support, and stayed in the hospital for 21 days until she reached 5 lbs and could be released. Then at 9 months old, she would need surgery for a hernia. So people could tell us apart, they’d say that Jess was a little shorter, a little thinner, and a little nicer. Thankfully, I have thicker skin. After fifty years, those things still hold true, but despite those differences, Jess and I were two halves of a whole; she was the yin to my yang, the peas to my carrots, and she was truly the wind beneath my wings. When Bill came along two years later, it was like having a new toy. We played with him, picked on him, and loved him. He didn’t always want to be around us, but when he was, he spent time flexing his muscles and reminding us how awesome he was. 😉 I realized he did this because he wanted us to SEE him as something other than the king of the vacation roll-away bed, the middle back seat, or the third-wheel. But soon, that third wheel rolled quickly down Shenendoah Drive in our Carondelet neighborhood, which opened up glorious childhood memories for all of us. Backyard baseball games, bike rides, birthday parties, and climbing a gigantic magnolia tree we called Fun-Land Fun. Our Old Smyrna Road Crew (with the Beasleys, the the Campbells, the Carpenters,’ Gatlins, the Kunaths, and the Lunns), Jess loved growing up in close knit family and community. Twins are born as a team of two. Where are my twins in the audience? You make the best team mates, don’t you? Whether it’s sports, work, organizations you’re involved in, whatever team you’re on. You were born to be a teammate. Jess thrived when she was part of a successful team or group, something bigger than she was. Whether it was our Lady Bruin teams at Brentwood, our Alpha Chi Omega sorority, her Village Academy or Belew Drug team, or her Chik-Fil-A team. Jess felt tremendous pride in her role on all of these teams. As a team, you divide the pain and double the gain. Speaking of gains, we realized that by working together, we could accomplish a great deal. Back in 1980 at Brentwood Country Club, we participated in a greased watermelon race during the fourth of July weekend. We planned to compete individually, but sometime during the race, we realized that we could team up and assure that both of us would win. Our main competition was Deena Foster, who is now one of our oldest friends and teammates. Back then, nobody wanted to mess with Deena because she was faster, stronger, and feistier than most of our peers. Well, one of us would dunk Deena, while the other one tried holding on to the wet and slick watermelon long enough to move it to the other side of the pool. In the end, the Beasley twins emerged victorious, won the watermelon and some serious bragging rights (did I mention Deena was tough?), but we did share the watermelon with Deena.  Like I said, twins know how to share. Jess and I shared many other things in life, as you can imagine, especially in the first 25 years of our lives while living in the same city. We shared a bedroom; bathroom, clothes and closets. We shared germs, yearbooks, secrets, and punishments. Christmas gifts, a car, an apartment. We shared friends, and we shared a heart, for 50 years. When she hurt, I hurt. When she thrived, I thrived, and vice versa. Despite the fact that were both single, we never ever felt alone in this world. Not ever. Our hearts and sometimes our brains, were always. While many people couldn’t tell us apart, our close friends had no trouble. We never switched classes or dates, but we did end high school with the same GPA down to two 10ths of a point. We also sent out the same Christmas card one year (it was a non-traditional card with pink and purple on it), and we would show up wearing the same outfit sometimes. We were thick as thieves, could finish each other’s sentences, and knew each other better than we knew ourselves. Jess was an amazing collaborator, especially in the last 6-7 years. Team movies for my volleyball banquets; We planned reunions, and celebrations. It Takes Two Studios was our production company (that we called ourselves). It usually started with a vision that I had, and then I shared it with Jess. She would go to work creating graphics and formatting photos, and I would write the stories and pair it with the music, culminating into a movie to preserve special moments or events. The Lady Bruins softball reunion and the Barb Retirement Celebration in the last four years were some of the most incredible memories ever, and Jess made sure they happened. As the song says, “It takes two to make a thing go right. It takes two to make it out of sight.” I loved My little DJ Jazzy Jess. She also reached four major milestones in the last ten years, and we were all so proud of her for her determination, her faith, and her courage. She beat a 10-year addiction to narcotics, and if you have ever been there, you know how hard that is., She would have celebrated her 10-year sober/clean birthday on June 17th, 2023. She also lost 100 lbs, both physical and emotional weight she had carried for some time. Third, she was a reborn Christian, baptized as an adult, and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in November of 2016 at Corryton Church in East TN. Finally, about a year into her recovery, she was invited by her pastor’s wife at Corryton to publicly share her testimony, which included the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of her journey out of addiction and her walk with Jesus, every step of the way. She sat on thes stage as her pastor’s wife interviewed her during two services and in front of hundreds of people. She blazed a new trail for people in their congregation to emerge from the shame that prevented many from seeking help from their church, and I know she saved lives and families. I have been in complete awe of her ever since. From that point on, she would focus on using her strengths to help others. Iron sharpens iron… While she was proud of those accomplishments, she was the proudest of her family. She was proud of being the daughter of a New Englander and lifelong educator, a woman who lost her father unexpectedly at a young age but carried herself with strength, conviction, and grace. She was proud of her music-loving, Vol-for-Life father who was a proud Vietnam veteran, helped run his family’s business with his brother, provided for his family, and instilled a strong work ethic in all three of us. She was proud of being the sister to Bill, who was a music man and golf lover, married his beautiful, smart and Sweet Melissa as they shared their faith openly with all of us. They raised three incredible children, two of them are also twins. She was also proud of Bill for taking creative risks in his career that paid off. All three Beasley kids shared a passion for music, along with Dad, and shared songs and new artists with each other for decades. I have been blessed by the music Bill and I have shared with each other in the last month. Jess was a proud sister-in-law to Melissa, whom we both viewed as another sister after she and Bill got married; she was proud Melissa’s strong beliefs and loyalty, the strong and loving mother she has been to Will, Davis, and Cady, and Jess was proud of how Melissa took such good care of their entire family, especially our brother. Jess was proud to be an aunt of Precious Davis, who has grown into a brave, loving, smart and beautiful young woman who spread her wings to study Nutrition at the College of Charleston, just like her godfather, Cody Carpenter. She was proud to be an aunt to Will, a talented athlete, a loyal friend with a unique sense of humor, a curious mind, and a loving, sensitive heart that beat proudly for the Vols, just like his Aunt Jess. She was proud to be the aunt to Cady (Bug), the youngest of the family who can always make us laugh, a talented volleyball player, who trains hard to make a name for herself, while also overcoming adversity and adapting to change. Finally, she was proud to be a cousin to Mel, who was like a sister to both of us. She was inspired by the way Mel has overcome some of the hardest things that life can throw at anyone. Jess loved taking care of Mel, like the younger sister she needed. Our family will always be grateful for how Mel took care of Jess when she needed it most. Jess just loved being a Beasley. Jess was a movie guru, which developed during our teenaged years, and she could quote so many of them. Sometimes we could have a whole conversation using only movie quotes. One of our favorites was Say Anything with John Cusack as Lloyd Dobbler and his girlfriend (Ione Skye as Diane). There’s an iconic scene with Lloyd standing outside his girlfriend’s bedroom window. He’s holding up his jam box over his head playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” After they broke up, he wanted to be sure she heard the song, remembered it, and that she recalled the special meaning it had for both of them. I am not quotting this one here, but I might later. I’ll circle back to Lloyd in a bit. Now, this brings me to a story that Jess wanted to be sure I remembered. It’s called “The Rescuing Hug.” A quick google search of “The Rescuing Hug” will show you a photo of two newborn twins, side by side in an incubator, one with her arm draped over her sister’s shoulders. In 1995, Brielle and Kyrie Jackson, were born 12 weeks premature in a (wou-stah), MA Hospital near Boston, and each weighed only about 2 pounds. However, one of them was not expected to survive. At three weeks, Kyrie was gaining weight, but Brielle was in critical condition. Her heart rate soared, her oxygen level dropped quickly, and she was turning blue. They were about to lose her. Then one nurse, Gale Kasparian, decided to put the stronger twin, Brielle, next to her sister in the same incubator, a novel procedure that had never been done before at the time in the US. Once the twins were together, Brielle snuggled up to Kyrie, her stronger twin. Kyrie slowly moved her arm around her sister’s shoulders. Brielle’s breathing and heart rate instantly began to stabilize. They called this the rescuing hug. Without this rescuing hug, Brielle wouldn’t have survived. Jess sent me the Rescuing hug picture and story at least five times, and I know it’s because she wanted me to know the two of us were always rescuing each other. At her very core, she also knew that she needed support from others and got when she needed it, so had to reciprocate. Every time she sent the rescuing hug picture to me, it was like “Hey, Jenn, this is us. Me and you.” Like she thought I would forget. Like Lloyd thought Diane would forget. But this rescuing hug was a metaphor for Jess’s life. She didn’t just rescue me, she reached out to rescue many of you, too. She offered her hand, a hug, or a prayer, she offered advice, a listening ear, sometimes money, or just a well-placed text message. Some of you got Jess’s “rescuing hugs” in your darkest days, more than once; some of you go them regularly for long periods of time, and if you were like me, you got them almost every single day. So, Jess, I know you’re here with us now, and you’re listening, I know you’re holding each of us close to you rescuing us in the midst of our inconsolable grief. And I know you’re witnessing this magnificent mosaic of friends and family who are gathered here to celebrate you. Like the spectacular stained-glass charm on Mom’s bracelet. So many beautiful colors shining in the light, like the light you shared with us. Until that glorious day when we are reunited in heaven, Jess. …. I’m going to be like Lloyd Dobbler. holding up Bill’s old Jam Box above my head, playing our song, “Kiss Them for Me”, making sure you never forget how proud of you I am, and how proud I will always be of US. You will forever be in my mind, in my heart, and in the way I love others from now on, just like you did every day. Kiss Them for Me, Jess. I’ll see you in my dreams. I love you forever.

  15. Q: What was Jessica like as a child? A: I’m watching coal miners daughter right now. Feb 7, 2023. You were wonderful in this movie along with your sister Jennifer. Prayers your way!

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