Jesse Upshaw
Jesse Upshaw

Obituary of Jesse Adams Upshaw

Jesse Adams Upshaw, 38, of Tempe, Arizona, passed away unexpectedly on January 10, 2023.

Jesse was born November 17, 1984, in Fort Worth, Texas, to James and Kathlene Costa Upshaw. He spent the first 12 years of his life in Fort Worth before his family moved to Graham, Texas, where he completed his homeschool education. After graduation, he moved to Levelland to attend South Plains College, earning his A.S. in Business Management and being recognized as an Outstanding Student in Business Management.

In 2009, Jesse moved to Tempe, Arizona, where he spent many years working in the music and entertainment scene. Most recently, he was employed by The Chuckbox, where he enjoyed the close-knit community he experienced among the staff. As a self-proclaimed “Son of the Southwest,” Jesse was proud to call both Texas and Arizona home at different points in his life. An avid sports fan, Jesse enjoyed watching and cheering for his teams in Texas and Arizona, both professional and collegiate. He also played soccer for many years and rode BMX any time he could.

Jesse was gifted in writing song lyrics, singing, and playing the guitar. He helped create and performed with several bands over the years, including O’Shea, Royals, Sleep with ZZZ, Spoiled, and Coyotes. Words held great power for Jesse, and he usually had notebooks on hand to record his thoughts, make sense of his emotions, and work out ideas for songs. Those who were close to Jesse know that he lived his life with intensity and passion, although he was not always open to sharing the fullness of his inner life with others. Even so, he loved his friends and family fiercely, especially through his protection and loyalty, and he valued his relationships above all else.

After years spent searching for acceptance and satisfaction in this world, Jesse recently came to understand his infinite worth in the eyes of God and experience forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Through a series of divine appointments and the ministries of Without Walls Church, The Chosen television series, and Dr. Andrew Farley, Jesse’s faith in God had been reestablished and strengthened. He is now at peace, at home in the arms of the Father, and finally free from the chains that bound his body in this life. For those left behind to cherish his memory, Jesse’s life continues to be a testament to the incredible depth of God’s love. Jesse’s story ultimately echoes the message of Ephesians 2:4-6, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Jesse was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, William Costa, and his paternal grandparents, James and Margie Upshaw. He is survived by his parents, Jim and Kathy of Gatesville, Texas; his brother Josiah and wife Nikki of Mesa, Arizona; his sister Billie Joy and husband Joshua of Waco, Texas, and their children Brannon and Avonlea; many aunts, uncles, and cousins; and numerous close friends who were like family to him.

Donations in Jesse’s memory can be made to The Salvation Army and the Come and See Foundation (to fund future episodes of The Chosen), as these two organizations were very near and dear to Jesse’s heart. An intimate family service is to be held in February.

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