Cancer didn’t stop mother from living for her son
When Jessica Williams learned she had stage-4 cancer a few months after her son’s birth, she started fighting and never stopped.
“I don’t know how she did it. It would’ve broken me,” her husband Nick said Tuesday. “But every day, she picked her head up and kept going.”
Jessica Lynn Williams of North Huntingdon died Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was 31.
Mrs. Williams met her husband when they were in a wedding on Halloween in 2008. He was attracted to her outgoing personality, and the two married in August 2011. She gave birth to their son, Greyson, in January 2013. Three months later, doctors diagnosed her with colon cancer.
“She did everything she possibly could for him,” her husband said. “She always made sure he had the best of everything. She wanted nothing more than to raise him.”
Mrs. Williams graduated from Penn-Trafford High School and earned a degree in finance from James Madison University. She worked as a financial analyst for KPMG in Pittsburgh. She took time off for surgeries, but worked through much of her illness, her husband said.
“She kept pushing as much as she could,” he said.
Mrs. Williams’ sister, Megan Oravec, helped her through her illness, friend Kelly Markovich said.
“She stepped up like none other,” she said. “She and Nick just took care of her, everything that she needed. He was the rock for her.”
Known for planning ahead, Mrs. Williams set up a 529 college savings fund for Greyson and organized a trip to the beach with friends in September.
“She was so caring and thoughtful,” her friend said. “She loved planning because she could bring people together … She had so much going on with her illness, but she planned this big vacation so we could be around people and have fun.”
Mrs. Williams wanted to come home for Halloween so she could see Greyson trick-or-treat in his Mickey Mouse costume, her husband said. In July, the family took a trip to Disney World. She liked to read to her son and take walks with him when she was able.
Mrs. Williams was preceded in death by her mother, Diana (Smith) Oravec. In addition to her husband, Nick, and son, Greyson, she is survived by her father, George Oravec; brother Jeff (Stephanie) Oravec; sister Megan Oravec; niece Maryn Oravec; and aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Community United Methodist Church, 3487 Route 130, Harrison City. The family asks that memorial contributions be made to Greyson Williams’ college fund. Checks made payable to Greyson Williams can be sent to Daniel F. Bekavac Funeral Home, 4504 Walnut St, Versailles, PA 15132.
Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or [email protected].