Obituary for Jessie July Budzinski, M.D.
December 19, 2020
Jessie July Budzinski, M.D., passed away unexpectedly December 19, 2020. She was 39 years old. An anesthesiologist specializing in pediatrics, she brought love, dedication and respect for children into medical settings around the world. Her work contributed to the survival and recovery of thousands of young people, and their future success stories will stand as her enduring legacy.
At the time of her death, Jessie was a member of the Central Anesthesia Service Exchange Medical Group in Sacramento and served patients at Sutter Medical Center. Prior to joining the group in 2018, she practiced as a pediatric anesthesiologist at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.
Away from her hospital duties, Jessie participated in four international medical volunteer missions in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, where she shared her professional skills and experience to assist children and families who might not otherwise receive expert medical care.
Jessie completed her medical training with rotations at multiple hospitals in New York City and her Residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She pursued a fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
A graduate of Nevada Union High School, Class of 1999, Jessie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 2003, and a medical degree from St. George’s University, in 2007.
Growing up surrounded by the rural beauty of Nevada County, Jessie indulged a lifelong love for nature and the environment. She savored visits to California’s mountains and coastal regions, and found joy in the uniquely diverse landscapes of her home state.
On her many journeys, Jessie’s curiosity was drawn to every bend in the river and twist in the road. She possessed a passion for learning and discovery, and delighted in the surprise of an unexpected intersection that might lead to a path less traveled.
Jessie was an adventurer. She feared no obstacle. Her curiosity was boundless, whether bundling up for a ski trip to Squaw Valley with helmet and goggles or packing water and nutrients for a summer day’s competitive trail run across a rugged mountain course. An avid climber, she summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and was always hungry for the next challenge.
No skills were beyond Jessie’s reach. She was an enthusiastic student of piano. She learned to tap dance. She spoke fluent French. Her love of astronomy was a gift from her father, who worked on military aircraft programs and taught her to navigate by the stars. Her cooking talents brought delight to her dinner guests.
Beyond her professional accomplishments in medicine and love for natural science and the environment, Jessie will be best remembered for her pure and essential humanity. Her wit was sly and disarming. Her laugh and smile could melt the most resolute antagonist. The depth of her emotional intelligence was immeasurable.
Jessie is survived by her parents, Norb and Carol Budzinski, sister Jan Kaley, brother Mark Budzinski Stauffer and the love of her life and soulmate, Justin Risley.
Donations can be made to the Child Life Program, In Memory of Dr. Jessie Budzinski, at https://www.sutterhealth.org/smcs/services/pediatric/child-life. Online donations can be made at https://sutterhealth.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.event&eventID=527. Physical mail address: Sutter Medical Center Foundation, P.O. Box 160045, Sacramento CA 95816.
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