Jessica “Jessi” Desireé Billings, 35 passed away on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Born and raised in Austin, the daughter of Valerie Rockwell and Thomas Gene Billings and stepmother Tonya Billings, of Austin, TX. Jessica moved to Metairie, Louisiana to start fresh, but Austin was always where her heart was. She is survived by her sisters Marissa, Jianna and brother Jaiden; niece Thalia and a large extended family and friends, especially former brother in law Elliott Brett and former stepmother Terri Peiskee.
Jessica grew up full of a magnetic, vibrant energy with an infectious laugh that filled a room. An old soul, she was a compassionate daughter, niece and friend – always willing to take time to listen and advise. Her generosity with holiday giving was inspiring; she always took pains (often to the frustrated chagrin of her shopping companions) to make sure we knew we were loved with the perfect gift. She loved to laugh, listening to music and learning philosophy, astrophysics and astronomy.
She graduated from James Bowie High School High School with high hopes for a beautiful future - a bright light starting to dim. Through the years, she struggled deeply with a worsening mental illness. In November of 2019, she made the brave decision to try to reset her life by moving to the New Orleans area to be closer to family and initially made great strides, but her demons followed. Her shame, coupled with her true gifts of charm and charisma allowed her to hide the depths of her despair, fear, doubt and loneliness from most. She had a desperate, yet insatiable need to stop the anguish by any means available. After years of trying, she came to the tragic conclusion that we could somehow live without her. Her confidence in our ability to go on is almost too much to bear, but we take heart that she believed in us, even when she never believed in herself. She was a cherished daughter, niece, aunt and friend who will be sorely missed and forever remembered. We will do our very best to honor her wishes; to come together to carry her light, to lead with love. This worldly cage is too small for some spirits. We are comforted to know she is no longer tormented, we know her soul is flying with no restrictions on other kingdoms.
A family Graveside Service will be celebrated with interment to follow in Austin, TX. A Celebration of Life for friends and family will be held in Austin, TX at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to Jacob Schoen & Son Funeral Home in New Orleans, LA and Harrell Funeral Home in Austin, TX. In lieu of flowers, please donate to National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org).
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