Friends, family and musicians across Launceston are mourning the loss of Jessica Borton, who died last week from complications following surgery.
Born in Texas, Jess travelled around much of the US, living briefly in Massachusetts as well as California. A lover of music and a talented French horn player, she was active in marching bands throughout the US.
While still in the States, a chance online meeting connected her with Launceston resident and her future husband Heath Borton.
"We bonded over a mutual love of Alan Rickman of all things and it went from there," Mr Borton said.
Mr Borton was immediately taken with her warm and caring personality.
"She would go to extreme lengths to care for people. While she was in university, a friend of hers was going through chemotherapy," he said.
"The IV was cold so Jess held the drip with her hands to warm it up and ease her friend's discomfort."
After finishing up her education in 2004, Jess took the leap and moved to Tasmania, and she and Heath were married that September. Soon after, Jess began working as a music tutor and teacher's assistant at St Patrick's College, quickly expanding into roles with the primary and Esk Band programs.
She also integrated with the city's tight-knit music and theatre scene, and was an much-loved member of the University of Tasmania's Community Music Programme.
It was while at St Pat's that Jess met teachers Troy Ridgway and Deborah Cottle, with whom she would grow very close.
"We were the three musketeers," Ms Cottle said.
As friends, Mr Ridgway and Ms Cottle soon learnt that Jess shared her love of music with a love of cooking.
"Jess baked and cooked for people, that's how she showed her love," Ms Cottle added. "Jambalaya, gumbo, burritos - she loved to share that time over food.
"She was sassy and fierce and humble and generous."
When asked about Jessica's legacy, both Ms Cottle and Mr Ridgway referenced her contributions to music.
"She inspired people to go into music, especially here [at St Pat's] - it was her power of love and generosity.
"She had so much love to give and we've witnessed that love everywhere in the last week," Ms Cottle said.
Mr Ridgway brought particular attention to Jess's work with the school orchestra.
"The Symphony Orchestra of St Pat's was her baby. You could see how proud she was of those students."
One of those students, Jaime Jones, had a particularly close relationship with Jess.
"In year 7 she started teaching me trumpet and straight away she was my favourite teacher," he said.
Eventually moving onto French horn at Jess's recommendation, Jaime went on to study under her for more than two years.
"She really cared about her students," he said
"The biggest lesson she taught me was that if I didn't know something I should ask and if I couldn't ask I should make it up."
In lieu of flowers, her friends and family have asked for donations to Just Cats shelters or Canteen Australia, an organisation that supports young people and families dealing with cancer.
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