Obituary: Jessica Kennedy-Matthews

Thursday, August 31, 2023 - 3:30pm

October 10, 1975 - August 28, 2023

Jessica passed away on August 28, 2023, in Dublin, Ireland, with her beloved husband, Scott, by her side. Jess and Scott were nearing the end of a wonderful road trip through Ireland when Jess suddenly fell ill and later died in a Dublin hospital.

Jess burst on the scene on October 10, 1975, in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she lived most of her life. She attended Lincoln Southeast and UN-L, where she earned a BA in Journalism and an MBA. At the time of her death, Jess was working on a doctorate at Creighton University.

Jess was one of the world's bright lights. She knew everybody and everybody's cousin -- and if she didn't know you, she'd strike up a conversation and within five minutes, find something or someone you had in common. She had so many deep, abiding relationships. She volunteered with countless organizations, political causes, and charities, giving each one the benefit of her energy, her talents, and her opinions -- of which she had many. She had a laugh that could fill a concert hall and a heart that tried to hold the whole world in its embrace.

Jess worked at several places throughout her career: Shopko (part-time through college); the UN-L Alumni Association; Kenexa; Sheldon Art Gallery; the Lincoln Journal-Star; National Research Corporation; and Gallup.

Jess met the love of her life, Scott Matthews, in 2018. They married on New Year's Eve 2019 in a shower of fireworks. She and Scott moved to their beautiful lake house in 2020 and proceeded to open their doors to family and friends from around the world. Their hospitality and their lovely art collection are legendary.

In addition to Scott, Jess is survived by her son, Jayden; and stepsons, Joshua and Jeremy; her parents, Therese and Rich Bollerup; her brother, Joe Bollerup, and his son, Ayden; her sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Austin Kelley, and her beloved nephews, Danny and Richie; her uncles and aunts, Bob and Linda Burke, Tom and Judy Burke, Bill and Kate Burke, Jean Burke, Gary Kennedy, Mark Kennedy, and Lynn Kennedy; numerous cousins; lifelong friends, Lex Morrison and Lisa Knoche; and an army of loved ones, friends, and close acquaintances. She is predeceased by her birth father, Dale Kennedy; grandparents, Neal and Eileen Kennedy; and grandparents, Bob and Bernadette Burke.

Memorials in Jess's honor may be sent to the Food Bank for the Heartland; Girls, Inc.; Siena Francis House; or another charitable organization of your choice.

Jessica Kennedy-Matthews