In Loving Memory of Jexia
Once upon a time in the land of Tyria we met a wonderful, shining personality by the name of Jexia. She was one of those people that adopted everyone near her as grandchildren. She took care of everyone else first and put her own needs behind others. She was the personification of a Gaiscioch member and over time became our ideal Elder.
She led life with her warm heart and her wonderful humor. Her crazy coffee antics softened the mood in any situation and brought smiles to faces far and wide. She was truly a bright ray of light. Over time many of us came to know her as Joanne Ekker from Florida, who was married and had a few children who were all grown up.
After being diagnosed with stage four throat cancer she immediately began to undergo chemo and take evasive maneuvers to slow this traditionally fatal diagnosis. She fought hard for 2 years and the treatments took their toll. Just months before her passing when her bones were fragile and her body weak her, she fell and broke her hip.
Even with all of her health issues, she still managed to check in on our website from time to time. When we opened the Saighdear in ArcheAge she was one of the first to jump in and say hi. Just a few months before her passing she sent me this email.
"Well doing ok cancer is back to shrinking with chemo. Been a busy summer between hubby and me. Atm we are waiting on Moffit cancer center in tampa to call me as they said they can do one of two surgeries on the tumor so still waiting to hear from them. My son bought me Archeage so am playing that some. Usually only online for an hour at a time but I do enjoy it. Yeah I log into the website as I like to see what people are doing. Looks like some are enjoying Archeage also.
Tell everyone hi for me I miss playing with you guys but am usually in bed at 9pm each night lol.
Take care and keep having fun!!!!!"
During her time with Gaiscioch, she was a well known leader of Crifting Events in RIFT, she also lead a bit of WvW in Guild Wars 2 before being diagnosed with cancer. From these responses from the family you can see just the type of person she was:
"Jexia's leadership is exemplary, as well as her patience and nurturing of others. It is a pleasure to work with her." - Miraj, Jun. 09. 2012
"What can I say...Jex is down to earth real and a hoot to run will. Would be happy to run in any event she hosts." - Dark, Jan. 21. 2013
"This was a ton of fun, and I was able to advance my character and weapon skills. Jexia was very patient and watched out for little ones :)" - Jessica, Jan. 02. 2013
"Excellent leadership, low key, no drama, great communications. " - Freddie, Oct. 31. 2012
"I really appreciate the time and effort she puts into the game and these events. I always see her around and she is always a positive person and makes the playing environment a better place." - Sporkimata, Oct. 24. 2012
"Jexia's voice is always reassuring, a lifeline to hold on to if you're feeling drowned by the number of events. Thanks." - Haggal, Sep. 22. 2012
"Great job showing patience and selflessness in helping to guide people around. " - Void, Sep. 03. 2012
"Jexia is one of the most kind, helpful and supportive guild members I have had the pleasure of meeting since joining the guild. She has freely contributed so much to so many new guild members and helped them feel welcome. I vote Jexia for Guild Ambassador! I am glad to know you! :)" - Aeos, Sep. 21. 2011
All in all, Jexia received 223 tokens of valor, which signifies the leaders ability to earn the respect of lower ranked members who followed her into battle. As proof of their approval, members gave her these tokens and left shining comments on her profile. She lead the Gaiscioch to 1,976 victories in her time with us and shared many memorable adventures with us all.
I wasn't the only person Jexia touched with her kindness and compassion, several other Gaiscioch members voiced their thoughts and memories on the forums shortly after learning of her passing. Here are some of my favorite stories:
"Jexia was one of the first elders to welcome me to the family. It was a joy to do events with her. I will definitely miss her. I hope her out-of-game family knows that she was part of this family." -Fym
"Jexia's crifting events were the highlights of my week. I hope that those in the Afterlife enjoy her events as much as we did. You will be missed, Jexia." - Ckemikal
"I remember Jexia welcoming me to the family (along with many other wonderful family members/elders!) when I picked up GW2 and joined. Thank you for your service, Jexia, even when I knew you didn't feel well. May you rest in peace, and may your family have some comfort knowing that you touched the lives of so many and made their days better for it." - JaeOnasi
"I remember Jexia spending a great deal of time welcoming many of us newcomers into the guild when the Rift chapter started up and training us in the Gaiscioch way. She spent much more of her time helping others than playing her own game. Whenever someone had a question or asked for help, she was always one of the first to drop whatever she was doing to assist. She will be missed." - Isha
"This has just proven to me how much you can become attached to someone through gaming with them. I never met Jexia irl, but I wish I had that honor. Jexia would always greet me with a /wave and then say something like "Glad to see you made it... Sure nice to see you.... Hey, how have you been?" Then we'd have a brief discussion of what we'd been up to before the event started or even while just standing around a waypoint we both happened to jointly land at. It seemed nothing was more important to her than you - until you both moved on to do other things. This is the first time I have shed tears over someone I have never met face to face (except a few of my favorite actors). I get a tad emotional when my favorite people move on. I will miss her. I will remember her. Safe journey Jexia." - Morigana
"When I joined the Gaiscioch family, Jexia was one of the first people with whom I interacted. She gave me great feedback, guidance, and encouragement, and support from her gave me the confidence to feel like I could overcome anything. Some of my favorite memories with Gaiscioch include Jexia's commentary during our weekly Thursday night RoS raids in Rift days. I have a heavy heart with the sadness of losing her, but I am lifted higher with the honor of having known her." -Rylocke
"I will always remember her most as a tenacious defender in GW2 WvW when playing solo. Defenders tend to be rare in these types of games - all the action and rewards usually come from actively seeking out fights. I remember her rarely ever with the zerg, and rarely (if ever) outside Sanctum of Rall Borderland. She would usually park herself in one of the northern towers and claim it as her own. It was "her" tower and she would only be dislodged from it by force - and when dislodged, she was always among the first players working to take "her" tower back. She would patiently keep the upgrades running, siege it up, keep watch over it, and make things as difficult as possible for any invading force seeking to take her tower away from her, even if she was the only one there to defend it. Any time I raced to respond to an attack on the northern towers, without fail her name tag was already inside working to fend them off." - Dargron
"This is heart wrenching. So many late nights and early mornings spent across GW2 and Rift with Jexia, from Friday night Crifting with the nanna squad to scouting and guarding towers and keeps in the borderlands in the off-peak darkness between late night oceanic and early morning eastern times. She was always there for a chat for the lonely gamer and could bring out the best in all of us. She will be missed so much. " - Elth
"She will be greatly missed by those who knew her and the legacy she has left by touching our lives. " - Silverhand
"Jexia and I spent many mornings together with our IV drips of coffee while out defending Sanctum of Rall. She taught me a lot and I will miss her greatly. GSCH will not be the same without you. ;( Real bonds are forged even though its online gaming. I loved you but at least you aren't in pain and in a better place. You were one hell of a woman and your memory will live on forever through us. " - Foxy
"Others may think us odd for crying over someone we have never met in real life but in this family it is not the case. I met Jexia in Rift and she was one of the most wonderful people I had ever met in my many years of playing MMOs. She was the best sounding board and it didn’t matter what your issue of the day was. She listened and gave her honest advice. She made you welcomed and made sure you had a joyful time whether if it was for 15 minutes before work or for half a day on a weekend. I will miss her." - Ysolde
"Through the shadow of sadness, we see the light of her warm spirit and the comfort of the pleasant memories she made with us. She is with us, within us, and watching over us whenever we are together. Her bravery is a source of strength that endures through this family, and inspires us all to keep fighting and not take for granted the moments we share with each other. The body can finally rest, but we will always remember with open hearts. " - Nash
"I remember attending my first GSCH event and it was Jexia that was leading. I felt apprehensive coming into such a large guild, didn't want to make a fool of myself. From the moment she started the event I found her to be so friendly and welcoming. It was that warm personality that made me stay in GSCH. She even got me into WvW haha. When her events starting to cut out I began wondering what happened, hoping to catch her on raidcall to hear her again. To hear this brings sadness to me but you are now free from pain. I will miss you and keep your memories in my heart." - Gloria
"Jexia gave me strength in a time in my life that I needed it very much. She is one of the people that saw something more in me and inspired me to do all I could to become a better person. I love her and miss her very much." - Jessica
The huge response of people acted as a testament to just how many lives Jexia touched in her short 4 years with Gaiscioch. We will always carry her memory in our hearts….
About the Author
Benjamin "Foghladha" Foley
Benjamin founded the Gaiscioch Social Gaming Community in 2001 and has since been the founder & activities director for this well known community. His role has gone beyond just running the Gaming Community and now includes running the Athletics Program in Portland, Oregon, as well as acting as the Managing Editor of the Gaiscioch Magazine, and is the Lead Producer on the Gaiscioch Livestream Productions. Additionally he networks with game developers to form relationships between Gaiscioch and development studios.
His experience in publishing dates back to helping his Grandparents who operated a printing press for over 40 years. In high school and college Benjamin excelled in journalism and played an active part in the school newspaper. Benjamin currently works full time as the director of technology for a franchise trade publication & education company.