July 29, 1999 November 13, 2019
Jake Wibbens was a magnetic person who gleaned the finest attributes of a good person from his two loving parents. He was smart, compassionate, empathetic, fiercely loyal to his immediate and extended family and simply fearless in the example he led of a person living his very best life.
Jake epitomized the ongoing pursuit of happiness. He was a dynamic person whose trajectory seemed to always fascinate those who knew him. If you went six months to a year without seeing Jake, you might not even recognize him as he morphed from an endearing child with walnut brown eyes into a charming young man with a chiseled jawline and the physicality and slight resemblance of a young Mark Wahlberg on the edge of stardom.
There wasn’t much Jake didn’t try. As a young boy, he could be found in camouflage hoisting a meaty, freshly caught salmon from a hooked fingertip, pinning an opponent on the wrestling mat in his blue singlet, soaring around on a dirt bike kicking up mud from Brownsville to Albany, sprinting the length of a football field toward the goal line – the roaring cheer of loved ones echoing through the town, defending his net on the basketball court, flexing his muscles at the foot of a roaring waterfall, or grooving to his favorite beats in a self-made music video.
When Jake wasn’t melting the hearts of his online followers, he could be found navigating the Oregon wilderness with his family. The outdoors played a key role in Jake’s life, and when he wasn’t hiking the endless trails of Oregon, he could be found sinking into the cushions of a couch surrounded by the people he loved most as his baby niece Daya told funny stories to a captivated audience. Jake’s family offered a central line to their hearts, and Jake learned the power of vulnerability at a young age and was able to accept, and then reciprocate that love. In fact, one of the most amazing things about Jake was his ability to reciprocate love.
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Jake’s parents, Angela and Ardy, are relentless in their ongoing devotion to their children, Briana, Emilee (including her daughter Zendaya) Jesse and Jake. Their collective love and support allowed Jake the opportunity to emerge as the wholesome, delightful, funny, and radiant man he became.
One of Jake’s many superpowers was bringing people together with his jovial allure. He was tougher than a railroad spike, and even the time he nearly lost his finger in an accident involving a wood splitter, he managed to bring people together, busted finger and all.
If you visit Jake’s Instagram profile today, you will see that he was pursuing his dreams and becoming a fitness model. Jacob’s life – from the puppy dog eyed kid making his mom laugh in the many photos the two of them shared on social media, to the hulking young man he became – Jake was indeed a model. A model not just for fitness, but a model human, in every way.
When you think of Jake – when you close your eyes to remember the man he was – consider his incandescent magnetism washing over you as he smiles down from above, his eternal memory living on in each one of us.
Jake radiated charm, and his wholesome demeanor resulted in sense of ease for those around him. Whether Jake stalked through the woods in camouflage with a compound bow slung over his shoulder, danced in the blue hour of a Friday night with his silver car doors flung open - tunes blaring – or, lounged in the crystal glacial water of Oregon’s wild wilderness with his siblings, cousins and parents – he wore that infectious smile of his. May it continue to burn bright in our hearts as he enters heaven alongside Steven Marlen - two men we were blessed to know and can maybe even hope to be like someday - strong, loving, sensitive, honest and pure.