Jessica Leigh Peil Claybrook, 39, Carmel, Indiana, was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on December 8, 1979, the first of Michael and Claudia Oberhelman Peil’s five children. She accepted the Lord and was baptized when she was eight years of age at Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas.
Jessica’s family moved to Peoria, Illinois, when she was thirteen. She demonstrated her consistent excellence as a student there, graduating as valedictorian of Peoria Christian, where she was an accomplished volleyball and basketball player. She attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where she majored in biology, was graduated summa cum laude in 2002, and was honored with the outstanding science student award. There she met her husband, Bill Claybrook, and they were married the summer after her graduation. They first settled in Indianapolis and attended Faith Church Indianapolis, where they started a small group Bible study that formed friendships that continue to today.
After working one year, Jessica attended the Indiana School of Medicine, achieving an M.S. in genetic counseling with highest honors in 2005. IU Health hired her immediately after graduation, and she was one of the first professionals in IU’s adult onset genetic disorder clinics. In the two years that she was able to work in that position, she used her education and natural empathy to help many.
Jessica and Bill’s first child, Frederick William (“Liam”) Claybrook VI, was born in 2010 in Carmel, Indiana. In 2012, the family moved to Peoria to be closer to family. While there, Jessica and Bill were active at the Redeemer Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod). They led the junior high ministry, teaching Sunday school and becoming confirmation mentors to many young people. In 2014, their second child, Isla Leanne Claybrook, was born. In 2017, the family moved back to Carmel, where they joined Cornerstone Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod).
Jessica’s battle with brain tumors started over twelve years ago, and she battled it most of her adult life, with her first surgery in February 2007. She endured two other surgeries, along with countless hours of rehabilitation and treatments, both here and in Germany. At all times, Jessica exuded grace, kindness, appreciation, and love to all that treated and assisted her.
Even with the physical limitations and chronic fatigue occasioned by her condition, Jessica cherished each day that her Lord and Savior gave her. She most enjoyed her time with Liam and Isla and seeing their love for each other grow through the years. She also loved her trips to visit her and Bill’s families and all her nieces and nephews.
Jessica’s main focus has always been her relationship with God. Her faith has been an inspiration to all that have known her as she battled the brain tumor over the past dozen years. She understood that each minute of her life was a gift from God, and she appreciated that God gave her many more years with her family and friends than indicated by her initial prognosis. She always rested secure in the knowledge that God had promised her full and perfect healing with Him when He called her home.
C.S. Lewis wrote when contemplating the loss of his wife, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsity becomes a matter of life and death to you.” Jessica was reminded every day of her mortality, and it renewed her steadfast love of, and faith in, her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom she fully committed herself, as He did to her.
In addition to her immediate family, Jessica is survived by her parents, Michael and Claudia Peil; siblings, Justin Peil of Denver, Colorado, Aaron Peil of Bonita Springs, Florida, Christopher Peil of Denver, Colorado, and Morgan Peil Chaney of Peoria; and grandmother Sonya Montgomery of Tonganoxie, Kansas.
Family and friends will gather for visitation on Thursday, March 28, 2019, from 4 to 7 pm, and on Friday, March 29, from 1 to 2 pm, both at Cornerstone Lutheran Church, 4850 East Main Street, Carmel, Indiana. The funeral service will be held on Friday, March 29, at 2 pm at the church, with a family committal service following in Carmel Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be given to Central Indiana Life Centers, 3901 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268. Envelopes will be available at the service. Jessica and Bill were actively involved in pro-life ministries.
Bussell Family Funerals, Carmel-Westfield, is privileged to assist the family in arrangements.
The church is providing live streaming and recording of Jessica's funeral.
Central Indiana Life Centers
3901 W. 86th Street, Suite 111, Indianapolis IN 46268