Jesse England


image of Jesse England

Jesse England

Jesse England passed away peacefully at the Gene & Irene Wockner Hospice Center in Kirkland, WA on May 10, 2021 after a long struggle with peripheral nerve sheath cancer.  He was born on September 2, 1983 in Emporia, KS to Ken and Debbie England of Council Grove, KS.

Jesse is survived by his wife, Minhi England (née Winkempleck), of Seattle, WA, and his parents Ken and Debbie England of Council Grove, KS. He is preceded in death by grandparents Allen and Lois Beck of Hutchinson, KS and Glenn and Phyllis England of Council Grove, KS.

He was a 2002 graduate of Council Grove High School. Shortly after high school, he came upon glass art, which propelled his life vision. He then sought the only university in Kansas to offer a glass degree. In 2007, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Glass from Emporia State University. Eager to pursue his passion, he went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and Glass at the University of Texas, Arlington, TX in 2013. Throughout his lifetime, he was awarded numerous scholarships and grants for artistic excellence.

Jesse was an accomplished, professional glassblower but often expressed himself through other “blue collar” materials such as torch-cut steel and chainsaw carved wood. The significance of his upbringing was evident in his artist portfolio where he often paid homage to his grassroots. He was a generous individual who was dedicated to sharing his passions with the world. He made a home with the love of his life and fellow artist, Minhi England, where they built a glass studio in Seattle, WA. The couple collaborated artistically, and in life, creating what he referred to as their “third voice.” Through their partnership, Jesse became an integral part of the glass and art community in Seattle.

Throughout Jesse’s professional career, he worked with Rollin Karg Art Glass, Sam Stang Glass, and Martin Blank Studios. These artists were valued by Jesse as both mentors and great friends. His greatest pride was contributing and participating in the growth of Artful Ashes in Seattle, WA. There he utilized his talents to memorialize clients’ lost loved ones in glass. He connected with everyone he encountered and brought comfort to those who witnessed him gracefully and skillfully maneuver in the studio.

Jesse always put others first, even after death. His charitable nature continued as an organ donor, where his corneas gave sight to two blind individuals. He had a profound love for life, and a smile bright enough to fill any room. His abundant kindness and positivity was remarkably rare, overcoming any hardship he faced. Though he was taken too soon, his legacy lives on in the hearts of friends and family.

Memorial services will be held in Council Grove, KS as well as in Seattle, WA later this year. Dates are yet to be announced.

To see more about Jesse’s art please visit his website:

Donations in memory of Jesse can be made to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

The family thanks Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for their outstanding care and to Evergreen Hospice Center for keeping Jesse comfortable in his final days.


3 Responses to “Jesse England”

  • Lisa Geertsen says:

    Jesse and the Artful Ashes crew became part of our family at Pratt Fine Arts Center. We became friends that way, saying good morning’s, how are you’s, sharing a nod and a smile turned into sharing stories, laughs and little happy surprises. Jesse bought one of my heart sculptures from me for Minhi as a special gift, and the whole interaction filled me with the warm fuzzies. His deep love for her was so obvious, it was an honor to be part of that gift. I remember the day he was on the Pratt campus and beaming…vibrating with excitement that he had to share that he was going to propose to her. Such love. I’m grateful to have known him and gotten to know Minhi and to have shared many smiles with them before and after the diagnosis. My heart breaks for Minhi, and for everyone who loved Jesse. May his sparkle never fade. Much love to you Minhi, I’m so glad you both insisted on hugs before I left Seattle last July.

  • Patricia Ackerman says:

    I first encountered Jesse’s smile in the Council Grove Pizza Hut parking lot, where he was putting on a show with his hackey sack. Over the next 5 years, Jesse became a member of our family tribe. I spent time with him in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Colorado, and Washington. During these years I watched him grow as an artist. Over the past decade our contact was mostly virtual, but his artistic vision and consumate integrity were dazzling. His light will continue to shine through his art, his community, and the love he shared with Minhi, Deb, and Ken. My last correspondence with Jesse was in March when we exchanged virtual hugs. Shine on, Friend.

  • Jeanne Marie Ferraro says:

    Dear friends and family of Jesse,
    I search for words to say what so many of us feel. Jesse was a kind, giving and loving person. Being around him made a person feel good about themselves because his way of being would spread to those around him. When we first met, he was nice to me. He talked to me as a person in his life. As time went on I learned to love him more for the natural comfort he gave people. When he got sick, he kept going. He continued the adventure that is life until the end. His love for Minhi and caring support for her and their art work together, inspired more people than I think they were aware of. I was very luck to have known him and wish I could have known him longer. Love and respect to him and everyone.

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