Jessica was an amazing young woman who in her own natural manner made positive impacts on the lives of so many. She had an incredible gift of walking into a room of strangers and walking out with life long friends.
Born on June 14, 1978 in Youngstown, OH, she was the beloved daughter of James J. and Renee A. (Cherol) Pondillo Sr. Jessica was a 1996 graduate of Boardman High School, where she played volleyball and softball. After graduation, she followed her dream of serving her country and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where she met her future husband. On Sept. 25, 1999 in Youngstown, she married the love of her life, Christopher M. Sweet from Jefferson, OH.
During her 12 year career in the military, Jessica proudly served in several Middle-East Theaters including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Jessica left behind three precious gifts in the form of her beautiful children; Katelyn Jessica, Ashelyn Crystal and Raymond Louis Sweet. Jessica’s children were ages 7, 5, & 2 respectively; at the time of her death.
Of her many accomplishments, two that she was most proud of were serving in the Charleston Air Force Base Honor Guard and receiving her Taebo instructor certification from Billy Blanks. It goes without saying that Jessica’s love for helping children is unconditional. She actively participated in the community helping children and was the President of the Parent Advisory Board at Ramstein Air Force Base, prior to her illness. As president, she helped further promote child safety awareness and spearheaded a toy drive for the Ronald McDonald House in Homburg, Germany.
In September of 2008, Jessica was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and flown to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. from Landstuhl, Germany. Jessica passed away on February 12th 2009 from complications from the rigorous treatment. Incessantly strong willed and compassionate, Jessica was determined to educate and help anyone who might have to battle cancer, especially children.
Distributions are awarded annually between Parents and Children Fighting Cancer charity which supports military children in the Washington metropolitan area who are battling cancer and the Fisher House charity, supporting America’s military in their time of need, by providing “a home away from home” that enables family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time — during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.
- Christopher Sweet
CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:
Name of Memorial Fund
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161
The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.
For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.