In Loving Memory of Jamie Westoby, 4/2/81 - 8/29/03
Westoby, the daughter of Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner John Westoby, was born on April 2, 1981. She attended Helen Lehman Elementary School and Hilliard Comstock Middle School, and graduated with honors from Piner High School in 1999.
A superb diver, Westoby went undefeated for three consecutive seasons in dual-meet and North Bay League competition during her Piner career. Her signature dive was a reverse 11/2 flip, said her mother, Lynn Westoby. An athlete and lover of the outdoors from an early age, she was working as a forestry technician at Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Mendocino County when she died. Westoby and another forestry department employee were passengers in the car driven by a co-worker who was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The Jackson Forest job was seasonal, and Westoby was planning to pursue further employment in the forests of either Montana or Canada, Lynn Westoby said. Her daughter displayed her athletic skills early, her mother said: "She kind of always followed her big brother around. She had his skates on when she was 11/12, and she was climbing into tree houses."
Her first love was gymnastics, and before long she was also competing in volleyball and basketball. "It was just always part of her life to have at least one sport going," said Lynn Westoby. Responsible and level-headed, Westoby never missed a practice or a meet, according to her mother. She prized self-sufficiency, and aimed to one day "have a family farm, grow her own vegetables, bake her own bread, and do it all herself."
After graduating from high school, Westoby attended UC Berkeley, where she was a member of the Diving and Ultimate Frisbee team. Westoby knew "she didn't want to be stuck in an office," her mother said, so in her sophomore year she began studying forestry in addition to her course work in environmental science. Soon, she was taking part in logging competitions. "She said to us, 'Did you ever think I would go from the parallel bars to the horizontal chop?'" Lynn Westoby recalled. Westoby graduated with honors in May with a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences land management and a minor in forestry. Besides her parents, Westoby is also survived by her brother, Matt, of San Diego.
"If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt." ~Dean Martin
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