Jessica M. Willers died attempting to help rescue Dennis R. Drew, Lauren D. Hesebeck, and Mark J. Roidt from assault, Birchwood, Wisconsin, November 21, 2004. Drew, 55; Hesebeck, 48; and Roidt, 28, were with Willers’s father and other members of a deer hunting party on private property when they confronted a trespasser. They directed him to leave. The trespasser, armed with a rifle, started to walk away but then opened fire on the hunters, wounding Drew, Hesebeck, and Willers’s father and killing Roidt and two others. Willers’s brother and another man were alerted to the shooting, and they responded by all-terrain vehicle from a nearby cabin. They evacuated Willers’s father from the scene. Having heard her father’s voice on a radio transmission, Willers, 27, surgical technician, who also was a member of the hunting party, set out from the cabin on an all-terrain vehicle with another of the hunters. After meeting briefly with her father’s rescuers, Willers and the other hunter continued to the scene to aid the others, despite not knowing the assailant’s whereabouts. En route, they too were shot and mortally wounded by the assailant. The assailant reappeared at the scene and opened fire on Hesebeck, then fled. Others arrived shortly and took Hesebeck and Drew to safety. Hospitalized, Drew died the next day of his injury. Hesebeck was also hospitalized, for treatment, including surgery, of a shoulder wound, and he recovered.
78836 – 905078836-9050
Jessica Marie Willers, 27, of Green Bay, Wis., and formerly of Rice Lake, Wis., died on Nov. 21, 2004, of a gunshot wound in Sawyer County, Wis. Willers was born on Aug. 21, 1977, to Terry and Patti (Gross) Willers in Amery, Wis. She grew up in Rice Lake, attended Hilltop Elementary and Middle schools, and graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1996. Willers then earned an associate degree in surgical technology at Mid-State Technical College in Marshfield, Wis., and worked at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis.
In 2003, she moved to Green Bay, where she worked at Aurora Bay Care Medical Center. She was a member of the golf league in Green Bay and enjoyed crafting, hunting, the outdoors, and collecting anything related to gingerbread.
(Edited from The Chronotype, Rice Lake, Wis., Dec. 1, 2004.)