Jessica Taschwer, 39, of Alliance, Ohio, died in her sleep on Friday, Feb. 6, in Burns Harbor, Ind., while out on the road with her husband, David Taschwer, a truck driver for United Van Lines.
Since being notified of her death nearly a week ago, volunteers for Trucker Charity Inc. have worked tirelessly to bring Jessica Taschwer’s body home to her family.
On Friday, Feb. 13, David Kile, an OOIDA member from Shamokin, Pa., and volunteer driver for Trucker Charity’s “Last Ride Home” program, arrived in Tifton, Ga., with Taschwer’s body. Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 14.
She is survived by her husband, David Taschwer, and large family.
Virgina Chomo of Trucker Charity said Clayton Chandler Waldo, who is a U.S. Marine stationed overseas, is flying home for his mother’s funeral service on Saturday. She said Jessica Taschwer will be laid to rest in Poulan Cemetery in Poulan, Ga., next to another son, Taylor Graham Leggett.
Chomo told Land Line on Friday, Feb. 13, that she has arranged approximately 15 last rides home for truck drivers and family members.
“Truck drivers are my family,” she said. “I have experienced a lot of personal loss in my own life so I identify with the families who have lost someone out on the road.”
Chomo, who was a truck driver for 20 years, said she comes from a long line of truck drivers. Her husband and son are both truck drivers, and both of her parents were truck drivers. She also has many relatives who were or are in the trucking profession.
In the past three years, Chomo said she volunteers as much as 14 hours a day, to help arrange these Last Rides Home for truckers.
“I get calls at all hours from family members, who have just lost someone, and just need someone to talk to,” she said. “I am happy to help them.”
The Last Ride Home volunteers dig deep into their own pockets, sometimes footing nearly 90 percent of the costs, to make sure families’ loved ones are treated with dignity and respect on their final ride home. The volunteer drivers donate their time and sacrifice income by turning down loads to help the families of truck drivers.
“Without our volunteers we just couldn’t make this work,” Chomo said. “But I have found that truck drivers have big hearts and are generous with their time when they find out what we are trying to do.”
Chomo said a sign with Jessica Taschwer’s name, date of birth and date of death was attached to the back of Kile’s trailer, along with an American flag. The sign and flag will be given to the family. Chomo said her sign read, “Beloved trucking family member going home.”
Jessica Taschwer’s family has asked that any memorial donations be made to Trucker Charity Inc.
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