Jared Zess

Jared Logan "Bear" Zess

Friday, July 13th, 1984 - Sunday, November 3rd, 2019
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Jared Logan (Bear) Zess
July 13, 1984 - November 3, 2019

Jared was many things to many people. He was a loving and wonderful father, a proud brother, a humble son, an adoring grandson, a devoted cousin, a honorable nephew, and doting uncle. He could be a fierce competitor, a loyal and hard working employee, and a committed and life long friend. His constant smile and positive outlook, even in the toughest times, were hallmarks of his personality that we will always remember.

Jared passed away in his home on Sunday, November 3, 2019 following a long and difficult battle with cancer. Jared is part of a large and extended family, but in his immediate family, he leaves behind his three children, James (11), Skyla (6), and Logan (4); life/family partner, Rachel Reviczky; grandparents, Sam and Dianne Skogen, and Joyce Zess; parents, Rick Zess and Sue Bell, and his siblings, Lindsey and Kyle Zess.

Jared was a brave, strong and loving man. He was fiercely committed to his family and was determined to fight his cancer with everything he had in order to be there for his children. Sadly, after bravely enduring many surgeries, chemo and radiation, he suffered a sudden seizure in his home on Sunday from which he was unable to recover. He will be missed so very much by all.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Jared on Sunday, November 10 from 3-6 pm at the Thorncliffe/Greenview Community Association Hall. There will be a short, informal program followed by light refreshments.

Thorncliffe/Greenview Community Association
5600 Centre Street NE
Calgary, Alberta

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jared may be made to the Alberta Cancer Foundation ( To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Jared please visit Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services (403) 277-7343.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Sunday, November 10th, 2019 | 3:00pm
    Sunday, November 10th, 2019 3:00pm
    Thorncliffe Greenview Community Centre
    5600 Centre Street North
    Calgary, Alberta T2K 0T3
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Jared here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Jared
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3 trees have been planted in memory of Jared Logan "Bear" Zess

Bobbi Saini

Posted at 11:35pm
Last time i saw jared when he came our home to grab his daughter carry on bag, He had smile on face. We offer him to come inside, he said he has to go home to kids. he said he told kids that they all going to have pizza. thats why he could not stay. He was good father to his kids, thinking allways about them. We saw him as a kid. And then a grown man. Always smile on his face. He fought with this cancer but lost his battle. its so sad to see Jared lost his life to this cancer. You always going to be in our hearts. You are in heaven looking down.You are angle. God give the strength to whole family to go through this grief time. Big hug for family, we can not take your pain away. Please remember he is with god, not suffering anymore. hug again.

Jodi and Mike Saad

Posted at 01:28pm
Thinking of you at this difficult time. Sending love, strength and prayers your way, always.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Jared Zess — Plant a Tree Now

Mom and Bill

Posted at 12:42pm
In memory of my sweet boy, Jared Logan Bear. May this tree grow on, strong and healthy, for many years to come.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Jared Zess — Plant a Tree Now

Galey a nd Max Sergio

Posted at 12:45pm
In memory of your Jared
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Jared Zess — Plant a Tree Now

Sue Bell Posted at 12:03am

Such a kind and thoughtful gesture. Thank you so much Galey and Max!

Sue Bell

Posted at 10:21am
My name is Sue Bell, and Jared was my son. My first born, my little helper, my sweet boy, my special Mr. Bear.

Although he is gone:

I can shed tears that he is gone
Or I can smile because he was part of my life.

While I have shed many tears, and probably will continue to do so in the coming days, I will not let the sadness win. I will choose to smile. This week as we prepared his memory table and the photo collection we will watch in a few minutes, we remembered him and we did smile, we even laughed. He brought humor and a positive attitude to everything in life.

I can close my eyes and pray that he’ll come back
Or I can open my eyes and see all he left behind.

As much as I love and miss him, it would be selfish to have kept him here in this life where his body was being so beat up by cancer. He suffered the pain with courage and determination so that he could be there for his children. Skyla and Logan were everything to him and they need me, and all of us, to be strong for them and to help them to grow up to be strong, determined and happy people, like their dad.

My heart can be empty because I can’t see him
Or I can be full of the love that I shared with him.

Over the past four years, I have spent a great deal of time with Jared, particularly in the last three months. He said to me just a couple of weeks ago, how much he appreciated the fact that I was in his life again and how close we had become. He said the fact that there hasn’t been a single time in the past four ears when his butt has ended up in a hospital bed that I haven’t been there with him to help him get through it has meant so much to him.

For days, when he was too weak and tired to do anything else, I read stories to him. This past month, we were reading the biography of Elon Musk. Jared was amazed at how many similarities he had with Elon in tastes, interests and even being picked on at school for being nerdy but never letting others know.

We played cards together, watched endless episodes of Bones and StarTrek as well as Forged in Steel and Pawn Kings, and took many trips off unit down to Tim’s to share his favourite French Vanilla Capuccino with a quarter coffee.

Sadly, it was also my job to endlessly nag him to get up and walk, do his stretches and exercises, take a shower, and drink his fluids. He often didn’t really want to do these things because he was tired, or in pain. It was difficult, but I had to keep it up for his own good. In the end, just the week before he passed away, he assured me that even though he sometimes didn’t like it at the time, he appreciated me doing it because he needed it and wouldn’t have done those things without me being there pushing him.

For me, if there is any possible way to find a silver lining in the suffering that Jared went through in the past few years, it is that it brought us closer together. I know that it has had a similar effect on his relationship with his siblings to some degree. They even started up a regular Dungeons and Dragons campaign that they played together to ensure they spent time together regularly. And I know that his dad, Rick, has also spent even more time with him and with the kids than usual because of Jared’s illness. We have all been able to make more memories and share more love.

I can remember him and only that he is gone
Or I can cherish his memory and let it live on.

The whole focus of our event today is to remember and celebrate Jared. I know that I have been missing him so much and so have his kids. For little ones, memories can be difficult to hold on to, but we really want them to remember their dad too. We brought a big, framed picture of Jared home on Friday, the one we are using here today, and as soon as Logan saw it, he was drawn to it. He just wanted to look at it and touch it. He wanted me to hang it up on the wall right away so that he could see it. Jared was never one for having a lot of pictures around, so they haven’t been able to see his face since he passed, so the photo was clearly important.

My daughter Lindsey also suggested that it would be nice to have a personal keepsake for each of them of their dad and felt that having their own stuffed bear, given his nickname was Bear. So Lindsey and I spent an evening with them at the Build a Bear Workshop where they each created their own stuffy to remember their dad.

Skyla found a soft, cuddly bear that she thought looked a bit like her dad. She named it JJ, short for Jared Junior, and dressed it in a housecoat and slippers, her dad’s favourite hanging round the house clothes. She added a mermaid sparkles scent (the smell of coconut) and a recorded sound button on which she recorded her own voice telling her daddy that she loves him and misses him.

Initially, Logan didn’t really grasp what we were doing, so hee picked a dinosaur as his stuffy, but Lindsey was great in helping him to make the connection between that choice and the fact that his daddy loved dinosaurs when he was a boy, and that one of the last big adventures Jared was able to have with the kids was a trip to the Tyrrell Museum to see the dinosaurs. Logan was so enthralled with the sound button that Skyla had put in her stuffy that in addition to a roar sound that he originally chose, he decided he wanted to record his voice for the stuffy too. The recording is adorable as he tells his dad that he misses him so much that he wanted to make a stuffy and so he is making it right now.

Anyone who knows the Build a Bear stores knows that they do a heart ceremony for the bears in which you place a heart shaped object inside of the doll. For us, this was the most important part of the process. We all hugged and kissed and put lots of love for daddy into each of the tiny hearts and we explained to the kids that this was so that when they feel sad or miss their dad, they can hug the bear/dino and they can feel the love that we put into it coming back out to help them feel better. Skyla later told great grandma and grandpa that she felt that her dad was there beside her when she was doing it and that he went inside the doll and put his love there too.

We must have done a good job, because I just couldn’t stop hugging Skyla’s bear that first day, or even the next morning, so I went back to the story and built my own memory bear.

Lindsey found the bear that I chose before I did. It has a little widows peak, just like Jared’s, and it has a bag over its shoulder that looks a lot like Jared’s Bag of Holding, which we took to the hospital every time he was in. It was like it was meant for me. We recorded the sound of Jared’s voice from his answering machine and did the same heart ceremony. Now when I start to feel sad, I just snuggle it and caress its ears, like I did with Jared so many times over the past few years. It helps me to remember him.
I will cherish it.

I can cry and close my mind,
be empty and turn my back
Or I can do what he’d have wanted:
smile, open my eyes, love and go on.

I can make no promises about the crying, but I will do my best to smile, love and go on, and so must we all.

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