Young man who died of cancer to be honored as ‘Distinguished Under 40’


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The following is a news release from the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce.

IDAHO FALLS — For the first time, the Distinguished Under 40 honoree group will be expanded to 11 recipients to include a very special individual.

Jesse Brown will be honored as a Distinguished Under 40 recipient at the September 25th Luncheon and Award event along with the previously announced 10 honorees.

Jesse passed away on August 30, 2018 at the age of 21, but more importantly – Jesse lived.

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Jesse was a longtime Idaho Falls resident. He had the opportunity to live in Richland, Washington and Hobbs, New Mexico for a few years before returning to Idaho Falls.

Jesse attended Hillcrest High School in Idaho Falls and Hanford High School in Richland. He graduated from Richland High School in Richland in 2015. Jesse also attended New Mexico Junior College.

Jesse loved to travel and experience new places. He always worked hard at everything he had the opportunity to do and held various positions. One of the jobs he enjoyed most was working at Papa Tom’s in Idaho Falls.

He recently became an Eagles member. He loved longboarding with his parrot, Bilbo, on his shoulder. Jesse was a little league baseball star who loved playing catch and umpiring high school softball. He also loved shooting pool, playing hacky sac, flying drones and playing video games with his nephew.

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Jesse loved his dog, Brownie, and loved walking him. He took time to play with his nieces, go for drives, be with his best friends, and laugh with his family. Jesse was adventurous and loved being outdoors or by the ocean. He loved being around people and making them smile. He made friends wherever he was.

Jesse’s smile, strength, perseverance, and kind soul will never be forgotten among the thousands of lives he touched. In his short time, he has had an unforgettable impact and been a true inspiration to so many people.

Jesse’s sister, Teena Castaneda, writes:

“Jesse lived 21 short years to the absolute fullest. At age 10, Jesse was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right leg. After a half dozen surgeries, he eventually lost his leg from the knee down. Within just a couple of months after his amputation, wound not healed and no prosthetic, 10-year-old Jesse attended Camp Magical Moments where Jesse excelled at rock climbing, diving and kickball… He wholeheartedly did it all. He never complained. He never quit. Whatever Jesse faced in life he always continued to have his strength tested and mental endurance challenged. Yet continuously overcame and loved with all his heart. His pets, family and friends, even complete strangers always had a warm hug waiting, a silly joke or just his big beautiful smile to brighten your day. He was the example people wanted to follow and became the great inspiration he had always strived to be.”

RELATED | Chamber of Commerce announces ‘Distinguished Under 40’ honorees

Distinguished Under 40 is an annual awards program exclusive to the Eastern Idaho area that honors 10 young professionals who have gone above and beyond to accomplish great things in their careers, community, and education. To be considered for the award, young professionals are nominated by co-workers, managers, and business associates.

Winners are selected by a panel of GIFCC past and present board members. Fifty nominations were received this year.

To attend the luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn, please contact Lois Mackes at (208) 523-1010 or at Reservations can also be made online at