Jess Thornell #2 in the back row pictured with here teammates

(10-1-21) Jess Thornell was a rising star at Antwerp (Ohio) a freshman Libero at 5’2 she was a leader in digs this season for the Archers.

Her death shocked the community in many ways…support from area schools continue to pour in. It will be a long time before anyone forgets this tragedy. Teen suicide is a problem in the US, her loss shows us that it can happen to anyone at anytime.


Antwerp Local Schools
Friday October 8th, 2021
2:00pm – 7:00pmView Details


Antwerp Local Schools
Saturday October 9th, 2021
9:00am – 9:45amView Details

Funeral Service

Antwerp Local Schools
Saturday October 9th, 2021


Jessica Lavon Thornell, 15, of Antwerp, passed away Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at Community Memorial Hospital, Hicksville.

Jessica was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on August 31, 2006, a daughter of Amy Jane (Miller) and Gary Thornell.

She was a freshman at Antwerp High School, where she excelled in everything she did. She enjoyed playing anything competitive, but especially loved playing volleyball, basketball and softball. She loved all her teammates like they were family. She also was elected to student council and was a NJHS member. Jessica loved being with her friends, going to the lake with her family, and riding her 4-wheeler. She loved Ohio State Sports so much that she named her Saint Bernard Brutus!

Jessica will be sadly missed by her parents, Gary & Amy, brother, Eric, grandparents, Larry & Cathy Thornell and Michael & Alice Miller, and all her family and friends.

Viewing for Jessica will be Friday, October, 8th, 2 to 7 pm at Antwerp Local Schools, 303 S. Harrmann Road, Antwerp.

Her funeral mass is Saturday, October 9th, 10 am at Antwerp Local Schools, 303 S. Harrmann Road, Antwerp. There will be viewing in the school rotunda from 9:00 am to 9:45 am prior to the mass.

She will be laid to rest in Maumee Cemetery, Antwerp.

Memorials are to the Jessica Thornell Scholarship Fund.

Fond memories may be shared at

Why Yellow?

How It All Began – Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program®

The program began in 1994 in response to heartfelt pleas from teens and adults after the death of a friend and loved one, Mike Emme (17).  Words said by his family – “please don’t do this, please talk to someone” were put on bright yellow paper along with phone numbers / who to call to get help. Teens pinned yellow ribbons on 500 slips of those yellow papers for his services and at the end, all were gone.  Teens began to mail them ‘everywhere’ to friends and loved ones.  Within three weeks came word of a girl who got help when she gave her yellow message* she had received in the mail to her teacher and received help. The Ripple Effect had begun a bright yellow bridge that connects those in need to those who help.

* The messages (those yellow slips of paper) became the hallmark of the program – the Ask 4 Help!® Card. 

Why Yellow?

Yellow became the symbol of the program when the teens began bringing us tons of yellow flowers and started tying yellow ribbons in their hair, pinning them on their clothes/hats on the day Mike died, in memory of Mike and his cherished yellow 1968 Ford Mustang. He helped so many people with that car.

You can also read how it all started in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Third Serving (1997) and Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul (2000).