Jessee Monuments owner Cody Jessee kneels between two headstones he made from his Prineville home. Jessee began making headstones one year ago, after head injuries forced him to retire from his professional rodeo career.
...Jessee Monuments owner Cody Jessee kneels between two headstones he made from his Prineville home.Jessee
began making headstones one year ago, after head injuries forced him to retire from his
professional rodeo career.
Ex-rodeo cowboy makes his
markCody Jessee trades horses for headstone monument business
...Cody Jessee, a rodeo cowboy who once tempted death on the back of a bucking bronco, now works in the business of the deceased: running his own headstone and monument-making business.Jessee
business, Jessee Monuments
, one year ago, when doctors warned him that another head injury could permanently disable him.So, at age 27, he
retired from the life he
lived since age 18 to make headstone monuments from his
, now 28, specializes in headstone monuments, he
also makes signs for businesses, homes and ranches, custom coasters, coffee cups and just about anything he
can engrave, including glass and mirrors.He
makes the headstones out of granite and natural rock, including quartz, sandstone and basalt.
Headstones can cost up to $8,000, he
said, depending on size and design.
The smallest and cheapest headstones - grass grave markers - are $485 for unlimited design and lettering.
What: Jessee MonumentsWho: Cody JesseeWhere: 15083 SE Webley Way, PrinevilleTelephone: 416-9275
business is still very small, serving eight to 10 customers per month, but he
said word-of-mouth advertising has helped it grow since it began in September 2004.Jessee
granite from India and uses a sandblaster and stencil to carve characters and pictures.For customers needing artistic designs, he
has a graphic artist create the design, which Jessee cuts out with a razor blade, centers on the headstone, engraves and then paints.
Once a headstone is finished, Jessee
uses a crane to load the heavy stone into his
then drives it to the cemetery, where cemetery employees usually set the piece in a concrete foundation.
Many Central Oregon funeral homes also make monuments, but few, like Jessee, specialize in the craft.Jessee
sees a unique perspective on his
customers' lives as they grieve the loss of a loved one, but he
tries not to get emotionally involved.
"I try to focus on what I'm doing and not think about it," Jessee