Amanda Lee Jamison
Amanda made her entrance into the world in Sioux Falls, SD as the second-born out of six. Maxing out at 4’ 11.75”, she was breathe-takingly beautiful and destined for the spotlight. She may have been physically small, but what she lacked in height she made up for in personality (and high-heels). The combination of Amanda’s confidence and bold attire always attracted the room’s attention when she entered.
Early in her life, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, MEN2B, which predisposed her to many surgeries, medications and overnights in the hospital throughout her life. Having this disease meant Amanda had to consciously choose to fight each and every day. Now, while this did put her at a substantial disadvantage in the game of life, she never let it hold her back or define her; if anything, it inspired her empathy and yearn for adventure. It was important for her to expand her palate beyond licking the salsa off chips. She was one to try justabout any food, as a kid she even sucked on alcohol pads. Luckily, her diet was usually fit for human consumption, although one could argue edibility, simply based on her desired spice-level. Her spice tolerance was quite impressive that when ordering salsa from her favorite restaurant, Inca, it would be at the request of, “make it as spicy as you possibly can.” While most top their foods with salt and pepper, Amanda used cayenne pepper. She inherited a few food habits from her dad, like that grocery shopping was best when accompanied by an apple fritter, and coffee/espresso should always be black.
Amanda loved her family more than anything. She thrived with the relationships she was able to share with each of her siblings. Whether it was arguments that ended with her hair full of Vaseline, sharing her bed with her sister even though their beds were only three feet apart, calling to brag about the grea deal she found, pinching them till she left scars or staying up all night to play games, she never wanted to miss a moment. She was everyone’s number one fan and personal professional photographer.
She wasn’t just fans of her siblings, as a child Amanda was an avid Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson fan too. So much so, that when it came to her chance to Make-A-Wish, she chose an Alaskan cruise with the Olson twins as celebrity guests. One night, she even got the chance to dine with them at their personal dinner table.
Amanda graduated from O’Gorman High School in 2006, where she shared her beautiful voice by participating in choir. Throughout high school, she spent many hours working at Carmike Theatres, too. She (and her family) loved the perks of free movies, free popcorn and, of course, her coworkers. Many of these coworkers turned into her lifelong friends. It was also during this time that Amanda received Duke as a birthday present, making her a dog-mom for the next 17 years.
Amanda always had extra love to give to those who needed it most. In high school, she brought home a Slovakian exchange student that was having housing difficulties. Elena became part of our family that day. Amanda never hesitated to offer help to others. She always had big dreams to one day combine her love for family, children and helping others by adopting a large family of siblings so that they wouldn’t have to be separated. Ultimately, this did become a reality, with one slight difference, instead of humans, it was cats. She even went above and beyond rescuing them, she rehomed many and at points would trap-neuter-return the males. Amanda was the most amazing mom to her clowder of cats.
After high school, Amanda’s educational journey earned her a Master of Architecture degree. As Amanda grew older, her artistic talents continued to place her in the spotlight. Most specifically, her photography. She had the natural ability to capture the beauty of unconventional perspectives. Her work was published in Oakwood Magazine, was displayed in the Dean of SDSU’s office, earned her scholarships and gatewayed her into many opportunities. One of those opportunities was a return, month-long trip to Cuba to photograph The Forgotten Art Schools at the Instituto Superior de Arte.
Amanda met her husband, Kyle, through mutual friends. They officially started dating on January 14, 2010. They were legally married six years later to the date by her grandfather, while enjoying the food and scenery at Inca. Their formal wedding celebration took place on June 10, 2016.
As stated, Amanda had a daily battle, but at times, she would contribute to her own uphill journey. Such as, buying a trailer to renovate in an architecturally pleasing and environmentally-friendly manner. Ultimately, with the support of her husband, dad, her grandpa, several uncles and brothers, once they were finished, the only thing “original” were the support beams. This escapade taught many involved valuable life lessons.
Amanda’s life ended too soon at the age of 35, but many could argue that girl lived a life many dream about. Her legacy will live on in her millions of photographs, her family, her friends and her cats. She will forever be remembered as vivacious, beautiful, bold, spicy, magnetic and talented.
She is preceded in death by her father, Clayton Jamison, her mother-in-law, Norma Vrondran, her grandma, Eleanor Seney, and her grandfathers, Bob Jamison and Wayne Edinger. She is survived by her husband, Kyle Jamison, her parents, Darla and Charlie Edinger, her siblings, Dustin (Dana) Jamison, Cassandra (Steven) Jackson, Stephany Jamison (Jordan Ekern), Jonathan (Abilene) Jamison, and Kyle Jamison (Megan Long), her sibling-in-laws, Geoff (Kristen) Clark, Amber (Kelly) Rear, as well as her niblings, Ariana, Aden, Beckett, Beau, Brighton, Brandon, Cristofer, Jonathan, Matthew and great nephew Erik.
In lieu of flowers or gifts,please donate in Amanda’s honor to Make-a-Wish Foundation or Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
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