Jennifer Austin (Clemente) was a very loving daughter, sister, wife, “bonus-mom” and Nona (grandmother). Her endearing smile, grace and cheerful giving attracted many to her. We met in 1999 while we both worked at United Airlines and I was instantly hooked on her sweet personality, smile (and long, beautiful hair). I found her to be an extremely family-oriented person, cheerfully embracing her family gatherings involving her 6 siblings and, always there for her parents Barbara & Donald Clemente. She introduced me to the world of travel, as she has said many times, “I only work in the difficult position of customer service at an airline to see the world”. Yet, she married a man with 3 growing kids, which put some restrictions on her travel dreams and she didn’t blink. She immediately adopted them as her own and would happily care for their needs, make wonderful birthday cakes, shop for clothes, take them to doctor appointments and help with school activities. I was so touched, while attending a cheerleading practice for our daughter, Carly, that she shed tears seeing her grow in that moment. While our son Nick was struggling after high school, she suggested we look into Job Corps and it turned out to be perfect for guiding him towards a successful career in computers and cloud storage technology. She was there for their High School graduations and son Shawn’s USMC boot camp graduation, sharing my fear, prayers while he served in Afghanistan, and relie when he came home safe. She placed yellow ribbons around our yard while he was deployed. 22 birthday celebrations, Christmas mornings, Thanksgiving dinners, Easter, Valentine Days when I felt guilty as her gift baskets to me outdid mine to her. She relished being an aunt to her many nieces and nephews who will forever remember her hugs. When our first of 3 grandchildren was born, she was immediately taken in by this little bundle of girl child named Annaleigh, who she would tenderly bathe in our kitchen sink. This would begin a new chapter for us as we joyfully embraced being “grandparents”. She was then to be known as “Nona” and I, Papa. I soon realized that our home was to be a child’s playground with books, toys, sweet goodies, dresses, and storage for the future growth of our grandchildren. She went to great lengths to send gift boxes to our out-of-state grandsons, Sam & Jack who were with daughter Carly and son-in-law Aaron. Jennifer decorated our home with photos and expressions of love for family. As I shed tears of grief, I will be forever grateful for her presence in our lives and remember her bravery as she faced a terminal illness, still smiling brightly, when she had the strength, despite the treatment. She continually expressed gratitude to her family, caregivers, me, to her dear sister Elizabeth who remained constantly by her side, until her last breath. It’s been said that “It’s not the length of life but the depth”. There was a celebration in heaven as she entered those golden gates!
Friends & Family
Barbara & Donald Clemente