WILLIAMSBURG - Jennifer Jane Boatright, 54, was suddenly and unexpectedly taken from us on August 13th. She was the beloved daughter of Jim and Gloria Boatright and an exceptional woman who will be sorely missed by everyone that knew her. Her mother was blessed over the past 2½ years by the loving and tender care from her devoted daughter. Jenn, as she liked to be called, cherished her roles in life as a daughter, sister, aunt, godmother and friend. She was born in Salina, Kansas but grew up in Northern Virginia. Jennifer graduated from Annandale High School in 1978 where she distinguished herself in athletics and scholarship. She then attended and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1983 with a BS in Health Education. After graduation, she went to Richmond, Virginia where she became a police officer in the city force. This pursuit was cut short by a back injury during a training exercise. Jenn then moved to Boston, Massachusetts where she lived for about 26 years. She started and managed a home decorating and renovation business. It was staffed mostly with women and became quite successful primarily through referrals. In 2011 she sold her house and moved to Williamsburg to help care for her mother. During much of Jenn's adult life, she experienced a series of serious health issues that resulted in many surgeries. The last two occurred during her relatively short time here in Williamsburg. She faced each with strength and determination and always remained optimistic with her thoughts fixed on the future. Each time she would move into a rapid recovery mode so that she could get back quickly to doing the things she cherished. Jennifer was blessed to have a network of close friends, a wonderful godson and her loving family. Her network of friends spanned the years from her youth to the time of her passing and she kept in regular contact with all. Jennifer will be remembered best for her tenderness and love, her enduring friendships, her constant efforts to befriend and help anyone in need and her love of animals. From her college days on, Jennie always had at least one dog and one or more cats. While living in Williamsburg, her treasured pet was a Shih Tzu named Oscar. As Jenn drove around town, Oscar could be observed in his special seat on the passenger side serving as navigator. If you crossed paths with Jennifer you would likely have seen her companion, Oscar, as they seemed to be bonded. Jennifer is survived by her parents, James Francis and Gloria Jane Boatright of Williamsburg, VA, her brothers James Jeffrey of Herndon, VA and William Sellar Boatright of Virginia Beach, VA, her nieces Katherine C. Dawley and Angelina Boatright, her nephew Lt. Michael James Boatright, USA, and her godson John Sinclair. Friends may visit with the family on Thursday, August 28 between 6:00 and 8:00 PM, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg VA 23188. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, August 29 at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23185 and will be followed by interment at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Williamsburg, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Heritage Animal Shelter, 430 Waller Mill Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23185 or to Dream Catchers, P.O. Box 1261 Williamsburg VA 23187. Online condolences may be offered at www.nelsencares.com.
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Published in Virginia Gazette on Aug. 27, 2014