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Jene Louise Zenner


1926 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Jene Louise Zenner Obituary
Jene Louise Zenner
February 4, 1926 - April 7, 2014
Resident of Santa Cruz
Jene Louise Zenner beloved wife, mother of six, grandmother of fifteen, and great grandmother of one, died peacefully on Monday April 7th, 2014 at the age of 88. Married in 1946, Jene was a loving wife to her husband Harry for 64 wonderful years (he preceded her in death in 2010). She lived a faithful, full and vibrant life dedicated to her family, her community, her art and our country. Her family, friends and community will long revere her active service and leadership.
Born in Waukegan Illinois, Jene moved to California in 1933, and was raised in San Diego. She attended San Diego State University where she passionately studied art, specifically painting and sculpting. San Diego is where she met her husband to be, Harold Joseph Zenner prior to the end of World War II. During her 27 years as a Navy wife, Jene and family moved to 18 different communities across the country until she insisted, in 1964, that Santa Cruz become their permanent home.
In Santa Cruz Jene imbedded herself deeply in the community both socially and through her astonishing history of service including but not limited to: League of Women Voters Santa Cruz founding member and President; an elected trustee of the Santa Cruz City School District; Pasatiempo Homeowners Association President; Rotary International's Inner Wheel founding member and President; UCSC Women's Club President; American Field Service President; Family Service Board member; Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Director; Santa Cruz Symphony Guild Ways and Means Chairman; Dominican Hospital Auxiliary; Santa Cruz Art League.
She was a committed member of the Catholic faith as a parishioner first at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, where she taught catechism, followed by Holy Cross Catholic Church where she was a lector and active fund raiser.
In 2003 Jene was honored to receive the "Women helping Women Award" from Soroptimist International & the California State Senate for her vision and tireless dedication to the founding and establishment of Siena House, a maternity home for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy.
Jene loved to travel and spent many treasured anniversaries with her devoted husband Harry on the beach at Bellow's Air force Base on Oahu, Hawaii. She cherished the annual family reunions she and Harry began at Sea Ranch, which continue to this day. She was passionate about her art, and enhanced her skills working on her bronze sculptures at Cabrillo College. She nurtured a love of art in her children and grandchildren as well. Harry always described Jene as having a "beautiful mind" which she actively nurtured in her constant studies of highly varied topics and interests.
She was a proud mother of six children; Mark Zenner (who precedes her in death and was formerly married to Linda Bell) of Denver, Colorado, Dr. Bruce Zenner of Davis, CA, James Zenner married to Pauline of Santa Cruz, CA, Paul Zenner married to Elissa of Encinitas, CA, Audrey Billet married to Lambert of Redwood City, CA, and John Zenner married to Lisa of Alameda, CA.
The family would like to thank her caregiver Gloria Ortega, Gordon Manor, Pathways Hospice Services and Jene's physicians for their incredible support during the last few years of her life.
We wish Godspeed to our beloved Mama.
A Catholic Funeral Mass with be held at St. Joseph's Church, 435 Monterey Ave., Capitola on Thursday April 24th at noon. The Mass will be followed immediately by a reception at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Siena House Maternity Home, 108 High St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
If you would like to send your condolences to Jene's family, share your memories, view or post photos or light a candle in her memory, please visit www.scmemorial.com. For those wishing to send cards or remembrances please address them to: The Zenner Family, C/O of Santa Cruz Memorial, 1927 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Apr. 20, 2014
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