Grandas, Jennifer Balent on November 22, 2009 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Jennifer was born on March 26, 1960 at Johnson Air Base, Japan to Susan Roessler Balent and Alvan Balent. She attended Bayview Elementary, Sunrise Middle, and Cardinal Gibbons High Schools. During her teenage and young adult years, Jennifer was one of the best young tennis players in the country. Her accomplishments include three national singles titles and two national doubles titles as a junior player as well as winning the Orange Bowl in 1975 (U16). She attended the University of North Carolina on a full scholarship and won three ACC singles championships in 1978, 1979, and 1980. In 2002, Jenny was named to the NCAA 50th Anniversary Women's Tennis Team. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Education. As an adult, Jennifer dedicated her talents to raising two outstanding children, Sebastian (13) and Diana (11). She was devoted to her children and immensely proud of them. She was a loving and loved daughter and sister. Her family was her greatest treasure. Jennifer combined an athlete's discipline and energy with an innocent, gentle spirit. She led a pure life -feeding herself and the children only the healthiest of foods, maintaining her lovely, lithe athletic body, and practicing meditation. She was always positive and kind, spoke only well of others, and forgave easily. She loved to share, laugh, and be light-hearted and approached the world with a charming openness. Words do not describe the sweetness, purity, and innocence of Jennifer's soul. She is survived by her children, her parents, her sisters, Mary Balent Long and Amy E. Balent, and their families. Donations in Jennifer's memory may be sent to the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center Development Fund, 701 NE 12th Avenue, Ft. Laud., FL 33304.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Dec. 1, 2009