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Jen Lassek-Tolo

LASSEK-TOLO, Jen Jen Lassek-Tolo, 39, of West Hartford, left us suddenly on Friday (July 8, 2005) as a result of a tragic automobile accident. An uncommonly loving mother, daughter, and wife, Jen leaves behind daughters Cambryn, Gabriella, and Rachel; her mother, Barbara; father Art and brother Tony, and her devoted husband, David Tolo. Jen's fierce loyalty to her family was extended to her friends. She was an accomplished artist; a realist figurative painter, whose prolific renderings of her children emanate awe and love. Jen was noted for her fearless and ironic championing of victimized and dispossessed members of our society. Her compassion and outrage sprang from her own lean years of struggle as a mother and artist in the West End of Hartford. Although sharply political, her work, like her, was also sensual, spiritual and mischievous. Jen laughed at adversity; her humor and sweetness was as pronounced as her utter fearlessness. She graduated from Trinity College in 2003 with a BFA in Studio Art. She was a dedicated and esteemed teacher at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Jen leaves an enormous absence in the Hartford art community, where her enthusiasm and playful creativity stimulated all around her. Among her many friends, the loss is incalculable. A Mass will be celebrated Wednesday 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral, 140 Farmington Ave., Hartford. In lieu of conventional flowers arrangements, you may bring hand picked or bunch flowers or make donations to My Sisters Place, 10 Capen St., Hartford, CT 06102 or to Heifer Project International, P.O. Box 8058, Little Rock, AR/USA 72203. A celebration of Jen's Art and life will be held Wednesday 4 p.m. at Art Space Gallery, 888 Asylum St., Hartford, there will be an Exhibition of her work and open mike/karaoke. The Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, West Hartford, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Published in The Hartford Courant on July 11, 2005
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