Jenny Dillon
1961 - 2021
Jenny Dillon
July 5, 1961 - January 25, 2021
A fourth generation San Franciscan, Jenny was raised with love and affection by her mother Anne Hickok (1941–1994) and father, James Lincoln (1939–2020). Graduated George Washington High School in 1979 and studied biological sciences at SFSU.
As a young adult, Jenny volunteered and worked at the San Francisco Zoo and SPCA. Jenny loved animals, whether it be a snake, a cat, a dog or a rat, Jenny had them all. She would emulate them through her kindness, understanding, and love to everyone she knew.
An out and proud member of the LGBTQ community, Jenny spent many nights throwing 'em back at Maude's or marching for gay rights when it wasn't safe to do so. When it really mattered Jenny was there. Always.
Jenny met the love of her life, Athena Kelly, in 1997. They were married at city hall in San Francisco on Election Day, November 4, 2008, the day it became legal to do so. It was very important to Jenny to be able to marry the person she loved.
Soon they left the foggy Sunset district to live the desert lifestyle of Palm Springs, where Jenny excelled in her flip flops, tank tops, and fanny packs. She made numerous friends-family and enjoyed the calm serenity of the desert.
Jenny's other passion was cooking, baking, and sharing this passion with her friends on any and all occasions. She was very involved in her community in San Francisco, as well as Palm Springs, especially when it came to gay rights. In every way, she was always an advocate for what she believed in.
Jenny found this quote from her mother and shared it often: "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can," by Arthur Ashe.
She is survived by her wife, Athena, her brothers James (Rachel) and Tom; her Uncles George (Judy) and Pat (Lani) and many friends and family. In lieu of funeral services please donate to AIDS Memorial Grove ( and to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter (, very important parts of Jenny's life and existence.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

13 Entries
I knew Jenny from before GWHS. We used to play together (around 5th/6th Ave) as children. I liked her very much. She was kind and easy to spend time with. I lost touch after I moved, but once I moved back I found her through FaceBook and was happy to have her as a friend. I am sincerely saddened by her passing and would wish her friends and family condolences and peace. Thank you, Jenny, for remembering and caring so much. You did change the world for the better.
Jennifer Spencer
July 5, 2021
Jenny was a kind and wonderful person. I miss her so much. I will always cherish the time I spent with her. My deepest condolences to her family and her wife Athena.
Don Taylor
June 24, 2021
Jenny.... I will miss running into you in the Park with the pups... your even temper and sage advice and lovely smile... There are few you like you are truly 'good'... someone who is there for others and a woman who WANTED to be there for others. You never talked about your worries, your needs or things you were dealing with... you always seemed to care for those around you and that was your focus. It seems so unfair that your life was cut short.... the world needs more Jennys!
I will miss your Facebook posts... and I am glad that your Mum and Dad were waiting for you with open arms.... We will not forget you Jenny and you will be missed ! My condolences to your family and other friends during this sad time. Until we meet again !
February 21, 2021
We met Jenny (my then-toddler son and I) when she was a teenage docent at the SF Zoo. They were our neighbors in San Francisco, and then again a half-block around the corner here in Palm Springs. She will be missed big time.
Donna Chaban-Delmas
February 21, 2021
Jenny gave my a place to stay 30 years ago on my first trip to SFO she showed me the town and whit her dogs we went to the Park. My English was and is not well but Jenny made me feel save and welcome on a Place fare away from home.
Hängärtner Susy
February 19, 2021
My Sunday routine is to read the obituaries. The reason is not a sinister and depressing one, but a more enlightened one - to search for the qualities needed to live life well. As I read Jenny’s obit, her compassion and doing all the things that were important to her stood out for me! I absolutely love the quote she used by Arthur Ashe! I have added this to my own collection. I extend my sincere condolences in your loss of such a vibrant person, but please know that her legacy has touched me - a complete stranger.
Loretta Rockwell
February 15, 2021
Jenny is my Amazing Sister-in-law, and I Love her Dearly. Her smile radiated from her beautiful soul. Jenny showed me 'her' San Francisco one was such a wonderful day- I will never forget. My deepest sympathy to all those who Love Jenny, such heartbreak.
Wendy Kolar Mullen
February 13, 2021
Athena, I am broken hearted for you. Jenny was the sweetest, kindest person. You and Jenny were great neighbors I always enjoyed talking with you both...on the run! I have a memory of how helpful Jenny always was....... When I (Jackie) was moving out of my house across the street from you, and having a yard sale, Jenny came to my sister’s rescue after she had jumped in my pool with her phone in her pocket! Jenny ran home and brought back a bag of white rice and put Vicki’s phone in it. It worked, and her phone was saved! You were lucky to have had Jenny in your life, and she was lucky to have had you.
Jackie Bigham
February 13, 2021
ah jen a good friend and neighbor i remember
our early am grocery trips in this covid world. i made u get up much earlier than u liked but u always had a smile on your face
our annual trip to the dog show staying till the cold end bundled in our down coats and gloves. u called us conrad the shelties groupies
our doggies excursions near and far
our street faire visists
our attending "yappy hour" with our pups
so many happy things to remember
February 13, 2021
What a terrible loss. I met Jenny in the park with her two beautiful dogs. We talked all the time she was a go getter and a sweet woman this is such a tragedy a life taken too soon .
Marvin G.
February 13, 2021
What a sweet and kind soul you were in life. May your light shine brightly for all eternity Jenny.
Eddie Clark
February 12, 2021
Jenny was my friend for 32 years, about 15 as my neighbor . She was my Family. I live her so much and can’t believe that we will not grow old together. Jenny I love you
Maria Peterson
February 12, 2021
Until we see each other again, may you have just as much fun on the other side as you did in this life.
February 12, 2021
Showing 1 - 13 of 13 results