It was a cold, crisp night when her spirit took flight. Forever released from its confining earthly vessel never to be told she “couldn’t” anymore.
Jennifer Lin Boody, 53, left us behind on Sunday, December 10, 2023. Our baby sister is once again in her mother’s arms.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Deanna Lowe Boody, her father, Lawrence ”Pete” Boody, and both her paternal and maternal grandparents.
Jennifer was born September 28, 1970, in Oak Ridge, TN, with fine, fire-red hair and the sneaky smile we all remember well. She was diagnosed with brain cancer at ten years of age and persevered through surgery and massive radiation therapy to be left with some disabilities that affected her life in the years afterward. She graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1988. She went on to trade school in Smyrna, TN acquiring certificates in the hospitality field. She had her own apartment and drove to work at several places in and around the Oak Ridge area until she suffered a stroke in 2010. Her disabilities never affected her desire to keep as much of her independence as her body would allow, the size of her heart or her all-encompassing ability to love. Jennifer wasn’t disabled, but “differently-abled”.
Jennifer loved to shop, often being found in the body wash aisle sniffing each and every bottle for “the one”. She enjoyed hugs, handholding, and the sensation of touch, often running her fingers over blankets, stuffed animals, and soft, squishy sweaters, her face bright and smiling as she did so. She loved animals, horses being her favorite (along with the mystical unicorn, of course). She never failed to give, of herself, her time, and special gifts. No one ever went without a little something from her at Christmas, not a one.
She loved angels, collecting Bibles and when she was able, going to church. She was active with many churches, often being baptized in each church she attended.
She loved her “roomies” and her wonderful caregivers. Jennifer enjoyed days spent out and about in the community shopping, eating out (Red Lobster has lost a big fan), and road trips with her buddies. She was sneaky and took great pleasure in wiggling out of her seat or wheelchair in the van to end up sitting where SHE wanted to. She thoroughly enjoyed the commotion brought on by forcing the driver to find a place to safely pull over and reinstall her butt back into her own seat belt or chair until her next opportunity to commandeer control of the van and everyone in it. It’s doubtful that anyone that knew her didn’t have one of their own Jennifer sneaky stories to tell.
Her roomies -Jenny Sue, Rosie, Marie, Kathy, Toni and Melinda her life friends who stuck by her through thick and thin, were ever present, attentive and loving her as her soul broke free of her confining body. She surely sent her love to each and everyone as she slipped past.
Her family would like to give thanks to her caregivers: Heather, Courtney, Sarah, Donna, Alexandra, Hannah, Toni and Jessica. The ones that knew her well, were dedicated to giving her as much freedom as they could safely allow, and the ones that loved Jennifer as their own.
Kimmie, Pat, and Daya, you have been her core family, always advocating for her since you met her, and a steady presence and “go-to” for her care. We are ever thankful for your dedication and devotion to Jennifer and her needs. Thank you ALL for allowing her to be brought “home” from UT to share her final time with those she loved so dearly. Your compassion, care, concern, and love were deeply felt and appreciated, especially by Chris in Jennifer’s last hours.
Jennifer is survived by her sister Chris (Ken) Gray of Kingston, brother, Mark Boody of Clinton, and her ‘Nuther Muther, Venita Boody (stepsisters, Lisa and Lori and their families) of Oliver Springs. She leaves behind her nephews, Ryan and Zach, and her niece Caitlin as well as three grandnieces and one grandnephew.
A final note: Every time I visited Jennifer or took her home after a shopping spree, for as long as I can remember, she’d always wanted to walk me to my car. She’d stand on the curb and watch me go until I was out of her sight. She never let me go to my car alone. She’d trudge down the stairs of her third-floor apartment, sneak out the doors of the nursing home setting off alarms, or later while she lived with her roomies – as long as she was able to move herself – she’d wave me goodbye. It never occurred to me how important it was to her. Maybe she thought it was the last time she’d see me and she wanted the time down to the very last minute. This time it’s my turn. I’m the one standing out on the curb until I can no longer see her, the hearse tail lights fading away in the night. That much, that much I can do this last time. ~ Chris
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Horse Haven of Tennessee. Phone: (865) 609-4030 or donate online at: www.horsehaventn.org
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, TN is in charge of arrangements.