One of the most beautiful tributes for Jennifer came from Ursula Maxwell-Lewis, the founder of the Cloverdale Reporter who turned the reins over to Jen in 2009.
Ursula penned this wonderful piece in her memory in October 2017.
Jen’s successor, Sam Anderson, barely met Jen, but encountered enough Cloverdalians talking about her that she wrote about Jen’s obvious impact on the community in her introductory column in 2016.
So many people said beautiful things on Jen’s Facebook page after her passing. Feel free to add your thoughts there – her family and friends will see them – and/or post in the comments area below.
Ursula Maxwell-Lewis with Jen at the ‘Clovies’ awards in Cloverdale.
Selected comments from Facebook
So impossible to comprehend that such a young beautiful person is gone. Jennifer had this incredible knack for making people feel special. She always made me feel she was really listening and truly cared about what I had to say. Her presence, her bright beautiful smile, easy laugh, love of food and beer, just made you want to be around her. We all owe it to Jennifer to smile brightly, listen closely with our hearts as she did for so many to us. Jeff Nagel, I so admired your partnership. My heart is with you. – Monique Tamminga
I was one of the lucky people who got to call Jen a friend. Jen was always generous with her smile, her point of view and her ability to listen. She always had the most interesting things to say and I enjoyed every conversation with her. We shared so many good times together at my home, in White Rock, in Whistler, up on Mount Baldy or in Maui. We also comforted each other during the tough moments and her shoulders were always broad enough for me to lean my troubles on. Jen has left a very big hole in my heart.
But I do not believe that I will not see her again. I think that it may be in the eyes of a child, in the spirit of a wild horse or in the gracefulness of a hummingbird flying around a flower. And I will look for her in the beauty of nature that she loved so. You will be always be missed, Jen. Love you. – Tina Menchions
She was a beautiful woman and it was such a pleasure to have called her my friend. She was a joy to work with at both the Terrace Times and Terrace Standard. She spent her first thanksgiving in Terrace at our house. With a smile on her face and a witty comeback, she was a joy to work with. – Sandra Stefanik
Jen, your spirit burns bright. Jeff, your love was beautiful. This death feels impossible.
– Betsy Trumpener
So sorry to hear this Jeff. Jennifer was a wonderful person. She always got the community part of community newspapers–I remember reading all her great work in Terrace long before I met her. – Bhreandáin Clugston
Jen was such a gifted storyteller and I was often in awe at her ability to weave the essence of people into her stories. Her dedication as a journalist and her connectedness to community will stay with me always. – Sarah Zimmerman
Jennifer Lang was such an important part of our Cloverdale community. – Cloverdale Neighbour Network
One of the loveliest people I’ve had the privilege to know. – Brenda Anderson
After the paper was “up” and we were finished for the day, sometimes we’d talk for hours. I never went home on time. We’d share philosophies, our love of travel, Belgian beer and some of her favorite places to chill. She loved you Jeff, so much. If there’s anything I know about Jenn, is how much respect and love she had for you. – Marla Poirier
Jen was so kind, gentle, smart and funny. My daughters loved her and are so saddened to lose her. She was always interested in their lives, even in these past months. I remember many good times in Terrace, and later visits to White Rock, where we were always welcome as a family. Jen was a young and beautiful spirit, and she will forever remain that way in my heart. – Dina von Hahn
She was a great community minded reporter who went the extra mile. She helped define conversation and policy. Her positive impact will be missed. She will be missed. – Barinder Rasode
I admired Jennifer’s generous spirit and gracious treatment of all she met. – Kurt Langmann
She was such an integral part of the community and much loved and respected. – Dianne Watts
Jennifer was a kind hearted, wonderful, real person through and through. She will be greatly missed. So very very sorry for the loss of such a beautiful soul. – Lisa Peach
11 Replies to “Tributes”
what a very sad day. I knew she was very ill but i did not know till the paper came today that she had passed. my heart goes out to all of her family. Jennifer was such a passionate person and much loved by so many. The bright star in the sky is her letting all of us know she is out of pain and spending much time with her Dad. Love and hugs to all Gwen O’Connell
I truly don’t believe that Jennifer fully understood the positive influence she had on those around her including her family, friends, work associates and the many people she touched throughout so many communities. She was humble, kind and put people at ease, but yet extremely passionate about so many aspects of life.
I had the pleasure of knowing Jennifer for over 30 years. My connection came about through my wife Tina and although I was the outsider in the beginning Jennifer made me feel like her friend, not just her friend’s husband. That in itself, speaks so much about Jennifer in that she always tried to make those around her feel comfortable and included. I again witnessed this same magic on many occasions during the many interactions between my daughter and Jennifer over the years on topics such as photography, journalism, school and life in general. She wasn’t just being nice to a friend’s daughter, she was a friend to our daughter. She brought us in and always made us feel part of her world and for this we truly thank her and we shall truly miss her with tears in our heart.
Of course, I have so many positive, funny and entertaining memories of moments with Jennifer and of course Jeff, that bring a smile to my face and a chuckle to my heart. I will cherish these over the years to come.
Jeff, I always loved the way the two of you interacted, cared for each other, and fed off each other’s zest for life while respecting each others independence to be who you both were. It is difficult for us, but I cannot even imagine the pain you are trying to cope with. My heartfelt condolences to you and of course to Ron, Shirley, Alex and the rest of the extended family.
Over time, may the joy of knowing Jennifer override the sense of loss and remorse over her leaving our lives far too soon.
One of the most positive minded people you’ll ever meet! Jen had a natural curiosity about life and why people throw their running shoes up on power lines. It was a pleasure to work with Jen who accurately reported what was going on in Cloverdale. Jeff you should be very proud of Jen, she was very special and always left you with a smile on your face. Many people that I have spoken with miss her dearly and she will not be forgotten.
I think my fondest memories are of the Terrace Ladies Press Club, with Jen, Dina, Stephanie and I having “meetings” with PREEsentations, awards, ceremonies, ridiculous “rituals,” suppers and drinks, often accompanied by members of the Mens Auxiliary – Jeff, Rod and Dave.
When I think of Jennifer, I think of her laugh, because it seems we did a lot of laughing when we were together. In our Terrace days, I would often call Jen at work and announce a cheesecake and tea emergency, and despite her busy schedule, she always found time to meet me at some café. I can’t even remember what we laughed about – surely it was something sophisticated and brilliant. Then there were the Terrace Ladies’ Press Club events — the silliest and most fun get-togethers ever, with Char, Dave, Dina, Rod and Jeff. Jen had such a lively spirit with a quirky sense of humour. She was smart and she was kind. She was taken far too soon, and her passing leaves a hole in the world that can never be filled.
I have only known Jen for about five years. I’m a neighbour and was shocked and truly saddened by her passing. One of the last times I saw her she was running a bit late for work and we had just run into each other on the street. Even though she was late she stayed and talked for 5-10 min. She always made time. A short life but a life well lived and a lady well loved.
I did not know Jenn but wanted to send my condolences to her brother Ron and his wife Shirley . My brother James and Ron have friends since childhood. It is a terrible thing to lose someone so vital, so young and so suddenly. She sounds like such a wonderful person who blessed others just by being herself. My deepest sympathy to the family. Sincerely, Candice Hunter
Jen Lang was a wonderful friend. I met her early in my highschool career as we both entered West Van Secondary School in Grade 8, her from Ridgeview (I think) and me from Pauline Johnson.
Jen was stalwart and true and she always had a kind word, a joke, an amazing thought to share. She read constantly and was one of the smartest and funniest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her highschool yearbook entries were pure gold.
Our friendship extended beyond highschool while Jen attended university and I worked and travelled. We spent countless hours sharing music discoveries (So many – ELO, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Rush, Zeppelin, and then later Gord’s Gold, New Order, The Pursuit of Happiness, Dead Kennedys and so many others)…Jen’s taste was eclectic from classical to punk and back again. I remember watching SCTV, Monty Python, SNL, Letterman, so many hilarious movies, and talking for hours about all of these important cultural touchstones. I have wonderful memories of time spent with Jen in Sun Valley, Idaho and on Vancouver Island camping on Long Beach and going to the Save the Carmanagh rally. Always generous, thoughtful and engaged.
So many memories, it is overwhelming to think about her, what she meant to me through those formative years, and what a life she forged for herself in community news. I remember being so impressed at how engaged she was in Terrace life almost immediately and what it meant to her to have that opportunity.
My deepest condolences to Jeff, to the Lang family, to all my old high school friends who stayed in touch with Jen, especially Karen, Tina, Tina, Corinne, and Vic (and any others I have forgotten to mention) and all her friends made in adulthood. She really was a special person who brightened all our lives and really made a difference in the communities she lived and worked in.
I well remember hearing through the grapevine that Jeff was dating the female reporter at the Terrace Times.
My initial reaction was, “Good gawd, fraternising with the enemy!!” That was akin to treason.
But by then Jeff and I were fast friends from my days at the Standard so I decided discretion was the better part of valour and kept my mouth shut, pretending not to know what I knew.
Soon after I hosted a pot luck supper for the Standard gang and got a phone call from Jeff. Would it be okay if he brought her along?
Being a reasonable sort of guy and curious to meet this woman I said sure.
One afternoon in Jen’s company and Jeff was forgiven his transgression. Jen was just one of those people you take an instant liking to. And in the years that followed that first impression was reinforced time and time again.
Twice when I was editor of the Kitimat paper I was left without a reporter and hired her to fill the gap until I could find a new one. That gave me the opportunity to see her in action as a reporter and damn was she good. She had what I call “it”, that hard to define quality that makes for an exceptional reporter.
A big part of that was she didn’t just pretend, she was genuinely interested in people and their stories which they sensed and therefore opened up to her.
As an example of the extraordinary person Jen was I offer the following: last August I was hospitalised for a week with a bleeding stomach ulcer. Despite all she was going through at that time – which she downplayed – her e-mail was full of concern for my health and urging me to take care of myself. As I said, extraordinary.
You are sorely missed Jen.
Former colleagues Malcolm Baxter, Ed Credgeur and Rod Link gathered at the Sherwood Brewery in Terrace this afternoon to celebrate Jen. She was an absolute professional who made the pages of The Terrace Times, The Northern Sentinel in Kitimat and The Terrace Standard so much better.
View photo of Malcolm, Ed and Rod at the Sherwood:
Dear Jeff and those that love Jen.
I got to know Jen when I was living @Royal Villa. I would often see Jen and Jeff leaving or returning from work.
At the time I baby sat my Great great Grandnephew Darren. They would also stop and talk to the baby, and in return Darren would get so excited when he saw them. He would have a big smile for them.
Jen and Jeff always were friendly and seemed to have such a deep love for each other, and respect.
With deep respect for both you and Jen. May the Great Spirit help you in your journey of grief.