NEWPORT NEWS — Jennifer Elizabeth “Jenn” Friend, 30, went to be with her beloved Poppop in heaven Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. Jenn was born Nov. 29, 1990, in Woodbridge.
After graduating from Hampshire High School in 2009, she went on to study at WVU Potomac State and later returned to school at Thomas Nelson Community College to earn her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2019.
Jennifer was an incredibly hard worker with a tireless work ethic, which shows through her countless accomplishments and accolades. Jenn set her sights on becoming a nurse and never stopped working towards that goal. She started her career in healthcare at Riverside Regional Medical Center in dietary services before advancing to her role as the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) secretary.
She worked as a secretary through nursing school (all while pregnant), and after graduation, she accepted her dream job as a surgical ICU nurse. Jennifer was a well-loved and respected member of her SICU family, which recently earned the DAISY Team Award for compassionate and skilled nursing. Jennifer was an amazing nurse who saved countless lives and passionately participated in a Donor Walk for one of her recent patients. Her positive attitude and compassion will be greatly missed by her coworkers and patients.
While Jennifer was a very proud nurse, her greatest accomplishment was, without a doubt, being an incredible wife and mother. Jennifer met her husband James at WVU Potomac State, where they became best friends and fell in love in 2012. They were married May 27, 2017, and welcomed their first daughter, Avery Rose, later that year on Oct. 8. Avery was the light of Jennifer’s life, and Jenn would do anything to make her little girl smile and laugh.
James and Jennifer announced earlier this year that they were expecting their second daughter to make the perfect addition to their family. Lainey Grace was born July 25, 2021, and while she never got to meet her Mommy, we know Jennifer will live on through her as the gift of life she was able to give before passing. Jennifer made it her life’s mission for her daughters to never have to wonder how much they are loved. While nothing compares to a mother’s love, her husband and the family she leaves behind will ensure that her girls know how much they are loved — especially by their Mommy.
Family was the most important part of Jennifer’s life. No matter how busy life got, she prioritized spending quality time with both her immediate and extended family. Before becoming a mom, Jennifer’s favorite role was as “Titi” to her beloved nephews, Christopher Robin, Colton Michael-Allen, Charles Andrew III, Elliott David and Bennett Alexander; and niece, Evelyn Reese. Her nephews and niece held a special place in her heart, and she was always willing to babysit, lay down the law, and fill their days with fun and love. Jennifer would drop everything without question or hesitation for a family member in need because “that’s what family does.”
Jennifer is survived by her husband, James Friend, and their two daughters, Avery Rose and Lainey Grace; beloved Nanny, Carol McDonald; grandma, Cheryl Friend; parents, Charles and Mary McDonald, Angie Friend and Mekonnen Haile and Michael Friend; sister and “person,” Samantha Wood, and her husband, Chris; brother, Charles McDonald Jr.; those she considered sisters, Kristen Fitzsimmons, and her husband, Dan, Lindsey Friend Mann, and her husband, Alex, and Rachel Friend, and her boyfriend, Robbie Iulo; nephews and niece, and countless beloved aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who Jennifer held near and dear to her heart.
Jennifer was a beautiful soul. Her green eyes lit up a room, and her laugh was infectious. She was always smiling and doing anything she could to make those around her happy. She loved photography, going to the beach, chewing sunflower seeds, listening to Fall Out Boy, and going to her nephews’ baseball games, but Jenn would admit that her favorite “hobby” was napping on the couch with Avery. She was patient, gracious and forgiving, and we could all learn so much from the way she chose to live her life. She loved fiercely and selflessly and would do anything for the people she loved. Those she leaves behind will never understand why she was taken so soon, but we know that she would want us to honor her memory by loving one another and living life to the fullest.
Jennifer’s celebration of life has not yet been planned. Details will be shared at a later date after her family recovers from the recent traumatic accident and her loss.
Share online condolences with the family at Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory.