Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My friend Jennifer Pendleton

Many years ago, back in the UCLA dorms, the trio of Tony, Jim and Jennifer learned together the delights of picking classes, eating starchy food and how to negotiate adult life. Like me, she was an Episcopalian, and we went to St. Alban's on Hilgard Avenue, across from Murphy Hall when we were undergrads. But no church would ever contain her.

While the three of us eventually ended up in different cities, the three of us all went into journalism, we each made our mark our own way. We stayed together as friends, shared many Thanksgiving meals in many different places. In our own way we were inseparable. She was a free spirit; she never married; she loved to travel, to write, to phone her friends.

The first time I visited Charlottesville, Virginia, was with Jennifer. It was her idea. It was between our junior and senior years at UCLA. We bought cheap tickets to DC, and caught a bus to Charlottesville.

Until recently she had been working in the Obama campaign. Jennifer's birthday was inauguration day (a distinction she shares with Lori).

Jennifer died yesterday in Los Angeles at age 56. She had been battling cancer for the past year. She had hoped to get well enough to make a return visited to Charlottesville. I talked with her on the phone last week. She never gave up. 


Leslie said...

This is so very sad to hear. Loosing a friend with whom you have "traveled a great distance" is so hard. These kinds of friends hold our memories as well as our friendship and love. I am sorry.


Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your friend, Jim. I know how you must be feeling. I have lost two long time friends in the last year. I will remember Jennifer in my prayers.


Yeshe Samten said...

Rev. Richardson,

Thank you for this nice tribute to my Aunt Jennifer. She (and the rest of my family) are all grateful to you for your friendship and kindness.

~Michael Donnoe

The Rev. James Richardson said...

Thanks Michael. All of us miss her terribly.