Jennifer Sichitano Jehorek, 74, of Sun City, AZ, formerly of Brule, NE, died March 30th, with family by her side after a valiant battle with leukemia.
Jennifer was born October 3, 1945 in Braddock, PA and was the daughter of Joseph Sichitano and Susanne Eski. She attended grade school at St. Thomas Catholic School and high school at Braddock High in Pennsylvania.
On a trip to Norfolk, VA to visit her sister Joan, she met her future husband and the love of her life, Richard Jehorek. Richard was stationed aboard the USS Putnam, DD 757 Destroyer in Norfolk, VA. Richard would travel back-and-forth to see Jennifer while she worked in DC and he was stationed in Norfolk.
On March 30, 1966 they married. They lived in Norfolk until Richard’s tour of duty was complete in early 1967 and then moved to Braddock, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Pittsburgh. They lived there for two years and in 1968, they moved to Brule to help Richard’s father on the family dairy farm. In November, they welcomed their first son, Jeff.
In 1970, the couple moved to North Platte where they owned and operated the North Platte Pet Center.
In 1972, they moved back to Ogallala where their family grew with the birth of son, Thomas, followed by daughter, Susie in 1977. During this time Jennifer worked at TRW, Lane & Williams Law, and also took care of Richard’s Aunt Kay and Aunt Eva for over thirteen years.
Jennifer and Richard enjoyed spending time at the lake and where they later built a house overlooking the lake. They started Lakeview Trees and planted over 3,000 seedlings which they nurtured to full size trees. For a few years, they welcomed people from town to bring their children out to find the right Christmas Tree and cut it down. On their land Jennifer enjoyed the tree farm, raising cattle, and gardening alongside Richard.
In October of 2013, the couple sold their lake home and moved to Sun City to be closer to their children and grandchildren. After moving to Arizona they developed many new friendships and became active at the Elks Lodge in Sun City.
Jennifer was a respected and well-liked active member of the Elk’s. She was awarded the ELK of the Year title for the 2018-2019 Elk year. This is a prestigious award given to one Lodge member, for outstanding service, each year. Remember, there are 3500+ members. Jennifer was the Lodge’s Chairperson for the extensive Youth Activities program. Those programs included The Dictionary Project, Americanism Essay Contest, Hoop Shoot –National Basketball Free-throw Contest, Soccer Shoot, Scholarships Program, Student of the Month, and Red Ribbon Month (October Drug Awareness Program.) Jennifer was the Chairperson for 2 years and was actively involved in each of these programs and oversaw their successful completion. She loved these programs. Jennifer herself organized the Elks yearly Youth Activities Banquet in May of 2019. It was the largest banquet the Lodge had ever had with 350+ attendees. The Mayors of Peoria, El Mirage and Surprise attended the event. Under Jennifer’s leadership the Lodge gave away $52,000 in Lodge, State and National Scholarships to local students. She was a great asset to the lodge and helped wherever she could.
She loved to travel and see the world. She truly enjoyed people and was the life of the party. Her friends and family meant everything to her and were her strength after Richard's passing.
In September of 2018 Jennifer was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. During this battle, as in life, she remained optimistic, positive in her attitude and showed unwavering strength.
On March 30, 2020, we lost our mother, you lost your friend, but our dad was reunited with his wife for their 54th wedding anniversary.
She is survived by son Jeff and wife Dawn, son Tom, and daughter Susie and husband Breydyn Owings, as well as four grandchildren, Hunter and Noah Jehorek and Logan and Zac Owings, all of Arizona.
Sister: Annette (Sichitano) Higgins Good of Swan Point, Maryland, and many nieces and nephews throughout the country.
She was preceded in death by her son Christopher, daughter Mary, her parents, Joseph Sichitano and Susanne Eski, brother Michael Sichitano; sister Frances Schockling and twin sisters Sue Doss and Joan Boyd.
Due to the circumstances we are facing today a Celebration of Life in Sun City, Arizona and Church Service in Ogallala, Nebraska will be held at a date to be later announced.
A memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences can be sent to the family at 14402 North 46th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85032