Jessica Marie Lenz 1984-2023

Jessica Marie (May) Lenz was born January 18th to Jim and Imogene May on one of the coldest nights of 1984. She became a bright warm light in our lives, always happy and laughing with a big smile and a head full of long blonde hair. She had a magnetic personality, developing friends everywhere she went. At Stratton High School she played all sports but loved playing catcher on the softball team the most. She was active in 4H and FFA, showing cattle, and loving her rural life. She loved driving grain carts and combines at harvest. She loved her faith and was an active member of her church helping lector and teach CCD at St. Charles. She graduated from Stratton High in 2002.
She started her college life at NJC in Sterling following her brother Matt there, and eventually on to Kansas State in Manhattan, Ks. Jessi made friends wherever she was, whether playing softball at NJC, on campus, or down in Aggieville. Manhattan was special to Jessi, St. Isidore’s Church at the campus gates, American flags on main street, tailgates, and the Wildcats. It was a time of quality growth, learning and fun, many wonderful new friends, and one very special man. She first met Darth Lenz in Manhattan and they became friends. He was a soldier at Ft. Riley, preparing for deployment to Iraq. The day before he left for his deployment, he was a guest at Jessi’s graduation party at her house. The whole family met Darth and we all wished him well, as he left for Operation Iraqi Freedom. We of course had no idea he would become the love of her life. She once said she didn’t want to marry a farmer, because there is too much work, and they are always gone. I guess God knew her better than she knew herself! Upon graduating from K-State in December of 2007, Jessi returned to Colorado and worked for about a year at a rest home in Denver, and for a while at the family business, La Vaca Cattle Co. She then returned to Stratton and lived with Tawny and her friends, she worked at the Burlington Hospital, and was involved in data management at 4M Feeders.
Her personality was perfect for being part time bartender in her hometown at the Stratton American Legion, where she developed many great relationships with everyone. During this period Darth returned from his deployment and finished his agronomy degree at CSU. They were engaged and we began introducing her fiancé to the locals. They were married on July 20, 2013, in Burlington. To this union God blessed them with two special children Taylor (8), and Lucas (6). They made their home in O’Neil, Nebraska where they lived for over 8 years. Darth farmed the land around Herd Co. Feedlot doing what he loved to do. Jessi was a wife, an aunt, an occasional grain cart driver, she loved hosting people at her house, she was a great cook, an active member of the Church at St. Patrick’s, and above all she was also doing what she loved the most, being a Mom. She loved doing Taylor’s hair, letting Luke drive the tractor with her, and chasing both kids wherever they needed to go.
Four years ago, Jessi was diagnosed with brain cancer, normal life expectancy was 6 months to a year, she never complained or wanted any sympathy. While it was hard to watch her battle, her faith never wavered, and we were all blessed with that extra time we got with her. As her health declined Darth moved her back home to Wray to be closer to our two caring families. Jessi’s green Stratton Eagles became purple Wray Eagles. This past summer she was able to spend nearly every day with her kids and their activities. It was a joy to witness. Jessi was able to stay at her home with her family right up to her last couple of days, we are so thankful for all the help, prayers, and love that made this possible.
Jessi is survived by her loving husband, Darth; children Taylor & Luke; parents Jim & Imogene May, Darth’s parents Mike & Margaret Lenz, siblings Matt & Jen May, Darth’s siblings Aaron Lenz, Marty & Yvonne Buoy, Russell & Vanessa Smith, Bevan & Priscilla Lenz, Corwin & Claire Lenz, Chad & Theresa Gillespie, 25 nieces and nephews; Grandma Dee & Betty, and an army of Aunts & Uncles, Cousins, and Friends.
A Rosary was held at the St. Andrew Catholic Church in Wray, Colorado on Sunday, September 24, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, September 25, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Andrew Catholic Church in Wray, Colorado with Father Felicien Ilunga Mbala officiating.
Interment was held in the Wilson Family Ranch Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Jessica Lenz Memorial Fund c/o Bank of Colorado in Yuma, Colorado. Schmidt-Jones Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.