Jennifer Michele Neidinger

31 October, 19779 February, 2021

Jennifer entered this world sunny-side up in Middlesboro, Kentucky on Halloween. She wasted no time finding her voice and sharing extensive conversations with not one, but two, imaginary friends. She delighted in her role as “big sister”, to her younger sister Melissa, and could regularly be seen having her cut out pictures of food from magazines so they could play “restaurant”. School was, for Jennifer, a place for social activity with academics scattered throughout the day. AP courses and National Honor Society meetings were the prime setting for the comedic antics of her group of friends, and the dinner table subsequently became the stage for story-telling. Her 18th birthday brought these stories new life, as the Neidinger house filled with at least fifty of her closest partners in crime.

Many of those friends were members of the Kingwood High School Madrigal Choir, which Jennifer joined after years with the Houston Children’s Choir. Her beautiful soprano voice regularly filled the house and her effortless ability to hit high notes made her the envy of most songbirds. There is no doubt she is now singing with God’s angels.

After losing her grandfather to leukemia when she was young, Jennifer set out with determination to become a nurse. She graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, obtained her RN certification, and later earned her MSN with honors in Nursing from UT-Arlington. Her career began at M.D. Anderson in 2000, where she learned her true passion in nursing was in the healing and advocating for children. In 2002, she started a new role in the Emergency Room at Texas Children’s Hospital, where she stayed for 10 years before becoming an Educator and ultimately Nurse Manager of three of the hospital’s clinics.

As much as she loved working with children, Jennifer possessed an equally passionate belief in the fair and ethical treatment of animals. So much so, that she chose a vegetarian lifestyle and became an adoptive momma to a rescue pup she affectionately named Rex Norman. She delighted in sharing stories of the adorable goofus that enters rooms backwards and believes everything is his to chew, including her beloved Snoopys.

If you knew Jennifer at all, you know of her fascination with Snoopy. Her love of this childhood character began with a single stuffed animal she received as a baby and flourished into an unbelievable collection of no fewer than a hundred more. Jennifer’s pride and joy was her Snoopy tree: an annual Christmas tradition of decorating a giant tree with almost every tiny Snoopy ornament ever made, and surrounding it with rows of plush Snoopy animals. A dream-come-true was traveling with her best friend Petria to Knott’s Berry Farm - Camp Snoopy, and meeting the Snoopy character. Pictures captured the sheer wonderment and delight in Jennifer’s endless smile as she and Snoopy greeted each other.

Jennifer’s life was cut far too short by cancer that evaded surgery, radiation, target therapy and chemotherapy. Despite physical limitations resulting from these treatments, she seldom missed a day of work – an achievement that frequently astonished her MDA care team. Her fierce and tenacious spirit served as inspiration for others and a reminder of Jennifer’s extraordinary perseverance.

Jennifer was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Mary Jane and Joseph Jensen, her paternal grandfather, Jerome Neidinger, and her eldest cousin, Chad Gartzke. She is survived by her loving parents, Mary Jo and Jeff Neidinger of Kingwood, her adoring sister Melissa and husband Gus Lemus, and her precious baby nephew Jaxson. Paternal grandmother Edith Neidinger, Aunts Nancy Gartzke and Gloria Mershon, and Uncles Joe Jensen and Richard Neidinger and their families, begin the rest of the long list of people mourning the loss of this kind-hearted young woman.

With Jennifer, everyone she met had a story to tell and she valued the time she spent with them. They became pieces of her own story; one filled with success, comedy, faith, love, and family. There will never be a boring day in Heaven, now that Jennifer is there.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at Strawbridge United Methodist Church in Kingwood at 11:00am. Due to Covid-19 safety precautions, all visitors are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing while inside the church. The service will be live-streamed for those who cannot physically attend but wish to celebrate Jennifer’s life from a distance.

The family wishes to thank the staff of MD Anderson for their care of Jennifer, particularly her oncologist Dr. Renata Ferrarotto, and to Kingwood Funeral Home for making final arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Houston SPCA in memory of Jennifer’s love of animals.



Jennifer Michele Neidinger

have a memory or condolence to add?

Shana Buckow-Hogan

1 April 2021

Jennifer was one of my favorite voice students and we reconnected at the shuttle stop at Texas Children's Hospital. I saw her memorial service on the Strawbridge website as I was searching for a Maundy Thursday service. My deepest sympathy to your family. Her wonderful voice will be a wonderful addition to the heavenly choir. Once again, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

robin wright

16 March 2021

Dear Mary Jo, Jeffery, Melissa and family,

I am so incredibly sorry and heartbroken for your loss. I loved Jennifer dearly and will never forget all the incredible memories we shared together. I remember the first time I ever met Jennifer, I was sitting alone at a table at Starbucks writing in my notebook and she came up to me and asked if she could sit down and write as well. I said "sure," and we became instant friends. Jennifer was a brilliant writer. The hours we spent at Denny's studying nursing flash cards for all her certification tests, the many nights sitting by "our pond" just around the corner from her parents house writing in our notebooks, and the many nights hanging out at Starbucks well after closing just talking, laughing and listening to music, are some of my favorite memories, but one beautiful memory in particular that I will also share involves Jennifer's love for Snoopy and her birthday. This was back when we were still just 20 somethings and stayed up all night and could function just fine that way. Jennifer had worked a 12 hour shift on her birthday and I asked her to meet me at Starbucks after work which ended up being well after they closed but we didn't care. When she got there, she was wearing her Snoopy scrubs and was exhausted but it was her birthday, so I opened up my car and pulled out a cake that I made for her with a Snoopy and Woodstock I molded out of marzipan. I will always remember the joy on her face when she saw the cake and the hug that she gave me. Jennifer loved "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," so I tried to bring it to life for her. We stayed in that parking lot for hours just talking, laughing and celebrating her. A piece of my heart is missing now, but I will never forget what a beautiful, kind and amazing soul that Jennifer was and always will be. I pray that you guys find peace and healing in all of the cherished memories you have.
Robin, Gabriel and Raine Wright

Binta Baudy

23 February 2021

My condolences to Jennifer’s family. I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer as part of the TCH ambulatory team. Her sweet smile always made my day when I saw her in the hallways. I will truly miss her.

Cara Doughty

19 February 2021

Jen was an extraordinary nurse and such a kind, upbeat person. She had such an impact at Texas Children’s, from her ER days until now. I will miss seeing her and wish for peace and happy memories for her family.

Kim Holt

19 February 2021

I met Jennifer when she worked in the EC and we continued to work together after transferring to Ambulatory. We had so many great discussions about a variety of topics and what I recall most is her positive outlook and what a great leader she was- she always put patients and staff ahead of her own needs and desires. I remember her smile the last time we crossed paths and even with the battle she was fighting, it was as bright and friendly as the first time we met. She will be missed.

Staci Winn

14 February 2021

I will always remember playing in the youth handbell choir Belles and Beaus at Strawbridge UMC as well as our chats at at Texas Children's hospital. Jennifer will be missed by all knew and loved her. Sending lots of love and hugs to her parents and her sister Melissa

Deborah Bell

14 February 2021

I will always remember Jennifer for her sweet sincere heart and caring attitude. She always showed concern for me and my family, especially my special needs son. As one of our Nurse Managers, she was a good advocate for the nurses in the home dialysis unit. I know she is now free of illness and in God's presence. 2 Corinthians 5:8. For her family and friends I pray that God gives Peace that surpasses all understanding.

Valesca Adams

14 February 2021

My prayers and condolences to Jennifer's entire family. She had a beautiful spirit and an infectious smile.
" To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. " - Thomas Campbell
She will be missed.

Teah Bourque-Doyle

13 February 2021

I have so many great memories with Jennifer as a high schooler. Our times together as friends our senior year in Kingwood High school Madrigals, hanging out with our group of friends, going to prom, being at UMHB together and just being crazy young people! We lost touch over the years as I moved out of state and we followed our own paths but I will always have fond memories of her. My prayers are with her family.

Sarah Darcey Loutchaninoff

13 February 2021

Jeff, Mary Jo, Melissa & family,

I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of your dear Jennifer. She will be missed by everyone that was privileged enough to know her. I will never be able to see a picture of Snoopy or hear a certain Nickleback song (an inside joke our ours) without hearing her contagious laugh. We had a lot of great times together and she will never be forgotten. I know her memory will live on through you all and through her friends that she loved so dearly. My prayers are with you all.

Sarah, Alex and Izzy Loutchaninoff

From the Family