Jennifer Lawrence Bordelon, 35, passed away in New Orleans, LA on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
Jen was born on November 6, 1986 in Birmingham, AL, and was a 2005 graduate of Shelby County High School, in Shelbyville, KY. Miss Shelby County High School, Jen began a legacy of academic and social achievement at a young age. In the fall of 2005, she enrolled in the University of Mississippi as an Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholar and a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors Scholar. Followed quickly with other accolades and offices, Jen was elected as president of Kappa Delta Sorority and voted by the university as Miss Ole Miss in 2009. Of all of Jen’s triumphal achievements at Ole Miss, she would say her greatest honor was meeting and falling in love with James Bordelon of Hattiesburg, MS. Jen dazzled the entire Ole Miss community, but none more than James. When Jen received awards and recognition, it was the support of her best friend and eventual husband that mattered the most. In true Jen and James fashion, they were secretly married at the courthouse in Colorado Springs, CO on March 15th, 2011, two weeks prior to James’ first deployment with the U.S. Army. They told no one. Jen completed a most challenging assignment in postgraduate work with the Mississippi Teacher Corps in Tunica before moving to Colorado Springs.
They publicly celebrated in grand and elegant fashion in December 2012 at the New Orleans Museum of Art and made their first home together in Washington, D.C. Jen later earned her Juris Doctorate at Campbell University School of Law when they moved to Fayetteville, NC. It was in their historical downtown loft in Fayetteville that they brought their eldest sons home, Theodore James Bordelon and Henry Fitzgerald Bordelon. Following her husband’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Jen and her adoring boys moved to Bayou Lafourche. James and Jen kept a second home in New Orleans with dreams of growing old together in the city. They welcomed their youngest son, Louis Lawrence Bordelon in July 2021. By the sleepy waters of the bayou, surrounded moss adorned cypress and live oak trees, Jen and James made a home for their young family.
Jen’s world was technicolor. She experienced everything from a good book to an exotic vacation to playing with her sons in vivid hues. To those who knew her, Jen herself was technicolor. Wherever Jen was, the world was brighter and the colors sharper because of her mere presence and perspective. The lens with which Jen saw the world found beauty and poetry in even the most mundane, because nothing with Jen was mundane. Her keen eye for art, fashion and literature came from her passionate love of others. Jen’s gravitational pull was like the waves to the moon, you could not help but be drawn to her. To be around Jen was to be enchanted by her warmth, her wisdom and her unmatched ability to make you feel special, no matter if you had known her for years or just met. Jen understood beauty because she loved others so deeply and tremendously.
Her most tremendous loves were her husband and her three sons. Described often as the love of her life, James was always Jen’s hero. Their love was the kind found in the pages of books and immortalized in legend. The passion and devotion Jen had for James was multiplied in love’s greatest economic feat of parenthood when they had their sons together. Their many years together, Jen would say, allowed their growing up to happen in tandem making their love a partnership of sincere devotion and a true gift to have become an adult with one another. Becoming a parent with James expounded Jen’s ability to, as Bob Dylan put it, “contain multitudes.” Jen patiently pushed the boys to be their best selves, fostering curiosity, joy and the same love of learning their mother had. Above all she created a family that knew that home was with one another. On an Army base or on the bayou or in the Crescent City, home was where Jen, James and the boys were together.
While Jen’s tenure as a student in the classroom ended after Ole Miss and Campbell law, her quest for knowledge never paused for a moment. Jen had a goal to learn something new every day. William Faulkner must have been referencing Jen Lawrence Bordelon when he wrote, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” Jen was always swimming towards the horizon, unafraid and determined. Her success as a political consultant and strategist demonstrate the grit and fortitude Jen’s loved ones always admired in her. James always said that she was “tougher than a Green Beret.”
Jen will be remembered for her beautiful smile, her full and infectious laugh, her flowing chestnut hair and her gifted ability to make everyone feel at home. Called a best friend by many, Jen was the fire friends and loved ones gathered around to bask in the embers of her glow. And Jen was always glowing. Accomplished, radiant and inspiring with many accolades, degrees and awards, Jen will be most remembered by how much she loved her friends and her family. It was because of her deep love for them that Jen was so dazzling—she reflected the light she saw in those she loved, and she loved so many so well.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Winston and Geneva Gentry of Jemison, AL, Kenneth and June Garner of Calera, AL and Ray Lawrence of Bessemer; her uncle, Joe Gentry of Jemison and her aunt, Elaine Gentry Headley of Jemison, AL.
Jen is survived by her husband of 10 years, James Gerald Bordelon; her sons Theodore James Bordelon (4 years), Henry Fitzgerald “Fitz” Bordelon (2 years) and Louis Lawrence Bordelon (11 months). She is also survived by her parents, Carol Hance of Pleasureville, KY and Robert Lawrence of New Orleans, LA; her brother, Daniel Lawrence of Pensacola, FL; and her in-laws, Dale and Tina McDonald of Hattiesburg, MS. She leaves behind several beloved siblings-in-law, nieces and nephews, cousins and countless dear friends.
A celebration of Jen’s life will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Friends and family are respectfully invited to dress in green and white in honor of the vibrant life of Jen Lawrence Bordelon and in reprieve from the New Orleans summer heat. The visitation will be held at the Parkview Terrace Room in the Casino Building of New Orleans City Park from 2-5 PM. Immediately following, a service will be held on the lawn below the terrace. (56 Dreyfous Drive, New Orleans, LA)
In lieu of flowers, the family of Jen Bordelon kindly asks that donations be made to support the future needs of her young sons Theo, Fitz and Louis. A GoFundMe has been set up entitled ‘Sons of Jen and James Bordelon’, please reach out to an immediate family member for additional details. If you have a memory or photo of Jen you would like to share with the family, please submit to: MemoriesofJenB@gmail.com.