Jennie Lee DiGregorio passed away on Sunday, June 14, 2020. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Jennie was born in the scenic mountain town of Ouray, Colorado on April 3, 1933. She grew up on a ranch near Cerrillos with many foster brothers and was able to hold her own. She went to school in the small town of Galisteo. She then went to New Mexico Highlands University, where she met the love of her life and husband of almost 63 years, Chris, with whom she had four children, Beverly, Chris, Michael, and Carmen. They raised their family in Gallup before moving to Albuquerque in later years.
Jennie was a beloved secretary and librarian for many years at Red Rock Elementary in Gallup, NM where she was known as the “Bear Lady” due to her love of teddy bears. She was extremely active in the Holy Spirit church in Gallup and served on the altar guild for most of her life. She had the most colorful and inviting yard to spend time with loved ones and friends because of her passion for gardening. Once retired, she served as a lobbyist for education. She was very active in the NM Association of Educational Retirees (NMAER), serving as both the Vice President and President. She was also a valued member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) were she received awards of honor and distinction.
Jennie was an avid supporter of Lobo Athletics and rarely missed a football or basketball game. She was an excellent seamstress, cook, and an extremely talented craftswoman. Everyone loved her spaghetti sauce, pizzella, and peanut butter cookies. She was the ultimate collector of teddy bears, with a room dedicated to all the teddy bears she created, collected, and received. She made many as gifts that her family and friends cherish. She won many awards at the New Mexico State Fair for her cross stitch, crochet, teddy bears, and whittled miniatures. She enjoyed the outdoors, camping in the Pecos wilderness with family and friends. Most of all, however, she loved spending time with her family. Nothing made her smile as much as having everyone over and having a good old-fashioned family get-together.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Chris; father, Jay Kirlin; mother, Lela Marie Keith; stepfather, Lee Keith; daughter, Beverly Peterson; and son, Chris Patrick DiGregorio. She is survived by her son, Michael DiGregorio and wife Ami; son, Carmen DiGregorio and wife Stephanie. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Kristina Creek and husband Stephen, Jessica Jeffery and husband Dustin, Carl Peterson and wife Gabrial, Justin DiGregorio and wife Shannon, Danielle Rodriguez and husband Ruben, Nieka Diaz and husband Isaiah, Kian and Kyle DiGregorio. Also, she is survived by her great-grandchildren, Addison and Tobias Creek, Lana and Bella DiGregorio, August and Dresden Peterson, Indigo, Jericho, and Everest Jeffery, Talia and Mila Diaz, and soon to be welcomed Baby Girl Rodriguez.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, June 26, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at FRENCH - Lomas. Streaming for this service will be available on this page, day of service.
The family kindly requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org.
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