We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Stehn Family Chapels
Jennifer Jolene Calhoun was born on June 16, 1965, to Caroline & Charles Calhoun in Dallas, Oregon. She was the third child of five and born into a Coast Guard family. Her father was transferred often but this allowed the family and Jennifer the opportunity to see many new places. She and her siblings were close and entertained each other during these times. Grandma and Grandad’s house was always “Home Base”. Ultimately this is why she chose to follow in her Daddy’s footsteps and join the military.
She attended North Bend High for four years and was involved with Drill Team, Volleyball, and French Club, which allowed her to go to France her Freshman Year where she enjoyed the culture and became fluent in French. She graduated from North Bend High School in 1983 with Honors and a 4.0 GPA all through the years.
Jennifer decided to join the Air Force in 1984. She enlisted as a Cryptologic Linguist Specialist and attended the Defense Language Institute (DLI) at the Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, CA where she was trained to be an Arabic linguist. After graduation from DLI, she was assigned to Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX, for further training as a cryptologic and signals intelligence (SIGINT) collector and analyst. Following graduation from intelligence school, Jennifer was assigned to Iraklion Air Station, Crete, Greece. While serving in Greece, Jennifer married Mark Johnson, and prepared to welcome her first child, her daughter Brianne. Upon returning to the United States after her assignment in Crete, Jennifer became a Special Investigations Specialist (Special Agent) with the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). During this time, she investigated felony crimes and performed protective service detail work for foreign dignitaries such as Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin and President George H.W. Bush during his inauguration. Jennifer was highly decorated, and served for 6 years on active duty, attaining the rank of Sergeant (E-4). Following active duty, Jennifer went on to serve a number of years in both the US Air Force Reserve and US Naval Reserve components.
After her discharge from the Air Force, Jennifer and her young family moved to Oregon to be near extended family. They first lived in Salem. It was here that she welcomed her second daughter Hannah. Shortly after, the growing family settled in Stayton, OR. Here the family enjoyed their two Great Danes and her beloved horse, Carmel. It was here in Stayton she would eventually have her son, Zane. Jennifer eventually decided to return to law enforcement and attended the Police Academy in Monmouth, OR. After graduation she became a police officer for the City of Stayton. During this time, they were in close proximity to extended family, Jennifer was able to do one of her favorite things, attend family gatherings and holidays.
Years later Jennifer moved to Boise, Idaho and then to the state of Alaska. While in the Navy she decided to return to school and further her education and start a new career. Her goal was to earn her MA. She served in the Naval Reserves for two years then retired and made Spokane, Washington her home. She remained there until her death on Easter Monday, April 18, 2022, at 12:02am.
Jennifer was an artist, poet and naturally musically talented. She was fond of writing poetry, and carved wildlife in bas relief using wood as a medium. She also had a natural ear for musical instruments to include the piano and guitar. Jennifer was also an avid collector. Her collections included stone, ceramic, and glass eggs. Some were small but most were the size of real eggs. She even had one that was a real, fragile, hollowed-out egg that was hand painted in watercolor flowers; it was amazing. Her curio cabinet was full, from top to bottom…too many to count. Ever the romantic, Jennifer was very enamored of the fairytale marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles. She watched the wedding on TV and read all the articles. She began collecting things commemorating the wedding specifically, and Princess Diana more generally. Fittingly, her care givers at Hospice House of Spokane were both named “Diana”.
Jennifer is survived by her parents, Charles and Caroline Calhoun; children, Brianne (Mark) Westhoff, Hannah (Spencer) Brown, and Zane Johnson; 6 grandchildren; siblings, Melissa (Mark) Stehn, Rachel (Jeff) Lee, Jason (Lisa) Calhoun and Brittanya Calhoun; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her brother, Stephen Calhoun; nephew, Jacob Calhoun; as well as grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
She will be loved and missed by her parents, children, siblings, and friends. God Bless and keep her.
PEACE BE WITH YOU DEAREST DAUGHTER, SISTER, MOTHER, GEMA (GRANDMA)
If I should go tomorrow, it would never be goodbye
For I have left my heart with you
So don't you even cry.
The Love that's deep within me,
shall reach you from the stars
You’ll feel it from the Heavens
and it will heal the many scars.
The family suggests contributions in her memory be made to Hospice of Spokane, in care of Stehn Family Chapels, 2906 SE Harrison St. Milwaukie, OR 97222 or a local domestic violence shelter for women.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.