Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Lena May Jacobs Di Felici


Lena May Jacobs Di Felici

Lena May Jacobs Di Felici passed away peacefully on June 17, 2020, at her home in Thermopolis, Wyo., surrounded by her loving family.

Lena May said she lived a charmed life and in her own words " I don't think I ever wanted a different one". She was born in Thermopolis on January 25, 1939, as Lena May Jacobs. She was raised and enjoyed her childhood with her parents and sister in Gebo, Wyo. Her family moved to Thermopolis where she attended and graduated from Hot Springs County High School in 1957.

She headed to Laramie and attended the University of Wyoming where she created many memories and developed many close friendships. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wyoming in Medical Technology in 1961.

Lena May married Ray Di Felici in 1963 and started their lives in Lander, Wyo. In 1965 their family was blessed with the arrival of the "twins" Evelyn Ann and Jamie Michele. Eighteen months later they were blessed again with another beautiful girl, Rita Marie. Ray Di Felici and Lena May were divorced in 1985.

Lena lived and worked as a Medical Technologist from 1961 to 1985 in Lander. She moved to Douglas, Wyo., to work at the Douglas Hospital until 1989. Lena then uprooted herself and moved to Fort Defiance, Ariz., in 1989 and worked for Indian Health Services from 1989 - 1995 before settling back in Thermopolis and working at Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital until she retired in 2001. During her career she won numerous awards for her work promoting the profession of Medical technology.

Lena May met Ray Matejka and his three daughters Diane, Nancy, and Janice in the late 90s. Lena May and Ray enjoyed 19 years together traveling and camping in their motorhome. In 2001, Lena May and Ray Matejka became snowbirds and began spending their winters in Wellton, Ariz., and their summers here in beautiful Thermopolis.

Lena May was loved by many and had enough love for all. She had a loving soul, but nothing can compare to her love for her beloved animals. She loved her cats and dogs. Those who knew her shared in her love for her animals. Her cats Molly and Phylo will miss her dearly.

Lena May was a strong independent woman whom had a full life and had many accomplishments in her life and in her work as a medical technologist. Her biggest accomplishments shine through in her family with her three daughters whom are all strong women with their own successful accomplishments.

She is survived by her three daughters, whom she loving called "I don't know", (Evie Di Felici), "She did it", (Jamie Dahlman), and "Not me", (Rita Gatlin); sister, Linda Marie Abell (Stanton); brother, Marvin (Carolyn ) Jacobs; sons-in-law, Earl Gatlin and Jay Dahlman; grandchildren, Rancey Hereford, Dusty Toppenberg, Jordan Toppenberg, Mercedes Taylor, Crystal Jack, Joel Jack, and Jacob Gatlin all of whom shine with the joy and zest for life that their grandmother inspired in them; great-granddaughter, Precious Tatum May Toppenberg, although she is still young, she is going to be full of life and a lover of all animals just like her great-grandma Lena May; and many, many, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends, all of whom she loved dearly.

Lena May was preceded in death by her "Daddy" Leonard T. Jacobs Sr.; "Momma" Isabel Jacobs; sister, Patricia Jimmilee Caulkins; brother, Leonard T. Jacobs Jr.; son, Mark Allen Di Felici; and companion Ray Matejka.

A celebration of life will be held on June 27, 2020, at the Community Church Hall, 244 North 6th Street, Thermopolis from Noon to 2 p.m. You are invited to joint in to celebrate Lena's wonderful life and to laugh, cry, and love with us.


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