Obituaries

Home: Salt Lake City, Utah
Death Date: June 4, 2017
Birthdate: March 19, 1941
Place Of Birth: Great Falls, Montana
Service Information: Sunday, June 11, 2017 3:00 PM
Service Location: Sugarhouse Park Garden Center, 1602 East 2100 South

Jeffery E. Lenci + Enlarge Jeffery E. Lenci (76) passed away Sunday, June 4 as a result of a lingering illness. Jeff was born in Great Falls, Montana March 19, 1941. Addy and Eddy Lenci were his parents. He had no siblings, but his young aunt Sharon LePard, only three years his senior, was like a sister to him. They shared many happy childhood adventures, like putting on plays and inventing fantastic characters. They literally grew up together, and grew inseparably close in the process. Despite the passage of decades and the distance of hundreds of miles, they were never far from each other's hearts or thoughts.

Jeff graduated from Great Falls High school in 1959 and then went on to the University of Montana in Missoula. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He also became a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. A fraternity he would remain active in for the next half century. When his job brought him to Utah, he became a volunteer working with the University of Utah chapter. For more than 25 years, he was an important and valued advisor for the fraternity's many projects and activities.

But Sig Ep was not Jeff's only interest outside of work. He was a central organizer and promoter of the beautiful Sugarhouse Garden Center, a big supporter of the Ladies Literary Club and a consummate collector of fine junk.

Jeff's garage sale and swap meet exploits became the stuff of legend. In a 2005 newspaper article based on his bargain hunting passion, Jeff described one of his notable acquisitions as a $400 cremation box he scored for an unbelievable $4! Now if you think Jeff would buy just about anything if it was enough of a bargain, you're right. Still, he'd often generously give his best finds to friends. Like a catch-and-release fisherman, Jeff frequently didn't keep what he'd reeled in. It was the finding, not the keeping, that was the real fun. And that fun only got better when he could share his good fortune and great discoveries with others.

As an interesting side note, when the cremation box story was recently told to one of his friends and co- workers, she remarked that Jeff gave the box to her for her husband's funeral just two years ago.

So a seemingly unnecessary purchase years before, turned out, as many of Jeff's bargain purchases did, to be just the item a friend truly needed.

Despite his many interests, Jeff did find time for work. Jeff held important management positions with American Stores and Masseys Jewelers. Many customers at Masseys, even decades later, still fondly remember Jeff. To them, he was not just salesman interested in selling them jewelry but a true friend. Jeff, as he so often did, became genuinely interested in their trials and tribulations, personal triumphs and unique life stories.

If you lookup the term "people person" in the dictionary, it would be no surprise to find a photo of Jeff Lenci (perhaps holding a "new-in-the-box" Hoover vacuum cleaner with a $5 Deseret Industries tag dangling from it.)

Jeff always had time and concern for others. If he could help in any way, he would. From arriving unrequested with a complete array of delicious food for a friend's mother's wake, to delivering goodie baskets, like a giant mustachioed rabbit, to porches on Easter mornings. He did that, much to the amazement and delight of his friends and their children, year after year without fail.

Jeff was kind and generous to a fault. But if one has to have flaws those are two we all might benefit from acquiring. In his passing, Jeff will leave a void. The space he filled with optimism, generosity, kindness and a determination. Yes, determination. He was, after all, determined to find the next opportunity to encourage, mentor, sympathize and befriend. And he was perhaps equally determined to find that next great bargain. If you get to heaven one day and want to look Jeff Lenci up, check the local garage sales. He's the one buying the like "new-in-the-box" wings and harp.

We will miss you Jeff. We shall miss you, dear friend.

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