In Memory of    Jennie Le Fevre

  A True Friend that never met a stranger

May the teachings of those you admire

become part of you, so that you may call upon them.

Remember, those whose lives you have touched

and who have touched yours are always a part of you,

even if the encounters were less than you would have wished.

It is the content of the encounter

that is more important than its form.


Angels are very beautiful........luminous, radiating energizing harmony in motion.    Unknown
This is a loving tribute to a true Veteran's Angel........Jennie R. LeFevre.......who left us on 8 September 2004, when God called her home to rest.


  Jennie spent many happy years as the wife of a Vietnam veteran, but the last few years of her husband Gerald's life were not happy. Gerald suffered horribly from the effects of his service and his exposure to Agent Orange, and it took his life, much too early.  Even though she was devastated by her loss, Jennie did not allow her grief to incapacitate her.  Instead, she donned her battle gear and began a very long fight with the government to compel them to recognize the effect that Agent Orange had on thousands of our veterans, as well as the children they fathered on their return home.
"No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's
 storm-troubled sphere:
I see the Heaven's glories shine,
and faith shines equal,
arming me from fear."
Emily Bronte
  She also began her "Quilt of Tears" program to educate the American public. Each square of each quilt was a commemoration of a veteran who'd lost his/her life to this deadly chemical.  Squares for these quilts were sent to Jennie and she happily took on the responsibility of putting them together, then....primarily, at her own expense.... took these quilts on tours around the country.  When a veteran, or a veteran's wife or widow, came up to her on these tours, Jennie's greeting was a huge loving and heartfelt hug.  Her door was always open to those who were in her area, and many times there were pallets made on the floor for the overflow of visitors.  She loved having them there, and they were always made welcome.


  Her last quilt tour was shortly before she entered the hospital for treatment of the cancer that took her from us. She was so totally dedicated to the Agent Orange cause that she pushed her own frailties aside in order to continue 'getting the word out'.


   Even though our hearts are now broken at our loss of this spectacular woman, we're proud to learn that her "Quilt of Tears" project will be carried on by her "soldiers"......her 'Dear Ones'.


   May God hold you tightly in his arms, dear Sister Jennie, and give you rest and comfort.  You, and your dedication, will never be forgotten.  You have a special place in each of our hearts for all eternity.





I was deeply saddened tonight when Jo called to inform me of Jeannie's death.  Besides for feelings of sadness and loss, I also felt somewhat grateful that our Jeannie wouldn't have to suffer anymore.  She was one extraordinary lady full of love and respect for our Vet's and military.  She did all that was humanly possible to bring about world wide attention and knowledge to the horrors of Agent Orange.  She wasn't going to allow the AO nightmare to be hidden under the governments bed, like dirty underwear!   Nope...not our Jeannie... this would become her CRUSADE that she would fight for right up to the bitter end.
Dave and I had the unique honor of being house guests with Jeannie and Bob on our visit to Washington DC. couple years back.  The kindness and love shown to us by both of them made our visit something we shall never forget.  We were blessed to have our own private viewing of Jeannie's Quilts of Tears.  One could not help but feel humbled and honored being in the presence of these Quilts.  Each one (Quilt) had their own special story and Jeannie knew exactly what each memento, sewn on the Quilt, stood for and the reason the family put it there.  How deeply she will be missed by all of us.  And Bob?  God love Him and help him get though this difficult time without his Jeannie.  He idolized the ground Jeannie walked on and the days ahead will be extremely hard on him.  There is no doubt our loss is Heavens gain!  I'm sure she is at peace with all the Vets she has tried to immortalize by telling their story and displaying their Quilts.
God Love Her,
Bev in St. Louis



Jennie -  I learned today you'd left us.
You left a big space down here, Jennie,
Big shoes to fill...impossible job, I think.
You are home!  You are with our friends,
Our family.  Those who didn't make it.
Those whose lives were taken by Agent Orange.
Those who were some of your 'Dear Ones'.
We never met in real time, Jennie,
But I knew you well.  I knew your heart.
There was never a vet you turned down
Who needed your help.  I'd write,
"Jennie, you have time for one more?"
You'd answer, "Send them on"
I always knew what your answer would be.
We won't forget you, Jennie,
What you stood for, what you have done,
Your quilts, your work, your tireless efforts.
The spirit with which you fought those in power,
The humor that was present whenever you wrote.
Thank you, Jennie, for being a part of our life.
We will watch for your star, too.
With love and deep respect,
Betty Davis



Words can not express my feelings on how this made me feel when I received the news about Jennie. One part of me was ever so grateful that she did not have to suffer for a long time and the other part of me was saddened that I will never feel those loving arms around me again. As you know the people that have personally meet Jennie knows that she could give a hug that never ended. I meet Jennie after I had lost Bernie down in Hamilton Ohio. When I walked into the room she was in, she knew who I was right away, maybe it was a widow to widow thing. She hugged me and I cried as I am now, and she said to me, "I know honey, I know." The last time she was with her quilts was right here in Toledo and even though she couldn't speak, she was still here. This will be imbedded in my mind forever. She turned her talking over to Laura Zolman which did a fine job. When I invited Jennie to come to Toledo with The Moving Wall, she told me she had a surprise for me. When she got here she gave me a silver rose ring. I will cherish that ring forever as it will always be a reminder of our dear Jennie.

This woman has touched more lives than we will ever know and she was such a fighter.

When I would call her or she would call me it was always said I Love you. We have all heard her stories and will always remember the lady with "The Quilt of Tears"

God bless you Jennie where ever you are.

Linda Berry
Director of The Silver Rose
NW Ohio and SE Michigan




I met Jennie in St. Louis where she was showing the Agent Orange Quilts along with The traveling Wall.  When I told her who I was, she hugged me as though I was one of her kids.  In the very short time that I talked with her that day I had found a very good friend, she did more for the Veterans than any of us could do in a life time, there were people talking to her about their love ones who were on the quilt as well as those wanting their veterans to be put on the quilt, she greeted all of them with that smile and a hug. She was a Great Lady.  She will be missed.

Larry in Kansas.....


What a shame I had talked to Jeanie last week, after I had my VA hearing she sounded  great. She was a Dear sweet lady and was  a HOOT to talk too. Of course she had problems talking


JENNIE   I know you can read this in Heaven. Cause no Communications is impossible for God


God Bless You Lady for all you did for US VETS and helping me on the telephone.

From Mark Widerstrom Disabled Veteran.




Hello to All:

   I have been asked by some people to tell my story and I do so with tears in my eyes. It is quite long, how Agent Orange has affected and destroyed my life. Please allow me to share this with you.

Hugs and Smiles, Jennie

Agent Orange:  My Story

M/Sgt. Gerald H. Le Fevre and Jennie R. Le Fevre

   I am the widow of M/Sgt.Gerald H. Le Fevre USAF retired. My husband served in Vietnam at Nha Trang AFB with the 15th Special Operations Squadron, an Air Commando Unit, from 1968 to 1969. He was an airborne radio operator on C-130 aircraft that also flew supply runs throughout all four corps of Vietnam.

These aircraft transported Agent Orange at least twice a month which my husband helped load and unload with his bare hands. He wrote to me from Nam stating that skin was peeling off his hands in layers and he did not know why. He stated the doctor said it was jungle rot and my husband joked asked me if I was still interested in him, that he was a rotting old man of thirty-five.

    My husband’s radio position was in the cargo section of the aircraft. The planes flew in and out of bases that had been sprayed including his own base. These aircraft flew at low level through mists of Agent Orange, flying with the cargo doors wide open and the mist drifted into the aircraft on many occasions.

   In May of 1989, fifteen years after his retirement from the Air Force, Jerry was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the lungs, liver, stomach, pancreas, lymph nodes, peritoneum, bone, diaphragm, and omentum. The diagnosis of his cancer was adenocarcinoma of an unknown primary, the doctor was never able to identify the original site of the cancer.

   At time of death, Jerry was also diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, degenerative joint disease, obstructive jaundice, anemia, cardiopulmonary arrest, congestive heart failure, emphysema, fibrous lungs, and extragondal germ cell tumor syndrome. His chest x-rays revealed abnormal status of the lungs showing ventilation perfusion defects involving greater than 50 percent of his lungs.

   He also had the onset of peripheral neuropathy which was never diagnosed and he also had body rash. At time of death, he also had kidney failure, pneumonia in both lungs, respiratory failure and pulmonary emboli.

   His death certificate states, manner of death, as NATURAL.  How can that be? They could have at least stated Pending or Other, all of the things wrong with him was not natural by any stretch of the imagination. He was in the military hospital at Andrews AFB, MD for seven months. He died on December 10th 1989 at the age of 56.   

   My fight with the government was to begin before my husband was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Two days after his death, the children and I went to the funeral home to choose a casket. The funeral director asked us to come into his office so we could hear the arrangements with Arlington National Cemetery regarding funeral services in the chapel and burial at Arlington. The funeral director turned on the speakers so we could hear the two way conversations, everything was arranged. So I thought.

   Jerry was to be buried three days later. Two days before his burial, I received a telephone call from Arlington. They asked if the children and I had any remarks that we would like the chaplain to say about my husband. They requested that we keep our remarks brief as they did not want the grave site services to be too long because of the cold weather.

   I couldn’t believe my ears, what was he saying, grave site services. He stated there would be no services in the chapel. I proceeded to tell the officer my husband was entitled to chapel services and that I had heard it being discussed with my own ears and I would settle for nothing less. After much haggling and screaming on my part, two hours later they called back and said there would be chapel services after all.

   It gave me great pleasure to royally chew out the LtCol who was giving me such a hard time. I am a USAF veteran of the Korean war, even though it was a sad time that day, it was a great morale booster to be able to tell that officer off and tell him I knew what my husband’s and my rights were.

   My husband was a highly decorated serviceman with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Five Air Medals among many others, and to tell me he was not entitled to chapel services, no way. I literally flew into a rage. 

   After Jerry’s death, I put in a claim through the DAV stating that I believed his death was caused from his exposure to Agent Orange. For a year and a half I heard nothing from the VA, there was a moratorium on Agent Orange claims at that time but they never notified me as such. Then I received a letter from the VA stating that I was denied any accrued benefits under my husband’s disability claim which he had submitted while he was in the hospital. I found out later that the VA had not even reviewed my husband’s medical records before denying me anything.

I checked with the hospital at Andrews AFB and found out the VA had requested the medical records one week after they had sent me the letter of denial. It appears that the VA’s left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

   I later received a letter that my claim for service connected death had also been denied. I requested a hearing, I wanted to have my say. I waited another year and a half before I got a hearing date. The DAV, on many occasions, had refused to return my calls of inquiry. My claim was denied again after the hearing.   

   The reason for denial was my husband’s doctor had classified my husband’s cancer of an unknown primary. Plus the pathologist who did the autopsy stated he Presumed that my husband’s cancer was of gastric origin. Thus in the VA’s eyes, even though Jerry had cancer of the lungs, which is on the VA’s list, they stated I had to prove it began in the lungs. The VA concluded Jerry’s death was not due to his exposure to Agent Orange. I was at a stand still.

   Later my claim was put on the docket for the Board of Veterans Appeals. Soon after that I made a great discovery, In going through some of Jerry’s active duty medical records. I discovered that during an annual flight  physical seven months prior to his retirement, a doctor states Jerry has fibronodular changes in both of his lungs. This is the same flight surgeon who gave Jerry his retirement physical later and who also states that both lungs are abnormal.

   Did the doctor tell Jerry this, I don’t know, did Jerry ever tell me about it, no, was there ever a follow-up, no but the doctor did classify Jerry as healthy to retire from the AF. Very strange in my opinion. 

In my opinion, he should have been medically retired but that was not the case I was sure I had my evidence that the cancer began in the lungs. I did a lot of medical research on my own and found the active duty lung condition my husband had, results in lung cancer. The whole time the VA and the DAV had the information about the active duty lung condition and never revealed it to me, they remained silent on the issue from the very beginning of the claim.

   I requested that my claim be withdrawn from the Board of Veterans Appeals and requested another hearing to present this new evidence. I knew that the claim would be sitting at the Board of Veterans Appeals for at least five years or more and I was tired of waiting. The evidence would no longer be under Agent Orange, but under a service-connected lung condition that resulted in his death. It took another year and a half to get a hearing date. and at the same time the DAV, once again, was not returning my calls of inquiry.

   When I went to talk to the DAV about my discovery and asked why they had not told me about this information, they became very angry and hostile. They suggested that if I was so unhappy with their representation, I could change power of attorney to another service organization if I wished. I still retained them in spite of what they said. I was frustrated and upset with the DAV, they were supposed to be helping me.

   At my hearing, the first words out of the DAV service rep’s mouth to the hearing officer was“:  Please consider this claim under Agent Orange”. I became enraged. I stated this claim had been denied several times under Agent Orange and that this hearing was to present evidence for a service connected lung condition which resulted in my husband’s death. It was not to be under Agent Orange.

At the end of the hearing, the hearing officer stated she would consider it under Agent Orange, I became enraged again and stated that a service connected lung condition was the issue at hand, not Agent Orange. In my opinion, It didn't matter which one caused it, he still died as a result of it or maybe both.

   One year and three days later, {yes they took that long] the claim was denied again because the VA had sent all the medical records to one of their own VA doctors, who relied only on the autopsy report. That had stated cancer Presumably of gastric origin.  I felt that the new evidence I had presented had not even been considered at all.   

   I had been advised by the National Veterans Legal Service Project that if my claim was denied this time, they would take it over. In September of 1998, I gave them my power of attorney and they requested a copy of my file from the VA. They are still waiting for that copy and here it is into March of 1999.

Update Year 2000;

   They now have received the file and have told me that I need a letter from a doctor stating my husband ‘s cancer was caused from Agent Orange or that he had a condition while on active duty that resulted in his death., They know that is impossible because there is no doctor that will go against another doctor's opinion, so my claim is in limbo and will probably be denied again.   

   In Vietnam, Jerry’s nickname was Lucky Pierre. Jerry served in both the Korean and Vietnam war, he thought he had survived both wars. But he did not survive Vietnam, he was not so lucky after all. This is the treatment he receives for serving his country proudly for 23 years. This is the treatment his widow receives as well.

   I am still fighting, will not give up and I have been at this for ten years, and not any further than when I was when I first stated this claim.

      In 1982, seven years after his retirement, my husband was asked to take part in the Air Force Ranch Hand Study, which he did. Three months after he took part, he received a letter from them stating he had been erroneously chosen, both of us laughed and we totally forgot it. But at the time my husband stated to me “Honey, maybe they found something wrong with me and do not want me in the study”.

   How right he was. Some time after his death, I sent for his medical records from the study, they even tried to exclude all of the lab tests and results until I insisted I have them.  I found in the records that he had given permission to photograph his body if they so desired.

   It also stated they could alter anything on the photograph that they saw fit. What kind of study is that????  How could that be a truthful study if they saw something they didn’t like, they could alter or erase it. Did he know what he was signing, I don’t know, they probably shoved it under his nose and said sign here.   

   The study showed he had damage to his lungs, he tired easily and some other health problems, he was classified by them as a healthy white male. I later wrote to them and asked why he was dropped from the study but only received a vague answer. I also found out that he was not erroneously chosen as they had stated, he met their criteria perfectly. 

   The qualifications to be in the study, as I was to discover later, was that the veteran had to be a Ranch Hand or a crew member on C-130 aircraft, my husband was the latter. I often wondered why C-130 crew members were considered to be in the study. Now I know.

They did not spray Agent Orange but they transported it and handled it, just as exposed as the Ranch Hand people, if not more so. To this day. I believe they did not want him in their study because of his health problems and that they only wanted healthy men and did not want him as a stat on their records.  I still believe this even now. He died eight years later, I believe they could have saved his life if they had allowed him to remain in the study.

    To gain more information and insight about my husband’s Agent Orange exposure, I wrote to one of his former crew member, a load master, and he stated to me that the Ranch Hand Study people had come to his home to interview him, he never heard from them again because he believed he had too many health problems and presumed they did not want him in their study., he has since passed away from a lung condition.

   My husband had stated to me in better and happier times, that if he ever developed cancer, he would take his own life. One weekend, when he was home on pass from the hospital, he asked me where was his over/under shotgun. I replied, in a safe place. I had taken it to a neighbor for safe keeping. "End of conversation." 

He also stated only once in the latter part of his illness,” DO YOU THINK AGENT ORANGE DID THIS TO ME”, I promised him I would check into it.

 Did it cause his death, YOU BET IT DID.
 And I will never forgive my Government for it.

A footnote:

All of the graves at Arlington around my husband’s grave have beautiful green grass, the grass on my husband’s grave grows in patches and is most times brown and ugly.

I have noticed in the past ten years his grave has been re-sodded five different times.  Could it be that the dioxin in his body is eating through the casket and casket liner and eating the grass right off his grave?

 He must be saying "You may have killed me in Vietnam and you are trying to kill my widow with stress but the grass on my grave says I am still here and telling the world what was done to me.

Hugs and Smiles, Jennie

There will be a formal viewing on September 12th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. & again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at :
Rausch Funeral Home
8325 Mt. Harmony Ln.
Owings, Maryland 20736
Anyone wishing to send flowers may do so. Please send to the address above.
Jennie will be placed to rest with her late husband Gerald LeFevre on Tuesday,Sept. 28th at 11 a.m. there will be a short service with full military honors  at Ft. Myers Chapel at Arlington Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to send flowers may do so. Please send to the address of the Rausch Funeral Home at the address listed above.
In lieu of flowers the family wishes for donations to be made to one of the following organizations on behalf of Jennie LeFevre:
John DeWitt
The Moving Wall Memorial Fund
1267 Alma Court
San Jose, California 95112
on behalf of Jennie LeFevre
The Order Of The Silver Rose
C/O Gary Chenett
9157 Ann Maria
Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439
Tel: 810-714-2748
Which will be used to create a commemorative that will represent Jennie & continue to travel with the Agent Orange quilt Of Tears
Jennie family would also like for everyone to know that the original Quilt that Jennie made for her husband Gerald will also be placed at rest with Jennie & Gerald at this time leaving the rest of the Quilt Of Tears in the guidance & care of  Bobby Bast, Henry, & Shelia Snyder to continue touring & helping Veterans & their Dear Ones
To hope is to fly.
To fly is to dream.
To dream is to believe.
To believe is to do.
To do is to give hope.
To give hope is to do
the work of angels


© September 11, 2004

So often when I  think of you
And all the times we’ve shared
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To have a friend who cared.

You listened oh so quietly
To all my joys and trials
And  knowing that you’re being there
Changed my tears to smiles.

The subtle love between two friends
Is very hard to define
Especially when the love you gave
Helped veterans all the time.

It’s somehow like a tapestry
With colors soft and bold
Yet deep within your weaving
Shine tiny threads  of gold.

Yes rare and oh so lovely
Were your friendship’s orange glow
For they will last a lifetime
Your story will forever be told.

Each time someone holds your tapestry
And turns it towards the light
The orange glow of the veteran’s  strife’s
Will gleam and shine so bright.

Some may think it’s just a thread
Like those of green and blue
But they can’t compare the work that’s done
By an Angel such as you.

I’ve been thinking lately
How you’ve touched  all of our lives
Oh how you’re yet so dear to me
It gives out such wonderful vibes.

Feel you’re still right next to me
And though you did depart
Your orange threads of friendship and love
Is still within our hearts.

Our hearts are filled with sadness
Now that you have gone
For we will never forget you Jennie
The message in your tapestry sings a beautiful song.

We have all just lost a Warrior who championed our cause
Your work will be immortalized for many, many years
For you have made the world aware
About your Quilt of Tears.

We feel that you’re still next to us
Although you did depart
We thank you for all you’ve done for us
Deep within our hearts.



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