Jennifer Laurena Chambers-Neff

Chambers-Neff Enlarge photo


Durango resident Jennifer L. Chambers-Neff died from cancer Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at her home. She was 61.

Also known as “Jenny,” she was born to Dean Melvin and Laurena Georgia (Wyatt) Chambers on Jan. 3, 1951, in Fullerton, Calif. She grew up in Dana Point, Calif., and graduated from San Clemente High School in 1969.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in art education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1974, Ms. Chambers-Neff completed a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Denver in 1996.

In 1979, she married George Neff at Michener Library in Greeley. Although the couple divorced in 1994, her family said they remained friends.

Ms. Chambers-Neff taught ceramics at UNC before moving to Durango in 2001, where she continued to make pottery in her studio. She was also active in many community arts organizations, including the Durango Arts Center and the Durango Public Art Commission.

Throughout her career, Ms. Chambers-Neff led pottery, glazing and firing workshops across the state and was regularly invited to exhibit her work in galleries. In 1986, she co-founded Madison and Main Gallery in Greeley and served as its president.

An avid gardener, Ms. Chambers-Neff reaped large harvests from fruit trees, vegetables and flowers that thrived in her backyard, her family said.

“She enjoyed camping with her dog Henri and cheering on the Colorado Avalanche during hockey season,” her family said. “She was a kind, resourceful and loving person who never failed to find humor in any situation and was always ready to strike up a conversation with anyone she met.”

Ms. Chambers-Neff is survived by her daughters Bree Neff of Waltham, Mass., and Maya Neff of Seattle; and former husband George Neff of Greeley.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mercy Home Health and Hospice, 1 Mercado St., Suite 270, Durango, CO 81301; or Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629.