Shortly before midnight on June 25, 1986 in San Marcos, Texas a tragedy happened which would forever change the lives of the Strait family.

Jenifer Strait was riding with three friends when the driver lost control of his Ford mustang as he attempted to take a turn too fast.  The car rolled over, just before midnight, not far from the Strait home.  Jenifer's window was open, and she did not have a seat belt on.  The thirteen year old daughter of Norma and George Strait lost her life; the only fatality of the one-car non-alcohol related accident.

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(From her parents)

"Jenifer had so many special friends.  So many that Norma and I couldn't keep up with them a lot of the time.  But we never met one of them we didn't like.  They were special to her; they were special to us.  Her very special love of all though was her brother Bubba.  To watch them together and the way she watched over him made us know he was always safe with her,  no matter what.  He loved her back in the same way and always will, just as we always will.  She was like a second mother to Bubba in a way.  They had their arguments like brother and sister but in the end she always made Bubba feel like he came out on top."

"Her cousins Shane, Wade, Kara, Trey and Walker were also special to her.  There was always closeness between them that I don't ever remember having when I was young.  They all love each other very much."

"We will all miss Jenifer very much, and we will never forget her,  and her smile and laugh."

                                  
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We will never know the effect that Jenifer could have had on others during her lifetime, but long time fans of George Strait knew the effect her loss had on her family. George immersed himself into his work, avoided interviews, and discussion about Jenifer with anyone that he wasn't close to.  It was a difficult time for the Strait family.

In a letter to his fans (see below), included in a "Strait Talk" newsletter issue, George expressed thanks to his many fans for their support, and respect.  He dedicated that issue of "Strait Talk" to the memory of Jenifer.
The Foundation has survived strictly through private donations, which come mostly by word-of-mouth from friends and fans. With the exception of George Strait's "Cowboy Rides Away" tour where funds for VIP packages were added to the Foundation funds, all donations are private.  Unlike other charities, there have been no high-profile concerts or celebrity events that surrounded the fund.

Established strictly as a charitable donation to preserve the memory of Jenifer Strait, contributions to the trust are placed in an investment fund. Each year the earnings from that fund are donated to child-related charities, mostly in the San Antonio area where George and his family live.

The Foundation continues to support various children's charities. Some of the organizations which have benefited are Boysville, Greater San Marcos Youth Council, Dare to Love Rainbow Room, Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio, Youth Alternatives, Carver Academy, and St. Judes Ranch.

Your kindness and generosity will be greatly appreciated.

His fans wanted to help George and his family in some way so it wasn't long before the Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation was created by the Straits as a living memorial for Jenifer Lyn.
The Foundation is obviously close to George's heart.   He is  still so pained by the tragedy that it's difficult for him to discuss it.  His family and their private lives are of utmost priority.  It wasn't until a few years ago that he first quietly spoke about his heartbreak,  revealing to Country Weekly,
"I got real private after I lost my daughter... I really shut things down." 

George made the decision that nothing worse could happen, that he would always make his family his priority,  and if it hurt his career, so be it. 

Although George might suggest an idea, the trust's directors select the charities. Frank Bohman, an officer and director of the Foundation, told Country Weekly several years ago,  "Because of the courage and inspiration of George and Norma Strait, this trust has benefited countless young people in need, while keeping Jenifer's memory alive.
If you'd like to help George Strait's favorite charity,
Make your check out to:


The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation,
and send it to:
 
* Dilley State Bank
The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation
c/o Jeff Avant, President
P.O. Box 9
Dilley, Texas 78017-0009

*The above address was confirmed again on July 18th, 2013 with the George Strait Production Company as being the correct address.



Thank you for remembering Jenifer.

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email me
Jenifer, George, & Norma Strait;      Denise & Buddy Strait & Kids.  1986
This page was last updated on: February 8, 2014
Jenifer Strait's memory lives on.

With love and respect for the Strait family this page is dedicated to the memory of Jenifer.
JENIFER LYN STRAIT

October 6th, 1972 -- June 25th, 1986
The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation
REMEMBERING JENIFER
The first single from George's album "Somewhere Down In Texas"  (released in June of 2005) had special meaning for him.  He stated in an interview that he had faith, and believed they would meet again someday. 

George's heartfelt and wonderful interpretation of this song leaves no question as to why the song is special.   Watching him do this song in concert always brought tears to my eyes.  I have included the lyrics  here on Jenifer's page as it seemed so appropriate, it seemed like they belonged here on her page.




"You'll Be There"
By Cory Mayo


Well, hope is an anchor and love is a ship
Time is the ocean, and life is a trip.
You don't know where you're goin' til you know where you're at
And if you can't read the stars, well you better have a map


A compass and a conscience so you don't get lost at sea
Or on some old lonely island where no one wants to be


From the beginning of creation I think our maker had a plan
For us to leave these shores and sail beyond the sand
And let the good light guide us through the waves and the wind
To the beaches in a world where we have never been


And we'll climb up on the mountain, ya'll, we'll let our voices ring
And those who never tried it, they'll be the first to sing
Oh my, my


I'll see you on the other side if I make it
And it might be a long hard ride, but I'm gonna take it
Sometimes it seems that I don't have a prayer
I let the weather take me anywhere
But I know that I wanna go where the streets are gold
'Cause you'll be there
Oh my, my


Well, you don't bring nothin' with you here,
and you can't take nothin' back
I ain't never seen a hearse with a luggage rack
So I've torn my knees up prayin', scarred my back from fallin' down
I've spent so much time flyin' high 'til I'm face first in the ground


So if you're up there watching me, would you talk to God and say
Tell him I might need a hand to see you both someday
Oh my, my


So I'll see you on the other side if I make it
And it might be a long hard ride, but I wanna take it
Sometimes it seems that I don't have a prayer
I let the weather take me anywhere
But I know that I wanna go where the streets are gold
'Cause you'll be there
Oh my, my
'Cause you'll be there
Oh my, my

The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation

Daughter of Norma and George Strait,
Loving Sister to Bubba;
the facts, and the story.
designed with Homestead
Please note;

I am not a Jenifer Strait Foundation employee, I am a long time George Strait admirer and supporter.  Facts stated here were received from the San Marcos Police Department, and confirmed by the Foundation.  I started this page over twenty years ago with the main purpose of destroying rumors and gossip that had been circulating by putting the truth out there for the fans to find.  My additional purpose in keeping this page going is to keep Jenifer's memory alive by  supporting Bubba, Norma, George, and the Jenifer Strait Foundation.  

If you wish to make a donation please send it to the address above.  You will receive an acknowledgement letter from Norma and George on behalf of the Jenifer Strait Foundation.   As of December, 2013 this acknowledgement letter is confirmed as still being sent to donators.

Thank you for your support.

~ Linda Robbins
Strait Facts:

During George's final concert tour, "The Cowboy Rides Away," an entertainment company contracted with George Strait, and offered VIP packages which directly benefited this Foundation.  See GeorgeStrait.comfor more information.

The song "Baby Blue" was written by Aaron Barker, not by George, and has been rumored to be one of Jenifer's favorite songs that her Dad sung, and recorded.
From George's wonderful video "Troubadour."
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