August 21, 1962 – October 22, 2018
Jennifer Accurso passed away peacefully on October 22, surrounded by family, at her home in Napa after a courageous battle with ALS. Jennifer made friends easily, loved others generously, and brightened the lives of a great many people. Her absence is sorely felt by all those who knew her.
Jennifer was born August 21, 1962 in Anderson, Indiana, to her loving parents, Patricia and William Miller. As the oldest of four siblings, she was a natural caregiver from an early age. Jennifer attended St. Vincent’s High School in Vallejo and later graduated from Fairfield High School. She started a lifelong career as a dental hygienist in 1989 after earning an associate degree in dental hygiene from Diablo Valley College. Her kindness, wonderful sense of humor, and infectious giggle were just a few of the reasons that her patients loved her dearly. She cared for all of her patients, from very young children to seniors and patients with special needs, with meticulous attention to her work and the utmost concern for their health and comfort, even when that meant she needed more than double the time to do her work. Jennifer took great pride and enjoyment in her work through the connections she so easily made with others. Because of her endless compassion and caring, her patients were devoted to her, following her to a new dental practice on the few occasions when she moved. The lasting impact she made on others through her gentle encouragement will hopefully extend to their oral health and energize people to floss regularly.
Jennifer discovered yoga after several decades of working as a dental hygienist. After years of practicing meditation and yoga, she advanced her study by teaching as an instructor at several local studios. Jennifer’s passion for people and sensitivity to their needs was also evident in her yoga. Although she took her practice and teaching seriously, she kept a light-hearted nature about herself and refused to allow the ayurvedic diet suggestions for her body type interfere with her enjoyment of ice cream!
Jennifer loved teaching and supporting others. She was never too busy to help family, friends, or strangers (who quickly became friends). She believed that everyone deserved to be happy and healthy, and more importantly she believed that she had an important role to play in bringing that vision to reality. Her bright energy warmed the hearts of every person whose life she touched, even if just through a brief interaction.
Jennifer’s legacy encompasses 56 years filled with enthusiasm for life that she generously shared with others. In her last two years when she was diagnosed with ALS, Jennifer modeled how to manage physical and mental adversity with acceptance and grace. Her capacity for generosity, compassion, and positivity will continue to be an inspiration for all. She will be remembered through laughing with family and friends, caring for others, practicing yoga, gardening, and through many other everyday experiences of joy and gratitude.
Jennifer is survived by her husband Vincent; son Vincent and wife Erin; son Michael and wife Waverly; mother Patricia Dobner; father William Miller; sister Valerie Miller; sister Beth Abalos and husband Rick; brother Daniel Miller and wife Vilma; granddaughter Francesca Accurso; aunt Michelle McConnell Singley; mother-in-law Anne Accurso; sister-in-law Carol Dunlap and husband Paul; sister-in-law Adele Nishimori and husband Robert; sister-in-law Louise Vicencio; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and many dear and devoted friends.
The Accurso Family will be holding a Celebration of Life for Jennifer on December 1st at 2pm at Tulocay Funeral Home, 411 Coombsville Road, Napa, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Jennifer Accurso Memorial Scholarship in Dental Hygiene at Diablo Valley College, DVC Foundation, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.