It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of one of Return Path’s brightest stars, Jen Coy. Jen joined Return Path in February 2008 and none of us have been the same since. Jen was the kind of person who entered a room and flashed a smile that could knock you off your chair. She was certainly sassy and stylish, always accessorized with fabulous shoes, witty comments and short bursts of inspiration. Jen had the ability to interact with people with equal parts intellect, sarcasm and self-examination.
At Return Path, Jen was a driving influence in the culture of learning that has taken root here. She architected our world class On Boarding program that welcomes each and every one of our new hires with care. She built our core training programs and improved many others. She took great pride in coaching and developing employees. She cared deeply about her work and the Return Path family. She exemplified our values.
Jen fought her long battle with cancer with grace and determination. She beat the odds handed to her by her doctors time and time again. She was actually declared NED (no evidence of disease) twice. Each time the cancer returned with a vengeance. No matter how dire the prognosis or grim the treatment options, she remained steadfast in her belief that she would persevere. She was positive and optimistic. She didn’t complain about the excruciating pain, the unending side effects, the grueling treatment and recovery schedule or the litany of doctors, diagnoses and drugs.
What she did instead was push through all of those circumstances and rise above so that she could leave her daughter Olivia with the legacy of a mother that overcame. She wanted more than anything for Olivia to know that she can do anything. Jen was certainly that role model and refused to be defined by the vicious battle that she was fighting. Jen was fiercely committed to being a Learning professional and eventually a People Business Partner. Jen was insightful and thought provoking. She was able to challenge people in service of their development. She also achieved excellence with everything she accomplished. She was her own worst critic (by her own admission) and had an unending thirst to learn more, be more, accomplish more, say more and have a positive impact on the world. Jen once said to me “I don’t want Olivia to think that there is something she can’t do because of her circumstances. So, I will never stop trying and I will never give up so that she knows that we can all overcome.”
And with that attitude, Jen left powerful pieces of herself and her perspective with each of us that were fortunate enough to know her.
There is so much more to say about Jen Coy. I am grateful for every moment we had her at Return Path. I am grateful to have known her as a friend, confidant, thinking partner, employee, mother and warrior. I have been, without question, transformed by her unbreakable spirit. The world is a better place for having had her in it. May she rest in peace.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her daughter Olivia and the rest of her family.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Jen this Friday, March 30 at 3pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 8817 S. Broadway, Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Donations can be made to MyLifeline.org or Sense of Security.