Village People: Losses a springboard for growth for Jennifer Spooner
Experiencing traumatic events seems to be something we all share. It’s rare for a person to go through life without moments of tragedy that impact us, often for the rest of our lives.
In spite of the many difficult memories that are ever-present, Jennifer Spooner is a sweet and gracious human being and a good listener. Much of that has been birthed out of her personal losses, which have been many, and far more intense than most of us experience.
Rather than permitting tragedy to foster cynicism and negativity, she has chosen to be sensitive and compassionate toward others. Spending time with her is to come away feeling blessed for the experience.
Her often single mother worked long hours as a police dispatcher while her maternal grandma, a retired school worker, helped care for and raise Jennifer and her three sisters.
As a truck driver, Grandpa was gone a lot. Jennifer’s “dad,” adopting her and her older sister when they were very young, worked for the county.
When she was 12, Jennifer’s parents divorced. She still maintains a good relationship with her adoptive father and, at 14, was able to meet and build a relationship with her biological father.
Jennifer has very good remembrances of time spent with her grandparents: camping, vacations, annual visits to the Iowa State fair, fun in their home, playing games, cooking together and laughter.
They were wonderful, selfless people who demonstrated their love in ongoing and very tangible ways.
Perry, Iowa, is a small farm town, the population hovering around 7,000 for decades. A roller rink, movie theater, rec center, drive-in and other amenities benefit kids growing up there.
Jennifer enjoyed all of those and bicycling, swimming, softball, art classes and art club. In fact, she wanted to go to college and pursue art, but the needed scholarship didn’t come through.
Shortly after high school graduation Jennifer married, eventually having four kids: Dakota, Cheyenne, Jacob and Tyler, who became her whole world.
Unfortunately, Jennifer’s marriage didn’t survive the stresses of daily life. Many years later she began a relationship with Matthew Spooner, a traveling nurse, marrying him in 2013.
After high school she chose to attend the LaJames International College of Hair Styling in nearby Des Moines. Jennifer spent a few years working in salons but wanted more flexibility in her schedule to be there for her kids and all their activities.
In 2005 she opened her first salon in Grimes, Iowa. Selling that, she opened a salon in Perry, which she ran until moving to the Village in 2018.
In 2014, Dakota, her oldest son died. The grief is still fresh, the pain deep and raw. Time definitely does not heal all wounds.
In May of 2019 Jennifer purchased Classic Curls in Bell Rock Plaza (928-284-1300) and gave it a total makeover.
Not everything has changed. Tanya (nail tech) and Jana (hair stylist) are still there. Give Jennifer a call, sit in her chair and let her work her magic on your hair as she listens to your story.
Jim Cunningham, Jr. is a pastor, husband, father, lover of people, friend, neighbor, counselor, teacher, book collector, and jack-of-all-trades. Meet him here each month to become acquainted with yet another Village resident.