Jennifer Houser, a longtime Sag Harbor resident, died in Southampton on January 14. She was 66 years old.
Jennifer Dale Houser was born in South Bend, Indiana in July 1952 and moved with her family to Long Beach, California in 1956. In addition to her parents, Bob and Elsa, Jennifer and her siblings: Rebecca, Todd, Beth and Jessica made the cross-country drive west in their 1955 Ford station wagon.
Soon after settling in southern California two more kids were added to the growing family; Brett and Gretchen.
Ms. Houser followed her siblings through the local schools; Burcham and Patrick Henry elementary, Marshall Jr. High and was a 1970 graduate of Millikan High School. After graduating from Long Beach City College in 1972, Jennifer moved to New York to pursue her modeling career.
Within the first week of arriving in New York, Ms. Houser became the house model for designer Oscar de la Renta. She spent the next several years as a high fashion runway and print model for designers Versace, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, Bill Blass and Bob Mackie.
Ms. Houser’s modeling career allowed her to travel the world while making her home in Sag Harbor, where she moved with her husband, Rudy Hoglund, in the 1980s. It was there they raised their two children, Veronica Hoglund and George Hoglund, both who survive her and live in New York City.
While living in Sag Harbor, Ms. Houser served on the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2001. She opened Jennifer Houser Flowers and The Candy Store on Main Street after her first successful business, Table Art Jennifer, where she designed tables for the rich and famous for over 20 years. She would run Candy and Flowers until 2007, employing local high school students as one of her many efforts to give back to the community. Ms. Houser was also an active member of the congregation at St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, a volunteer at The Sag Harbor Food Pantry and a supporter of the Sag Harbor School District, donating her time and talents towards children in the district whenever she could, according to longtime friend, Sandi Kruel.
A stroke March 2017 would reveal Ms. Houser suffered from Myasthenia Gravis (MG) an auto-immune disorder that is a more aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. Ms. Houser was transferred to the Hamptons Rehabilitation Center in Southampton where she stayed under wonderful care, said Ms. Kruel, until her death on January 14.
“Jennifer helped save my son several years ago and I will never forget her kindness,” said Ms. Kruel. “I know if the situation was reversed, Jennifer would be doing everything she could to help me.”
Visiting will be on Friday, January 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor. On Saturday, January 19, there will be a 10 a.m. mass at St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church on Division Street in Sag Harbor, followed by a burial at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor. A reception will follow at the Sag Harbor Fire Department headquarters on Brickiln Road.
Ms. Houser loved flowers, but for those who wish to make a donation in her memory instead, family and friends suggest donations to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps or the Sag Harbor Food Pantry.