Press Release: Oakland Baker & Activist Jen Angel’s Donation of Organs will Benefit Up to 70 people

February 14, 2023

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Oakland Baker & Activist Jen Angel’s Donation of Organs will Benefit Up to 70 people

A final act of giving on Valentine’s Day from a woman known for her dedication to others

OAKLAND, CA–In keeping with her wishes, Oakland baker, activist, writer, and community leader Jen Angel donated her organs. The operation to honor her directive occurred Monday evening. It was preceded by an “Honor Walk”, a procession from her hospital room to the operating room which included a moment of silence, and the reading of a statement about Jen’s life. A small handful of Jen’s loved ones joined medical personnel for the ceremony honoring Jen’s life and her choice to be an organ donor. As her family wrote in a statement that was read to the hospital staff before the surgery, “It is fitting that Jen’s final act will be this one of generosity.”

Jen spoke often of how her mother, Pat, shaped her generous and giving spirit, writing on Angel Cakes’ website “Pat taught Jen basically everything she knows.” Pat, a retired nurse, was present for the “Honor Walk,” and has long supported Jen’s choice to further the lives of others in the wake of the end of her life.

“It is appropriate that someone gets Jen’s heart today, on Valentine’s Day,” said Pat Engel, Jen’s mom. “The Honor Walk was so moving. To see the hospital staff and even police officers there saluting her. It meant so much. These tributes reflect how much value the medical staff place on organ donation. Registering as an organ donor is so important and something everyone can do to help make a difference in the world.”

“Jen devoted her life to community-building, social justice and advocating for a better world for all. She was meticulously organized and planned ahead in so many aspects of life. It’s no surprise that even in death she is giving back to help others in need,” Engel continued.

On Monday night at 6pm, the hour of the “Honor Walk”, Jen’s loved ones encouraged those touched by her life to honor and support this passageway and lift up hope for successful transition of Jen’s body to life-giving surgeries and research.

Jen long affirmed her choice to be an organ donor, and her decision is now going to lengthen and improve the lives of up to 70 people. February 14th, in addition to being Valentine’s Day, is also National Donor Day, as promoted by the Donate Life campaign, to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.

Her enormous community of friends and loved ones have shown an outpouring of support since Feb 7th, raising funds, and providing healing spaces that will serve the community, keep Angel Cakes Bakery open, and build on her legacy of generosity. Jen’s loved ones hope that her life and her choice can encourage others to follow Jen’s courageous lead and register to be an organ donor. Learn more at the non-profit United Network for Organ Sharing,

Jen’s lifelong love of Mary Oliver’s poetry foretold her choice to celebrate life in the event of her death. When Jen’s father passed away, she posted on social media: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

On her 48th birthday, just days before her death, she posted this Mary Oliver poem on social media:

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”


About Jen Angel
Beloved Oakland baker, small business owner, social justice activist, and community member Jen Angel passed away on February 9, 2023. Jen was born in 1975 in Dearborn, Michigan, and was living in Oakland, California at the time of her death. A group of dear and trusted friends of Jen are working under the name Loved Ones of Jen Angel to organize support and make important decisions during this difficult time. The group respectfully requests space and discretion at this time.

For hi-res photos of Jen Angel as well as pictures of family and hospital personnel taken during the “Honor Walk”, see: “Honor Walk” photos by Ryan Sin. For all media requests of Loved Ones of Jen Angel, please fill out the form at

See photos of “Honor Walk” below:

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