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Why Jennifer Garner's latest milestone might be her most challenging yet

The Yes Day actress shares three children with ex-husband Ben Affleck 

Jennifer Garner poses with children Violet Affleck, Samuel Garner-Affleck and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck during the ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
17 April 2024
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Jennifer Garner will ring in her 52nd birthday today, but there's a big reason why this celebration will be more emotional than years gone by.

The Alias alum tries to do something special every year to mark another year around the sun.

These celebrations often involve her family, including her three children, Samuel, 12, Fin, 15, and Violet, 18, who she shares with her ex-husband, Ben Affleck.

However, this year Jennifer will be missing someone very special. Over the Easter weekend, her beloved father, William, died at the age of 85.

This will therefore mark Jennifer's first birthday without her dad.

Jennifer Garner with her father William John Garner© Instagram
This will be Jennifer's first birthday without her dad who died over Easter

At the time, Jennifer penned a lengthy and heartfelt message about the passing of her dad and said he was "surrounded by daughters and grandchildren, cheering for his beloved Aggies, captaining a boat, and—most of all—next to his wife of 59 years, our Mom." 

She said he died "peacefully," and "while there is no tragedy in the death of an 85 year old man who lived a healthy, wonderful life, I know grief is unavoidable, waiting around unexpected corners."

Jennifer Garner and her daughter Violet © Nathan Howard
Jennifer has the support of her children including Violet, 18

There is no doubt that Jennifer will soldier forward with the support of her family and still cherish this birthday celebration.

Before her dad died, she opened up about her plans to give back on her big day. 

Jennifer Garner reading at her father's funeral
Jennifer delivered a reading at her father's funeral

"Every year I do something for my birthday," she told People. "To me that day is like, 'Okay, how am I going to look forward this next year? How am I going to look outside of myself? How am I giving back to the world that gives me so much?'"

Last year, she planted trees with her children and guests at her 50th birthday party filled 5,000 backpacks with food to feed struggling families as part of the Blessings in a Backpack program. 

Jennifer Garner's parents Patricia and William were celebrating their anniversary© Instagram
Jennifer's parents Patricia and William

She also told the outlet that in addition to giving back again this year, she'll also ensure a party vibe. 

"I love to have a good time and I love to make it nice and there'll be great food and all of those things," she said while adding: "Every year there's something, like, that feeds me and that I love to just include people in.

Jennifer Garner and her son Samuel Garner Affleck attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Arena on March 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California© Getty
Jennifer with son Samuel

"And I know what I'm going to do this year and it's coming together, but I'll talk about it after."

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