Jeanette M. French

Sunrise: May 31, 1924

Sunset: October 21, 2019

Jeanette May Foster French was born on May 31, 1924 in South Haven, Michigan.  She was predeceased by her parents, Nancy Alice Brady Foster and Earl Louis Foster, sister Laura J. Holland, brother Clarence Quentin Foster, niece Jeanette Harkey, and nephew Kenneth Holland, Jr.

She entered the Gates of Heaven early in the morning on Monday, October 21, 2019.

Jeanette became a member of Emmanuel Community Church in South Haven at an early age.  She graduated from South Haven High School in 1942 and furthered her educational studies at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama.  During her undergraduate tenure, Jeanette sang in the university choir, and she aided university staff as a work study student.  Jeanette was initiated into the Chi (X) Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated on January 21, 1944.  She was recognized as a Diamond Soror to celebrate her 75 years of service to the sorority in March 2019.

Jeanette graduated from Talladega College in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She further matriculated in her studies at the Atlanta University School of Social Work.  Her professional career commenced in Greenville, South Carolina with the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center.  She was later employed by the Urban League Organization in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Muskegon, Michigan.

Jeanette attended the Urban League Convention in Philadelphia, PA where she met and soon after married the late Robert Paul French, Jr. on February 20, 1954.  They relocated to Pittsburgh, PA and were later blessed with one daughter, Stacye LaRue French.

Jeanette furthered her professional career in various roles with the City of Pittsburgh Juvenile Court Probation Office, Pittsburgh Public Schools as a Social Development Group Worker, Community Liaison, and a School Social Worker. Jeanette was also employed by Camp Fire Girls of America as an Inner-City Specialist.  For several years she served as a Girl Scout Leader in her borough of Braddock Hills. She retired in 1986 from the Pittsburgh Board of Education as a Certified School Social Worker.

While residing in Pittsburgh, Jeanette was an active and dedicated member of Mount Olive Baptist Church, Rankin, PA.  She served faithfully in the Senior Choir, taught Sunday School, and provided leadership of the church’s annual “International Holiday” program sponsored by The Educational Board.  Jeanette was known for her rich alto voice and often sang “A and B” selections at local church teas and other programs.

Jeanette and Robert enjoyed traveling whenever and wherever possible. Some of her favorite destinations include St. Croix, Las Vegas, and the New England states.  One of her most treasured trips was to The Vatican in Rome, Italy for a Beautification Ceremony where she actually shook hands with Pope John.  She also visited Paris, the Eleuthera Islands, and Germany to attend the legendary Passion Play at Oberammergau.

Jeanette relocated to Virginia Beach, VA in October 2010 with Stacye and her son-in-love Michael Blue.  As a woman of faith, Jeanette soon joined Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk, VA where she served with the Cancer Support and Scholarship Committees as well as the Drama Ministry.  Jeanette knew no strangers, and quickly established meaningful relationships with the Senior’s Ministry at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, and the “Forever Young” Senior’s Club at Bayside Recreation Center in Virginia Beach.  Jeanette loved attending social and cultural events.  She regularly attended concerts by The I. Sherman Greene Chorale, The Boys Choir of Hampton Roads, and The Booker T. Washington High School Alumni Choir.

Jeanette was very fond of cats and had them as pets often throughout her lifetime.  She also had an extensive collection of camels.  She made many herself in ceramic classes and received a variety of souvenir camels as gifts from the travels of her family and friends.

Jeanette was the personification of elegance, class, and sophistication. She had a warm, gentle spirit and was an inspiration to so many. Often strong-willed, and serious at times, she always maintained a no-nonsense, direct approach to life.

Jeanette enjoyed reading daily devotionals and the Bible every morning.  She was also a generous contributor to various organizations to include the United Negro College Fund, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the Union Mission, Samaritan’s Feet, and the Special Olympics.

It was no secret that Jeanette loved her family.  She leaves to cherish her memory and carry out her legacy her daughter Stacye Blue (Michael); four grandchildren, Shannon Harris (Dean), Rashaad Blue (Nicole), Kamron Blue, and Jazmynne Blue (Anthony);

two great-granddaughters, Laila Marie Blue and Faith McKenzie Blue; her niece Naxie Holland; goddaughter Derietra Neal-Ferguson, West Palm Beach, FL, and numerous extended family members, sorority sisters, and friends.

Viewing Sunday, October 27, 2019 Metropolitan Funeral Service 120 W. Berkley Avenue Norfolk, VA 23505 Family Receiving Friends Sunday, October 27, 2019 2:00pm - 5:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 120 W. Berkley Avenue Norfolk, VA 23523 Service Monday, October 28, 2019 11:00am Second Calvary Baptist Church 2940 Corprew Avenue Norfolk, VA 23504 Interment Restland Memorial Park 990 Patton Street Extension Monroeville, PA 15146

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  1. reply
    Ernest and Robin Henley says

    Blue Family,
    God has received another angel in heaven. Your mom lived a long and beautiful life. We are always here for you. We love you!
    Ernest and Robin Henley???

  2. reply
    Sheryl R. Smalls says

    To the Blue Family: Please accept our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can not heal. Momma French will be sorely missed. May God give you peace in knowing that she is resting peacefully.
    Ernest and Sheryl Smalls

  3. reply
    Sam and Darlene Fonville says

    What a phenomenal woman! She embraced me as soon as joined SCBC and was one of the nicest AKAs I knew! I will forever cherish her smile and kisses on the cheek every Sunday. I am so blessed I got experience her. She will forever be a lady of class and be remembered in our hearts!

    • reply
      Scot Harrison says

      Such a caring and loving. We were blessed to know her and to be a part of her family. May your hearts find comfort in knowing she is now in the loving embrace of our Lord and Savior.
      Chauncey Harrison and sons Steve, Donny, Scot, JD and family

  4. reply
    Amanda Molina says

    To my extended family,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could be there during this time. I know that God will give you strength and peace. Nanee was an amazing woman who made a difference in many lives. She will forever be in our memories. Love you all.


  5. reply
    Scot Harrison says

    Such a caring and loving. We were blessed to know her and to be a part of her family. May your hearts find comfort in knowing she is now in the loving embrace of our Lord and Savior.
    Chauncey Harrison and sons Steve, Donny, Scot, JD and family

  6. reply
    DD Darling says

    Our loss is Heaven’s gain. We were honored to call her “Mom”. (and your Dad “Dad”)
    We love y’all,
    Tommy & DD Darling

  7. reply
    Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax says

    Reflecting upon the life of my dear sorority sister, Mrs. Jeanette Foster French. What a lovely quiet spirit, who was a strong believer in the Almighty. I shall miss her. We are all better because she showed us how to be faithful, steadfast, immovable in our faith.

  8. reply
    Dr. Keith and Rev. Tracy Hubbard says

    To the Blue Family. Sending our love and deepest condolences. It was always nice to see Sister French in church. Such a nice and beautiful person. May God give you strength and peace during this difficult time. May fond memories always make you smile.

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