Jeanetta Marguerite Williams was born in Graysville, Tennessee on July 9, 1939 to Minnie Irena Post Williams and John Ray Williams. She was the second child and devoted sister to Peggie, Roger, Charlotte, Earnest and Edgar.
In the summer of 1948 the Williams family moved to Laurel, MD. Jeanetta attended elementary school at Spencerville Jr. Academy and high school at Shenandoah Valley Academy. Jeanetta was a talented artist and singer, and she delighted in being a member of a girls singing trio in high school. In fact, Jeanetta’s future mother-in-law once saw her perform and was so captivated by her beautiful voice that she insisted her son Richard ask her out on a date! Richard and Jeanetta became high school sweethearts and they walked down the aisle together at their high school graduation in 1958. That same year, Jeanetta joined a Christian quartet called the Hilltoppers, who sang together throughout college. The group would reunite years later and travel to area churches to share their music.
Richard and Jeanetta were married in 1963. During the first five years of marriage, they enjoyed spending quality time with their nieces and nephews. In 1967, they moved to Burtonsville, Maryland, where they were blessed with the birth of their son Mickey on February 20, 1968 and their daughter Traci on March 18, 1970.
Jeanetta obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Columbia Union College and in 1970, she received her Nursing Home Administrators License from the University of Maryland. For the next 30 years, she devoted her life to her family and her career, working as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and health care advocate at Bethesda Retirement and Nursing Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. A leader in her profession, Jeanetta was appointed by the Governor to the Maryland State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators where she spent years developing and implementing quality standards for nursing homes.
Jeanetta’s children have fond memories of volunteering at the nursing home and watching their mom in action. Jeanetta led by example, treating her staff with kindness and respect and the patients with care and compassion. She was adored by everyone! Despite her numerous responsibilities, Jeanetta went out of her way to make everyone feel special and appreciated. She knew all of the residents’ names and the names of all of their family members. Every Christmas, she would spend weeks creating hand-made Christmas gifts for all of her staff. And on Fridays, everyone looked forward to Jeanetta’s “Happy Hour”, where she would entertain the residents with her beautiful voice and dance with everyone who asked.
Not only was Jeanetta an inspirational, classy, beautiful lady, she also loved unconditionally which made her an amazing wife, mother, sister, colleague and friend. She wore a wonderful smile and was full of love and light. She was always positive and never spoke ill of others. She was generous and thoughtful and she didn’t need a special occasion to do something special.
Jeanetta had many blessings in her life, the most important of which was her family. While Mickey and Traci were growing up, she enjoyed nothing more than being involved in their many activities and sporting events. When they had children of their own, Jeanetta devoted her life to being the most adoring, hands-on “Grammy” anyone could ask for. Samantha, Eva, Drew and Reagan were Jeanetta’s whole world, and she was truly a second mother to them. Whenever she was with her grandchildren, that was exactly where she wanted to be...making banana bread in the kitchen, attending activities at their schools, watching their sports from the sidelines, or just enjoying quiet time at home. Jeanetta was happiest in the company of her family.
We love her more than words can express and will always miss her. We will forever hold the special times and loving memories of her in our hearts.
Jeanetta is survived by her son, Michael Milton Manuel; her daughter, Traci Lin Cain and husband Kevin; her brothers Earnest Williams and wife Cheryl and Edgar Williams and wife Carol; her four grandchildren Samantha Marguerite Cain, Eva Taylor Cain, Andrew Nelson Jeehoon Manuel and Reagan Page Hayoun Manuel, plus many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Healthcare was always at the forefront of Jeanette's mind as seen by her 30+ years as a nursing home administrator and her tireless work as a healthcare advocate. The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in memory of Jeanetta Marguerite Manuel to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Inc. (MOWCM), an organization responding on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic by producing, packing and delivering 50% more meals than usual to meet the demand of feeding those in need. Donations may be made online at www.mealsonwheelsmd.org/donate or by check with note of tribute included on check or note mailed to: Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Attn: Development/In Memory of Jeanetta Manuel, 515 South Haven St, Baltimore, MD 21224.
Meals on Wheels of Maryland