Jeanette Marie Williams Shamel was born January 30, 1939 to Mildred Wilkerson McFinley and Robert Williams, Sr. in Gary, IN. Jeanette closed this chapter of her life on February 23, 2020 at the age of 81.
Jeanette’s family relocated to Cincinnati, OH at an early age. She attended the public schools of Cincinnati; South Avondale, Samuel Ock and Walnut Hills.
Jeanette accepted Christ early in life as her family united with St. John AME Zion Church. Later in life, she moved her membership to Quinn Chapel AME Church where she served as a stewardess until she could no longer due to other obligations.
Jeanette was very much involved in the political arena. She participated in the march on Washington with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She served as precinct Judge for the Democratic party.
Jeanette was the first African American woman to work for Mary Manufacturing/Kenner Toys. Having an accounting degree, she later advanced her career as the bookkeeper for the then, City of Lincoln Heights; later to become the Village of Lincoln Heights, which didn’t slow her down. She went on to become a council member and she also served as Vice Mayor. After retirement, she still could not sit down. Jeanette served as a caregiver for cancer patients at Children’s Hospital.
In her spare time, Jeanette was well known for her delicious cakes, cobblers and other foods. She came from a family of cooks. She took cooking to another level. She was also known as the “Cake Lady”.
Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents, Mildred McFinley and Robert Williams, Sr.; brothers, Robert (Bee Bop) Williams, Jr., Reginald Williams, Lee Askew and Gerald Askew.
She leaves to cherish her memory; three children, Cynthia A. Shamel, Robert (Gynelle) Shamel, Sr. and Michelle L. Shamel all of Cincinnati, OH; seven grandchildren, Andre’ D. Shamel, LaCarmen M. Shamel, Robert L. (Krystal) Shamel, Jr., Jennifer M. Shamel, Kenneth (Michelle) Lambert, Charvis A. Shamel and Tonisha S. Wright; thirteen greatgrandchildren, Darrian K. Shamel, Demetrius M. Grimes, Javontae Henderson, Jaeden Henderson, DaRon O. Collins, Jenniyah Thomas, Adreauna Early, Jolanna Shamel, MaKaylah Lambert, Aubree R. Shamel, Chozen Edwards, Chance Edwards and Carlei Edwards; a very special cousin, Jodie (Isaac) Holmes Diggs; four sisters, AD Askew, Geraldine W. Brooks, Cheryl A. Richards and Courtney McFinley; along with a host of other relatives and friends.
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