Jeanette Elizabeth (French) Hughes passed away on July 24, 2019 in Myakka City, FL., at the age of 91. She was born on April 3, 1928 in Russell, New York, to parents Raymond James French and Margie Nina (Barry) French. She was pre-deceased by her two brothers Leon James French (1987) and Harold Gregory French (1944, killed in WW II).
She married her high school sweetheart William M. (Bill) Hughes on January 22, 1949. They were married for 58 years until his death in 2007.
She is survived by her daughter Marlea J. Hughes (Wanda Knipp) of Myakka City, FL., and her son Gregory M. Hughes (Eileen) of Naples, FL. She is also survived by five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
She was a Registered Nurse. Upon graduating from high school in 1945 as valedictorian of her class, she enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corps. This was a Federal program started in 1943 to help alleviate the nursing shortage which existed during WWII. Her education was free and she received $20 a month during her training. She graduated from the nursing program at Plattsburgh State Teachers’ College (now SUNY Plattsburgh) in 1948. As a senior cadet nurse, she was required to spend the final 6 months of schooling working full time in a civilian or federal hospital. She spent this time working in New York City, where she remembered seeing Ethel Merman on Broadway in “Annie Get Your Gun”.
In 1956 with her husband and two children, she moved from Russell, NY. to Sarasota, FL. In the late 1950’s the family home was just a few miles from the Ringling Circus winter quarters. Her children remember standing in the backyard at dusk on winter evenings and hearing the lions roar and the elephants trumpet.
In Sarasota she worked as the office nurse of Dr. Fred Droege (Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy) from the late 1950’s until his retirement in the 1980’s.
She was an active participant in the Nurses’ Health Study for over 40 years. This is a series of prospective studies established in 1976 which investigate the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women.
Jeanette enjoyed her family, her work, and her pets. In 2001 she and Bill moved to Myakka City, FL., where she loved taking care of her flowers and growing vegetables. One of her greatest enjoyments was playing a game of Rummy while conversing with family and friends.
A Graveside Service will be held 10:30 am, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Manasota Memorial Park in Bradenton, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Tidewell Hospice or to the organization of your choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.manasotamemorial.com
The family is being served by Robert Toale and Sons Funeral Home at Manasota Memorial Park 1221 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL.