Jeanette (Janett) Anderson Gibbs, a well-respected home economist, travel guide, humanitarian and volunteer peacefully passed to the spiritual realm on March 21, 2017.
Born on March 4, 1922 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, Jeanette was the daughter of the late Thurston and Betty Anderson. Following her graduation from Hazlehurst High School, Jeanette received a B.S. and M.S. degree in Home Economics from Mississippi State College for Women and a second Master’s degree at The University of Tennessee. She also earned a Certificate in Gerontology from The University of Georgia.
Jeanette’s career was multifaceted. She taught school, served as a Home Economist, first with the East Mississippi Electric Membership Cooperation, and then with the Central Appliance Company, taught Home Management at Carson-Newman College and became a Family Resource Management Specialist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service in 1974, retiring 10 years later. One highlight of her career was the creation of the Independent Living Training Program for home skills in collaboration with the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute. Her second career was as an income tax preparer, from 1985-2012, primarily with The Tax Shelter.
Jeanette was an active member of several professional organizations, including, both the American and Georgia Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, International Home Economics Services, and International Federation of Home Economic (IFHE). She was honored with a Distinguished Services Awards from AAFCS the highest award given by this association.
Jeanette served on numerous committees, held office and chaired numerous projects. One of these, Project Identify and Recognize, identified over 200 Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals who had served in the U.S. Military.
Jeanette’s love of travel also led her to conduct International Study Tours every two years in conjunction with the IFHE Council Meeting beginning in 1984. Her last tour, a train trip across Canada was in 2012, at age 90.
Through these organizations, her church and on her own, Jeanette’s accomplishments in volunteerism were monumental. Her passions for education and for financial independence for women throughout the world led her to numerous projects. She led service projects in 17 countries, including conducting income generation workshops particularly in Latin American countries, disaster relief projects in countries such as Grenada and Antigua, and fundraising to support renovation and expansion of schools in Liberia. Jeanette was honored to have the “Sister Gibbs Library” named for her in a school in Monrovia, Liberia.
Jeanette was known to many as “The Scissors Lady.” Following 9/11, Jeanette collaborated with the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport to collect scissors confiscated by airport security. Eventually over 26,000 pairs of scissors and other supplies donated by individuals and companies were distributed to teachers and homemakers in countries in need throughout the world.
Jeanette was recognized for her efforts in 1996 with the Wiley-Berger Award for Volunteer Service and 2008, Distinguished Service Award, both from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She also received a service award from IFHE.
Jeanette’s Christian faith was very important to her. She thought intensely about it and actively lived her beliefs. She was an active member of Milledge Avenue Baptist Church, leading workshops, conducting fundraising for Mission work in Liberia and serving as a Deacon.
Jeanette also belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma, serving as both President and Treasurer and the Order of the Eastern Star. Family was very important to Jeanette. She was her family’s genealogist and belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
In addition to her parents, Jeanette was preceded in death by her 9 brothers and sisters, nephews Carlton D. Anderson and Troy H. Anderson and great-nephews Carlton Anderson, Jr. and Jere’ Anderson. She is survived by her nephew Wayne (Sonny) Scott and his wife, Louise, great-niece Gene Holliman and her husband C.H., and was also Aunt to Carly Schumann, Carlton Anderson III, and Jeremy Anderson, and Susannah and Neil Torman, as well as numerous cousins. She will be mourned by many friends, including a group of Extension colleagues called “The Nine” and her dearest friend Claire Callaway and her husband Bill, Greensboro, GA, and her Godchildren, Emily, Cam, and Charlie Callaway.
Sincere appreciation is expressed to Highland Hills and to The Oaks for their care of and for Jeanette.
Visitation will be held Friday, March 24, at 1:00 p.m. at Milledge Ave. Baptist Church with Services at 2:00 p.m. Dr. Edward R. Bolen will officiate. A reception will follow at the church. Burial will be in Hazlehurst, Mississippi on Saturday March 25, at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to International Home Economics Services Foundation c/o Janelle Smith, 5300 E. Grant St., Orlando, FL 32812 or to the Milledge Avenue Baptist Church Foundation, 1690 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30605.
Lord and Stephens East is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com