Jeanette Ocasio passed away at home, surrounded by her loving family, on October 15, 2020 at the age of 65. Jeanette is survived by her mother, Ada Iris Ocasio; her sister, Evelyn Ada Ocasio and her husband, Nicolas A. Quinones. Jeanette is lovingly remembered by her only son, Nicolas Quinones II and his wife, Diana Quinones.
Jeanette was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 28, 1955 and moved to New York in 1956. During high school, Jeanette volunteered at Long Island Hospital as a “candy striper”, someone who assisted patients, ran errands for nurses and provided good cheer. In 1999, she moved to Virginia Beach where she began teaching Spanish at the Virginia Beach Friends School. She hosted several exchange students over the years, proud to introduce them to both American and Latino culture. Jeanette began working in 2009 for the Children’s Health Investment Program (CHIP) whose mission was health improvement, school readiness, and self-sufficiency for families in need. In 2015, she began working as a parent educator at The Up Center where she connected families to community services and worked directly with children & their parents.
Jeanette was a brave woman who believed in championing the vulnerable and those in need. Her compassion for others and desire for social justice moved her to action, especially for women, children, and families. For over 30 years, Jeanette was an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. In both New York and Hampton Roads, she facilitated support groups, provided one-on-one counseling, staffed an emergency hotline, helped women obtain protection orders, and assisted with court appearances. Jeanette provided services in both English and Spanish, often serving as a volunteer translator in hospitals, the courts and school meetings. Jeanette served on the Board of Caritas Felices de Hampton Roads, a local nonprofit group devoted to helping special needs youth in the Hispanic community.
Jeanette enjoyed life and loved to laugh more than anything else. Jeanette instantly put others at ease and people felt the love & light radiating from her. Addressing almost everyone as "darling" or "sweetheart", she would greet us with a huge smile and a twinkle in her eye. Jeanette was someone her family, friends, coworkers, and clients could turn to for honesty and advice because she would offer it with unconditional love and respect. Always stylish, Jeanette was beautifully dressed with accessorizing jewelry and a perfect manicure. She was never without her red lipstick; we all cherished the kiss prints left on our cheeks and the smell of her perfume after our hugs.
Of all the accomplishments in her life, the one Jeanette cherished the most was being a mother to her son, Nicolas. He was her pride and joy.
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