Nita Jenelle Jarnagin
January 1, 1940 – September 18, 2022
Nita Jenelle Wilson Jarnagin is a wonderful woman, adored by her husband, loved by her family and will be dearly missed. Jenelle’s story starts on January 1, 1940, the oldest child of William Francis Wilson and Nancy Wilma Lancaster, born in Martins Mill, Van Zant, Texas. Jenelle was working at Dairy Queen when Paul noticed her and the rest is history. They fell in love and her parents happily gave them their blessing to be wed. They were married in Dallas, Texas on August 19, 1954 and sealed in the LDS Mesa, AZ temple on August 26, 1968. They always loved celebrating both anniversaries. Mom and dad were together for 68 years- until dad passed on September 3, 2022. Jenelle and Paul have 7 children: Bebe Anderson, Katy Cochran (Robert, deceased), Paul Jr. (Michelle), James (Janae), Richard, deceased (Victoria), Nita Spencer (Steve), and Nancy. Jenelle loved her children, 26 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. She is survived by her sister Jo Kathryn Kimmel (Kim). She was preceded in death by her husband Paul, brothers Bill and Johnny, son Richard, grandson Dallen Jarnagin, great grandson Bronson Iannacone and son-in-law Robert Cochran. When Jenelle married Paul, her parents asked her to promise them she would go on to finish high school. Not only did she accomplish that, she earned her BS and MS (school of social work) with straight A’s! May 11, 1995, ASU spotlighted Jenelle (age 55) at the graduation ceremony with her parents, children, grandchildren and family from out of state, in attendance! It was a very memorable occasion, one that called for throwing her a surprise party the next day with loved ones! Mom had a lifelong love affair with learning, books, owls, the study of rocks, native Indian culture, genealogy and her family. If you visited their home, these loves were well represented on the book shelves and walls. Jenelle grew up in a religious home and was familiar with the Bible and loved our Savior. When Jenelle and Paul heard the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from representatives, they felt like they had come home. Mom was dedicated to teaching her children the gospel of Jesus Christ and had an unshakable faith. When mom gifted her family a book, it was usually religious, with a hand written note on the front page about her love for you and our Heavenly Father. Our family has countless books from mom with her personalized, special messages, always ending with, “I love you eternally.” Our mother may have been small in stature, but she was a giant in defending her children. So. Many. Stories! She loved music; from Luciano Pavarotti to John Denver, Anne Murray and everything in between. Mom had many talents. When Jenelle made her sister Kathy’s senior prom dress, they laughed and laughed as only sisters can, about the design! One of those things that you just had to be there to understand. Ha Ha! Kathy thought the dress turned out beautifully. Mom was an excellent cook. Her homemade southern meals were favorites like brisket and red velvet cake. She was an attentive listener, setting everything aside for the moment to keep eye contact and show her love and support. That’s a true gift. Jenelle peacefully passed on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at age 82, as a resident of Heritage Village assisted living in Mesa, Arizona. We will miss our mother, grandma, aunt, and sister….but with JOY we celebrate the amazing life she lived, and with JOY we celebrate the grand reunion she is enjoying with all her loved ones who moved on before her.See more See Less
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Nita Jenelle Jarnagin
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