YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Jeannine Gibbs Augustin was born on March 6, 1938 in Petit-Goave, Haiti, the fourth of six children from Albert Gibbs and Anna Lemeine.
She grew up to be a loving, caring and charming young lady. She was an intelligent and meticulous student, to whom books were considered friends. The family labeled her “the encyclopedia” because of her sharp memory and her seeming ability to have all the answers.
After completing her academic education in Petit-Goave and scoring the highest marks in the country on the national exam (which earned her quite a bit of celebrity in her town), Jeannine moved to Port-au-Prince to a boarding facility to complete her last year of high school at the Lycee des Jeunes Filles. Although an attentive and brilliant student, she of course made time to develop friendships that have endured a lifetime. Her peers have described her as a sincere and true friend, well loved by all. Even the supervisor of her boarding school wanted everyone to look up to her as a model of fortitude, correctness and grace. From there she pursued her career in Pharmacy at the State University of Haiti, School of Medicine.
Her charm and beauty were irresistible to many seekers but it was Dr. Cesar Augustin who courted her and became the love of her life. Cesar left Jeannine in Haiti for a short period to start his medical residency in the United States. They remained engaged through love letters and poetry. Cesar then returned for a quick weekend to marry Jeannine in the morning of December 18, 1960 and board a Pan American Airlines flight back to the United States the same evening.
They settled in St Louis, Missouri, where Jeanine and her husband helped birth and nurture a Haitian community with whom she would remain bonded to for the rest of her life. After their first born child, Patrick, arrived in 1961, the couple dreamed of making a home and practicing medicine in Haiti. Due to political uncertainty Dr. Augustin left his family in Haiti and went to Monrovia, Liberia to work for Physicians without Borders. Jeannine traveled to Africa to join her beloved husband shortly after the birth of their second son, Cesar, Jr. After two years the couple returned to the United States and made St. Louis, Missouri their permanent home where they would welcome their youngest son, Stanley.
Jeannine worked in medical technology until she opted to be a full time homemaker and prioritized raising her children and caring for her husband. She gave her children the utmost encouragement and support in all their endeavors. Meanwhile in her spare time she enjoyed reading French, English, studying Spanish and handwriting analysis. She applied her analytical prowess to her culinary skills as well. Everyone agreed she was an extraordinary cook with impeccable hospitality to everyone who crossed her threshold.
Jeannine was very proud of her Haitian heritage and donated to a variety of organizations to support her home country. She also participated in the social activities of the Association of Haitian Physicians abroad. Her care and love for her community, friends and relatives was beyond the norm. Jeannine visited her siblings often and was always ready for any family gathering joyful or sad.
After her children went to college, Jeannine enrolled into the University of Missouri at St. Louis to earn a Master of Science Degree in Biology. She then worked for Monsanto for several years in various research capacities.
Jeannine’s 82 years of life are difficult to illuminate in one page. Those who knew Jeannine appreciated her elegance and grace, however, take her kindness for weakness at their own risk. Her faith in God helped her endure what could have been described as the darkest moment of her life when her first son, Patrick, died at the age of 31. Jeannine and her husband lived the remainder of their lives with dignity and love, even finding room to house their first grandchild, Kelsie, as she attended high school in St. Louis.
Jeannine lived her final years in Ohio, after the passing of her husband of 57 years, to be in the care of her son, Cesar, Jr., his wife, Kellie and her caretaker, Melba.
To Jeannine, Grandma, Ma Jeannine, Ja, Jaja, Lajaja, Aunt Jeannine, Madame Jeannine, Madame Augustin: We sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews left and dear friends, we give homage to you for your utmost love and kindness. You will be in our hearts forever.
Jeannine leaves behind the following: her two sons, Dr. Cesar Augustin, Jr. and wife, Kellie Kirksey Augustin, Ph.D and Dr. Stanley Augustin and wife, Maggie Augustin; her grandchildren, Kelsie, Jazmin, Dominic, John, Gabrielle and Lauren; her sisters and brothers, Raymonde Gibbs Thelemaque, William Gibbs, Yves Gibbs, Edda Francois (who is a cousin/sister), Sonny Gibbs, Josseline Gibbs Josue, Wotchild Gibbs, Mireille Gibbs, Micheline Gibbs Steven, Marie Alberte Gibbs, Albert Gibbs, Enid Gibbs Joseph, Romel Gibbs, Gerard Gibbs and the late Weber Gibbs, Irma Gibbs Loiseau and Gibson Gibbs. Jeannine is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews who she loved dearly and kept close to her heart.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the condolences, prayers and many kind expressions of sympathy. Your support means a great deal to us during this time of transition.
Family and friends may call from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 5, 2021 at the Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street, Boardman.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday March 6, 2021 at St. Patrick Church, 1420 Oak Hill Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44507, celebrated by Rev. Kevin Peters.
Interment will at Bellerive Gardens Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
Due to our current health crisis COVID-19 we are asking anyone that is attending calling hours or the funeral mass please wear a face mask and to maintain all social-distancing guidelines mandated by the State of Ohio (6-foot apart and not to linger) Thank you.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jeannine (Gibbs) Augustin, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Thursday, March 4 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.