Jeannette passed from this life to eternal life in God on September 16, 2018. Jeannette was born in Franklin, Louisiana to P.J. “Pete” and Abbie (Marin) deGravelles on April 29, 1938. She is survived by seven step-children, who were also her nieces and nephews, and their spouses: Charles (Beth) Piette, Lander, WY; Mark (Becky) Piette, Rothschild, WI; Melanie (Frank) Popa, Milwaukee, WI; Abbie (Carl) Nordholm, De Pere, WI; Daniel (Doreen) Piette, Houston, TX; her namesake, Jeannette Piette, Houston, TX and Matthew (Laurie) Piette, Wauwatosa, WI. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren Brian Larson, Julie DiFuccia, Alaric Piette, Josienne Roe, Dominique Marin Bechle, Yvette Herrera, Abbie Marin Popa, Eric, Charlie Lawrence, and Madeline Claire Nordholm, Quinn Piette. She was also a loving and proud great-grandmother to 17 great-grandchildren Ben, Owen, Emma, Lucas, Jack, Augustus, Rowan, Julius, Jenevieve, Oscar, Oliver, Joseph, Rosa, Leo, Scout, Elizabeth, and Renee. Jeannette is further survived by her sister Renee (Tom) Stirling, Franklin, LA and numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, Jeannette is preceded in death by her husband of 34 years Lawrence Piette, and four sisters: Marin Piette, Pete deGravelles, Bob Degravel, Mary Moreau, Abbie McNulty and Charlotte “Charlie” LeBlanc.
Jeannette, whose children and very close friends lovingly called Noey, grew up on a sugar plantation in the small town of Franklin, Louisiana, about as far south as you can get before you run into the Gulf of Mexico.
Jeannette was born the 7th of 8 children. She grew up in a close and loving family. Most of her brothers and sisters settled in south Louisiana. Jeannette had a religious calling when she was young, and joined the Marianites of the Holy Cross Order in Louisiana when she was 18. She served the Marianites as a nun and made many good friends, whom she stayed in touch with all her life. She taught grade school for several years, which was a joy and a blessing for her.
Jeannette came to Wisconsin because of her strong family values. Jeannette’s oldest sister moved to Wisconsin in 1946 when she married a Yankee (!) from Appleton. When her sister became ill, Noey came here to help take care of her and her 7 children. Sadly, her sister died in 1969. Noey, and her sister’s widower, Larry Piette, fell in love and married.
Larry’s children were between the ages of 5 and 20 when Noey joined their immediate family. She developed a loving relationship with all these children, their children, and their children’s children! Four of her children, five of her grandchildren, and seven of her great-grandchildren live in Wisconsin. The rest are spread from Alaska to Virginia, California to Texas. Noey believed that it was important to give your children wings to pursue their dreams, and roots so they can always come home. Noey’s sewing and baking skills were legendary as seen by the mountains of her delicious Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies, and the clothes and quilts she made for multiple family generations.
Late in life, Jeannette moved to the beautiful senior living community of Touchmark. There the outstanding staff provided comfort and support as her late-onset Alzheimer’s disease progressed. Jeannette enjoyed all the activities in the Meadows including swimming, art, childcare visits and singing with the Meadow Larks. She was a gold medal winner on the Olympic basketball team. Jeannette wasn’t much of a rock-n-roll fan until she met “Elvis”. She was seen dancing with Elvis at a Touchmark rock concert a mere two weeks before her death.
The Catholic religion was always a central part of Jeannette’s life. She was a member of St. Mary Parish where she was actively involved for many years. In her parish, she served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, song leader, a member of the liturgy committee, as well as being the Director of Liturgical Ministries for 30 years. She was also a member of the Ladies of St. Mary, having served as their president from 1974 to 1983. In addition to the spiritual duties, Jeannette lead a team who baked multitudes of loaves. From being in the convent, to attending Mass regularly, to working in the offices at St Mary Church, Jeannette lived by the tenets of her Catholic faith.
Visitation will be held at Brettschneider-Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel, Appleton, Friday, September 21 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and at St. Mary Parish, 312 S. State St, Appleton, September 22, from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. with a funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Jeannette’s family requests donations to St. Mary Parish, Appleton, or the Taub Institute: Alzheimer’s Disease Research, https://www.givenow.columbia.edu/ Columbia University Medical Center, Office of Development, Attn: Matt Reals, 516 West 168th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10032