Arnette Jefferson

Arnette Jefferson, born on January 7th, 1943 in Henry County Alabama, to the late Howard and Eunice (Bowens) Deese. She was educated in the Utica City School district and graduated from Utica Free Academy, in 1961.

Arnette married Jerrold Jefferson Sr. on November 7, 1964, and to this union five children were born:  Jerrold Jefferson Jr., Allen D. Jefferson, Adrian Jefferson, Natalie and Nathan Jefferson. 

From a young child, Arnette, was eager to work and earn her own source of income. She dreamed of being a financial Investor and opening a restaurant and anything that would grow her money. One of her first jobs was at General Electric (GE). She worked for GE for 10 years and was proud of her job, because as a young an African-American woman during that time, she made $25 dollars an hour. Arnette found new employment at the New York Telephone (NYNEX), where she enjoyed working with her coworkers;

Earl Crawford, Alphonso Pearson, Randy Newton, David (Pablo) Davis, Roy Duhart, Elizabeth (Bowens)Pearson, her sister Ella Mae King, Doris DeLoach, Mary Ellis Wells, Sheila Holmes (King/Liggins).  After retiring from New York Telephone Company with 30 years of service, Arnette served homebound seniors, by delivering Meals on Wheels from it’s home station located at St. Martin DePoress Youth Center, right in the neighborhood she lived in and raised her children in. She also enjoyed working as a Board of Education and Board Election Poll Site Inspector.

Arnette was baptized, and raised in Hope Chapel A.M.E. Zion church, where she humbly served for over 50 years. Arnette served in the Home Mission Society, and the Women’s Home and Oversees Missionary Chapel, as well as the District Superintendent of the Buds of Promise, for 20 years. One year, Hope Chapel’s Buds of Promise, needed uniforms. Arnette asked her good friend Dosher Grant to make the outfits, and personally financed them, so every Buds’ of Promise could have the same outfit.

One of her most unselfish and quiet acts of service to the church and the youth, was how often she would,pay for youth to attend the Young People’s Congress (YPC) annually, by paying for their hotel rooms and personally driving youth back and forth to conference, sometimes a kid might not be able to go on the first day, so she would leave conference, drive back to Utica and bring that child to conference. Arnette did this without fanfare. 

Arnette sang all over Utica with the fellow and original members of the Hope Chapel Choraliers (formed in the 1980’s); Charles Pearson, David Fitzpatrick, Alfonso Pearson, John Edward Pearson, Minnie Johnson, Cloridell Johnson, Rosetta Yarbrough Ann Warmack and her sister Ella Mae King Arnette looked up to and cherished her relationship with her big sister Ella Mae King. Together, they raised their children as if they were siblings. The two were inseparable. Together they founded and marched as Mother’s Against Drugs (MAD), and made sure that each other’s needs were met in difficult times. Arnett loved to bowl. Together with her sister as the navigator and she as the driver, they would travel across the country participating in bowling tournaments. Arnette bowled on Team Kojack’s, named after a restaurant her father owned on South Street In Utica, NY; she and her beloved teammates, Victoria Pearson, Ella Mae King, Doris DeLoach, Elizabeth Preston, Elizabeth Pearson, Lois Weston, and Audrey Pearson, Sandy Bowens, and Jacqueline Davis Womack, won many tournaments from Las Vegas Nevada to Bismarck Mandan North Dakota. Arnette and her husband Jerrold Jefferson often participated in local Doubles Bowling Tournaments. Arnette was a skilled Bowler, and a member of the 600 club, with a 200 average. Arnette was a lifelong member of the local chapter of the NAACP.

Sharing in the celebration of her life and the pleasant memories made, are her children: Jerrold Jefferson Jr., Utica NY, Nathan (Maria Salazar) Jefferson, Port Washing, NY, Jacqulyn (Larry) Grant, and Antoinette Page both of Philadelphia, PA. Grandchildren: Cameron (Curtis) Jefferson, Ashley (Zachary) Engram, Utica, NY., Cyril (Raven) Jefferson, High Point NC., Isaiah Jefferson, Josiah Jefferson, Nakiah Jefferson, and Mariah Jefferson, all of Utica, NY. Grandchildren: Aaron Page, Jerome Washington, Nigeria Grant(, and Nafeese Grant, all of Philadephia, PA. Arnise Moore, Desmend Brown, and Jasmine Brown, Isabella and Nathanyel Salazar Jefferson, Port Washington, NY. Great-Grandchildren: Aaliyah page and Alyssa Driskell, Philadelphia, PA, and Caleb McLean Jr, Zaccai Engram, Zakhar Engram, Ashawn Engram, Tobiah Engram, Taliah Engram, and Believe Engram, all of Utica, NY. Cyril Jefferson Jr. And Royce Jefferson both of High Point NC. of Utica NY. Godchildren: Gloria Jean Harris Virginia, and Monique Pearson Milan Italy.,Sylvanus Jones, Kingsport TN., Marcus Pearson and Kevin Curtis Utica NY Sister: Belinda Dennison Ithica NY Delphine Brody of Philadelphia, PA. Brothers: Jonny Bradham, Philadephia PA, Duane Gray, Whitesboro, NY, Stanford Gray, Utica, NY., Justin Clark, Charles Pearson Donald King Syracuse, NY., and Bobbie (Mytsooko) King Esq. Attorney at Law, St. Thomas VI.

Very close cousins who were more like her siblings, Charles Pearson, Elizabeth Preston, Vicky Pearson, Alphonso Pearson, Elizabeth Pearson, Minnie Warmack. Special Friends: Jaqueline Womack, Jean Davis, Dosher Grant, Jean Williams, Rev. Cadoris Brickhous, 

Arnette was predeceased her parents, Howard & Eunice (Bowens) Deese, husband; Jerrold Jefferson Sr, ;sons Allen Demetrius Jefferson, Adrean Jefferson, and daughter, Natalie Denise