Jeannine Ella Collette was born December 11, 1955 in San Mateo, Ca. to Dr. Farrell Melvin and Esther Eleanora Pierce. She was the 6th of 7 children. Her brothers and sisters were raised as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and taught to have a strong love of God and of all mankind. At a young age, she was thought of as a shadow to her older sister Bonnie as they were often dressed in the same outfits. The bond between these two sisters grew stronger and stronger as they grew up and developed into one of Jeannine's greatest friendships. Her father boarded horses at Laurel Wood Stables near San Mateo, Ca. which was in biking distance from their home. Jeannine willingly took on the responsibility of caring for these horses. She often spoke of the treacherous and scary bike ride through the canyon between her home and the stables. She loved riding horses and made diligent efforts to exercise them daily whenever she could fit them in between her school sporting activities. This began at age 13 and continued throughout her teenage years. She graduated from Hillsdale High School in San Mateo in 1973. During her teenage years she was the captain of her gymnastics team, played flag football, volleyball, and basketball. She gained her love of the outdoors from her father while going on countless camping and ski trips in her rather large families 13 foot camping trailer. In addition, there were countless trips to the Pierce family lodge on Donner Lake where the family enjoyed swimming, boating, and fishing together. The annual girl's trip to North Dakota to visit her Aunt Elsie was also a fond childhood memory. All of these family trips and outdoor activities paved the way for a life full of adventure and travel for Jeannine which was one of her great passions in life.
After high school, Jeannine attended both Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah studying both Social Work and Criminal Justice. She later got a job with the Ski Patrol at Grand Targhee Resort near the Grand Teton mountain range in Idaho. This is where she would eventually be introduced to the love of her life Randy Collette. After 2 years of courtship, the two were married in Egin Bench, Idaho. A couple years later they moved from Idaho to Redwood City, Ca. where they continued building a family. Shortly after the birth of their 2nd child, the family moved to Loomis, Ca. where they lived near her father's farm and began raising their two children. Farm life was full adventure for Jeannine. She continued to ride and take care of horses, while adding cows, chickens, and sheep to the mix. In 1990, the family moved to nearby Rocklin, Ca. where they could still help her father work on his farm.
Some of her fondest family memories were on that farm in Loomis, Ca. In addition, Jeannine continued her love for camping. She and her sister Bonnie took their respective families on multiple camping trips a year to places such as Sugar Pine Reservoir, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Big Sur, and of course Disneyland. She always told her children to "leave the campsite in a better condition than we found it." This idea was transferable to anything: "if you borrow something, return it in a better shape than when you borrowed it." These trips were loaded with bike riding, fishing, hiking, site seeing, and lots of fun around the campfire. Camping with her family was always an enormous part of her life. She also enjoyed the holidays and being a host and party planner for thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, Halloween, etc. She took pride in and thrived as a "team mom" for both of her children's various sporting activities. She became President of the Sports PTA at Del Oro high school while both of her children attended there and helped coordinate all sorts of sport related events such as: snack bar, student store, fundraisers, fashion shows, Grad Night, Awards banquets, and many pre-game dinners for the football team. Her house definitely became "the house" for children's friends as "the door was always open and so was the fridge." Though she only had 2 children in this earth life, she felt as if every one of her son and daughter's friends were unofficial members of the family. Being a proud mother and serving others was her two great callings in life. Her father used to always tell her that "life touches life." She would always tell her children to always do kind acts because you never know when someone may need it. She was a doer in all aspects of her life which lead to led to some great pieces of advice that she passed on to her children. She always preached "never put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today." She also preached "never leave any stone unturned." These quotes, undoubtably taught to her by her parents, helped mold her into the hard working fighter that she was throughout her life and even to her dying breathe. She never gave up, she never gave in.
She worked for 18 years at NEC Electronics in Roseville where she helped build microchips during the computer boom in the 80s. While this job was exciting and a great help to providing for her family, it did not come without some great sacrifice. This sacrifice was gladly taken on as her family was the absolute most important thing in her life. Due to a wonderful blessing in disguise from her Heavenly Father, she had a career change in the early 2000s. During this time, Jeannine and Randy had to lean on their faith in the Lord to get through some tough times. But she endured it well as Jeannine leaned on another quote from her parents: "this too shall pass." One of the great benefits of these struggles was that Jeannine had more freedom to attend her Sabbath meetings which eventually lead to her being worthy to attend the Temple and to be sealed to her husband for all Eternity. The remaining 10 years of her life she worked for TASQ Technologies and Teleplan as a Quality Assurance Auditor. There she was able to touch many lives and build more long lasting friendships. During her working career, she also made time to be a caregiver for the elderly. She would cook dinners, do laundry, and just visit with and be a friend to many who weren't able to leave their homes and some of which were bed ridden. She was also a very faithful visiting teacher. She had a great respect for her elders which she made sure to pass down to her children and grandchildren. She believed that her greatest accomplishment during her working life was to be able to raise her two children teaching them correct gospel principles that would allow them options in life.
Jeannine and Randy were sealed in the Oakland Temple on August 31, 2002 surrounded by family, friends, and other loved ones who supported them. Her instant love for the Temple motivated her later in life as she and her husband visited 15-20 different temples. She planned multiple trips for the two of them around various temples so that they could visit them as she wanted to visit as many as possible. She was a great proponent of having at least one picture of a temple in each room of the house as a reminder of who you are as a child of God. She also would say that "guests can enter your house and they see what you stand for." For this reason, she would always give family members a Temple calendar at Christmas time as one of their gifts. Her knowledge of the Savior and the Plan of Salvation got her through some very tough times late in life and only built upon the firm foundation that she possessed.
All of these Temple trips began to peak her interest into becoming a travel agent, which became one of her greatest passions in life. She loved to travel. She especially loved cruising and was able to visit just about the entire Caribbean, much of Central America, Alaska, and Hawaii. Sharing her passion to cruise the world became a big part of her life as she took many friends and family members with her on these cruises. She took advantage of every activity possible on these cruises and did not let age, size, or fitness level hold her back. Some of the many activities she partook in include: participating in shows, games, dancing, zip lining, horseback riding, ATVs, Island and cultural exploration, Scuba diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, parasailing, and even wave riding at the age of 61. In many cases, young people on the cruises were in awe of how much energy and life this older woman possessed as she had no fear. She enjoyed sharing her cruise experiences with her friends and encouraged them to "join her next time."
Late in life, she began to thrive in one of her fathers greatest characteristics as a teacher. She enjoyed sharing the gospel Jesus Christ with her friends, family, and co-workers. She also loved to share the geographical and cultural knowledge that she gained while cruising the world. Her very favorite classroom was within the walls of her home. Teaching and sharing gospel principle and talking about the Plan of Salvation with her family and specifically her grandchildren became the greatest joy and priority in her later years. She very enthusiastically taught her family to know their worth, which they are in the eyes of a loving Heavenly Father, to respect others and live by the "golden rule," to listen to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, and to love one another. One of her very favorite songs was "I Am a Child of God" and she took every advantage possible to sing this beautiful song for and with her grandchildren. She was very proud of the people that her husband and children had become both spiritually and temporally and relished in sharing it with others.
Perhaps her greatest lesson in life was her last. On December 10, 2014 she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma, a nasty form of brain cancer that has no cure and would eventually take her life. But she did not go down without a fight! The original prognosis given was that she would have 6-13 months to live. Jeannine fought this deadly cancer tooth and nail for almost 37 months before it took her. This was her final lesson, in the words of the late and great Jimmy Valvano: "Don't give up, don't ever give up." Jeannine was not ready to die in 2014 at the young age of 59. She knew that she had a work to do here on this earth, she knew that there were plenty of lessons to teach, service to render, love to give, and fun to take part in. She absolutely refused to believe that there was nothing the doctors could do. This was where her father's "leave no stone unturned" quote came in handy as she exhausted all possible resources to find ways to prolong her life and continue her work here on earth.
Jeannine leaves behind a husband, two children, and a couple grandchildren. Her shining example of the Savior and lessons of love and service will echo in her loved ones ears throughout the Eternities. Thanks to a loving Heavenly Father and the great Plan of Salvation, this is not the end for Jeannine. She has been reunited with her loved ones who have passed on, including her parents, her older brother Brent, her older sister Carol Anita (who did not survive birth), and countless ancestors who are connected by the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Because of this, she will see her husband, children, and grandchildren again when they return to their Heavenly Father. Once again, in the words of Jeannine Collette: "Never give up, NEVER EVER give up!"