Jeannette Beatty Asbed passed away on Wednesday, July 29, after battling COVID-19. Predeceased by her husband Norig, she leaves behind three daughters: Mary Dotson and husband Richard of Oakton, VA; Christine Coakley and husband John, and Kathleen Keating Thomas and husband Jay, all of Duxbury, MA; step-son Greg Asbed and wife Laura Germino of LaBelle, FL; step-daughter, Carolyn Talarr and husband Eric MacDonald of Beaverton, OR; six grandchildren: John, Kevin, and Katherine Coakley, Reilly Keating, Annabel MacDonald and Isaiah Asbed; her sister-in-law Cathy Beatty, and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends.
Jeannette was raised in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, MA. She graduated from Radcliffe College and later the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, breaking into what was then a predominantly male profession. She continued in this career to retirement, owning her own independent pharmacy, working in commercial chains, editing pharmaceutical literature, and finally working in hospital pharmacies. As the wife of a builder, she was an active participant in managing his construction and cranberry growing businesses. She also completed a graduate business administration certificate from Radcliffe and studied theology at Providence College.
Jeannette married Edward Keating and raised three daughters in Duxbury, Massachusetts. She moved to Rockville, Maryland in the early 1990s, where she met her second husband, Norig Asbed. Upon retirement, they moved to Easton, Maryland, then to Naples, Florida where they became involved in the Armenian community and formed many close friendships.
Her life was marked by active community support and volunteering. In Duxbury she served on the Finance Committee and chaired the Parish Council at Holy Family Church. An active and dedicated Democrat, she worked tirelessly for many political campaigns. In Naples, she served as treasurer of the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida mission parish and volunteered at the Naples Alzheimer's Support Network. She also was an alumni leader for Radcliffe, having served as class chair since her college graduation. Having struggled against gender-bias in her own education, Jeannette orchestrated her fiftieth college reunion, purposefully locating it in the Harvard Lamont Library where female students had been barred from studying during her time on campus.
Jeannette’s generosity of spirit led her to teach English and guide new immigrants to citizenship in the United States. She also mentored many women to expand their professional achievements. She always delighted in making others aware of their talents and skills and even sent letters of praise to strangers whom she saw excel at their jobs. Jeannette enjoyed seeing people rise to the height of their abilities and was eager to support the endeavors of others and help them to see and seize opportunity. Jeannette enjoyed participating in her church, St. Monica’s of Naples, and over the past few years studied church history at the graduate level through the Education for Ministry program. She was proud of her stepson Greg, whose work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers brought to light social injustice among farm workers in Florida. Together with Norig and later with her daughters, she enjoyed traveling throughout the US, Europe and beyond. Seeing the value of exposing her family to varied cultures, Jeannette opened her home to foreign exchange students, many of whom kept coming back and had enduring family connections. A lifelong learner herself, she especially enjoyed discussing new books with her grandchildren and learning about their interests.
Jeannette's family is proud of her personal and professional accomplishments and will always miss the enduring love from a woman who imbued them with the confidence, talent, and drive to lead happy lives and make the world a kinder place. Donations in Jeannette’s memory may be made to to St. Monica's Episcopal Church, 7070 Immokalee Road, Naples, FL 34119 or to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, 110 S 2nd St, Immokalee, FL 34142 (electronic donations accepted at https://bit.ly/3kivFuP).