It is with sadness that we share the passing of Jimette R. Mann on July 23, 2019 at 101 years old. She was the only child born to the late James C. Reneau and Ollie Elder Reneau on December 23,1917, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
After moving to Texas, their family lived in the lower Rio Grande Valley where Jimette graduated from Weslaco High School. She attended Baylor University on a music scholarship pursuing a double major in Business and French. Upon graduation in 1939, her family moved to Santa Monica, California where Jimette was an executive secretary at Douglas Aircraft. It was there she met her future husband, S.L. Mann, who shared her love for the State of Texas.
After their marriage in October 1941, S. L. served in the Navy, while Jimette took up the war effort at home by serving as an Air Raid Warden and helping in the United Service Organizations (USO). As World War II ended, the family moved to Hemet, California where Jimette, S. L., and her parents were real estate brokers, while also farming a 10-acre apricot orchard. Their only child, Deneille was welcomed into the family in 1946.
While in Hemet, Jimette was active in the American Association of University Women (AAUW), wrote a column for the society page of The Hemet News, served on the American Red Cross, helped form a branch of Christian Business and Professional Women, and was a secretary for the Eastern Municipal Water District before being contacted by the secretary of the local school district who suggested she consider changing occupations. Her interest piqued, she began taking classes at Redlands University, ultimately earning a Master’s Degree, and embarking on another career. Jimette taught in the Hemet Unified School District for 17 years until her retirement in 1974.
Outside of work, music was an integral part of Jimette’s life, and a love for which she passed on to her family. She played the bassoon in the Baylor University band, the Waco Symphony, and symphonies in both the Hemet Valley and Fresno. She also sang with the “Treble Tones”, a group that traveled the local area. She was an active member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for 74 years. Jimette loved poetry, both to read and to write. Every year her Christmas card chronicled in rhyme the humorous happenings of the year. She also honored many of her friends with personal Odes describing their acts of kindness toward her. She loved to entertain, and her home was often filled with friends and missionaries who were visiting her church.
In 1990, Jimette moved to Napa to be close to her family. An involved grandparent and great-grandparent, she enjoyed attending anything that had to do with their schools, music, and sports activities. She was also active in the “Young at Heart” group at the Napa Valley Life Church, where she was always ready with a joke or funny story.
Jimette was preceded in death by her husband of 27 years, S. L. Mann. Jimette is survived by her daughter, Deneille Butler (Terry); granddaughters Jennifer Bradford (Gary), Julie Stallings (Skip), and grandson, Jamie Butler (Marie); along with seven great grandchildren, Justin, Megan, Max, Sam, Will, Jacob, and Ryan.
Jimette was a strong, independent woman, a prayer warrior, who loved and served her Lord, and who was deeply loved by her family. We will miss her every day. Her family would like to extend a special note of appreciation to the Villas at The Meadows for the amazing care they provided these past five years.
Memorial donations can be made to the Napa Valley Life Church missions. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Napa Valley Life Church 2303 Trower Ave., on August 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM.