Jeri Jayne Pigott
Jeri Jayne Pigott
  • December 17, 1953 - September 20, 2017
  • Orlando, Florida

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Jeralyn “Jeri” Jayne Pigott

December 17, 1953--September 20, 2017

During Jeri’s first week of life there was a blizzard, with miserable cold and vicious winds. During her last week of life Jeri endured yet another hurricane, noisy and threatening.

Storms may be relentless, but in between there are lots of sunny moments. Jeri was born with a cheerful disposition and a love of learning new things and seeking new adventures.

Life can batter us physically and disappoint us, but Jeri was still looking forward to new experiences despite her health issues.

Jeri loved reading, music, arts, quilting, crafts, being helpful, and cooking for other people; keeping up with political news and world events. She wasn’t afraid to speak up. She expected herself and the rest of us to be as perfect as possible.

Jeri was born to Russell William and Beverly Hanken Pigott during their senior year at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The family lived in Iowa during her early childhood; then moved to the DeKalb/Sycamore, Illinois area when Russ was offered a position at WLBK Radio. When Jeri’s sister Julie was born, Jeri thought she was her mother, and watched over her all her life. Without her tutoring Julie might not have passed high school math and science.

At Sycamore High School Jeri played flute, piccolo, and piano, loved participating in theatre and speech, and became well known in the area for her speeches advocating the 18 year-old vote. Both girls were trained in photography by Russ and loved learning print techniques with him in the darkroom.

Jeri and Russ attended her first wrestling meet when she was only six weeks old and shared a love of sports. Jeri took the statistics for Russ’ radio broadcasts. She became such an expert in football that she could almost always guess what the referees were going to call.

Jeri fell in love with Michigan State University on her very first visit and went on to earn both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from “State”. Living in Florida, it was a challenge to find Spartan games to watch, but she always cheered loudly enough for people to hear in East Lansing.

After her sophomore year of college, Jeri had a life-changing experience through IFYE International Cultural Exchange. After three months of immersive language training in Costa Rica, Jeri lived with a family in a Guatemalan village for a year. She taught cooking and nutrition, and after she located a treadle sewing machine, she also taught sewing and pattern making. She printed a cookbook in Spanish using recipes she developed. Jeri adored living in a large family and close-knit community, and treasured these experiences for the rest of her life.

With a taste for travel and international living, Jeri also spent time living and working in both Ecuador and Indonesia. She also worked in Flint, Michigan as an Extension Advisor. All these positions drew on her time in 4-H, and she was a 4-H leader at a young age.

As much as Jeri loved Michigan, she disliked its cold weather and snow, and was thrilled to be asked to work for the state of Florida’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. She began in Vero Beach, eventually transitioning into management at several locations throughout West Palm Beach County. Her management style was to encourage and train, throw a lot of parties, and frequently bring in goodies for her staff.

Jeri had always admired quilting, after taking her first class was hooked for life. She took great pleasure in creating custom quilts for those she loved, and was always on the hunt for new fabric.

Jeri loved to cook and try new recipes. Whenever she was coming to a gathering she always asked what she could bring. She even developed recipes based on WIC foods and distributed them among her WIC clinics.

Later in life Jeri developed both diabetes and severe heart disease, and took an early retirement. She moved to Orlando to be near her beloved niece and nephew, Sarah and Matthew Robinson. She had been a doting aunt; now they were able to dote on her. Although she was limited by her health she volunteered when she could as a poll clerk, interpreter, and at Audubon Park Covenant Church.

Jeri cherished her Irish roots and in particular this Irish Blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be ever at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Jeri is survived by her mother, Beverly Pigott, sister, Julie (Dennis) Robinson, niece, Sarah Robinson, and nephew Matthew Robinson.

Services for Jeri will be held at 4 pm Sunday, October 1 at Audubon Park Covenant Church in Orlando, officiated by Pastor Eric Filkin and Pastor Sarah Robinson. They will be streamed live on the church’s Facebook page,

Memorials to:

IFYE in care of Don DeWerff

29 Arrowhead Drive

Lyons, Kansas 67554


Audubon Park Covenant Church

3219 Chelsea Street

Orlando, Florida, 32803