Dear St. Gabriel Community,
It is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you that long-time teacher and friend of St. Gabriel School, Juanita “Jackie” deLeon, passed away last month, on January 10, 2021 at the age of 84. We at St. Gabriel just learned of this news and are feeling the loss of such a beloved teacher, colleague and friend.
Jackie spent the majority of her 54-year teaching career at St. Gabriel School and touched the lives of hundreds of students. She taught 5th grade for most years, but did spend a couple of years in 4th grade and one in 8th grade. She had a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and shared that devotion with the children in her class. Generations of students who had Miss deLeon as a teacher have been blessed by her deep faith, her love, her kindness, and her encouragement to succeed. She retired from teaching in 2013.
Many alumni credit Jackie for inspiring them to pursue teaching as a passion and career. Her former student and long-time 5th grade co-teacher, Charlene Shaw McDonnell ‘66, recalls memories of working with Jackie:
We spent 26 years teaching 5th grade together. Those were the best years of my career. Every day was a good day. I remember we always named our classes. One year it was VIP: Very Important Pupils ( or People, or Parents). Another year it was TNT: (Terrific New Team!) and another year: SOS, (Super, Outstanding Students). We had such fun coming up with those anagrams. The kids loved them!! So many memories....
Our condolences go out to Jackie’s family, friends, and students. She will be greatly missed. Sympathy messages can be sent to her family through her obituary page online .
Gina Beal, Principal, and SG Faculty & Staff
Gifts to St. Gabriel School in Jackie deLeon’s memory will support the Jackie deLeon Scholarship Fund which benefits students in need of financial assistance.