Born: July 19, 1929
Died: June 12, 2014
The angels escorted Jacqueline Rhodes Dell of Groton, Connecticut to
the New Jerusalem on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Jacqueline R. Dell
was born July 19, 1929 in Covington, Kentucky, the second daughter of
Robert Salee and Jessie Rebecca Rhodes. She attended St. Paul AME Zion Church of
Covington and was active in church ministries, including Buds of Promise,
the Anthem Choir and Sunday School. Throughout her childhood and
youth, she was active in the Girl Scouts, the Y Teens and played her
trombone in bands and dance orchestras. She attended Lincoln
Grant High School in Covington and graduated in 1948. Following
high school, Jacqueline Rhodes attended West Virginia State
College, becoming a member of the Delta Sigma Theta
Sorority, graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor's degree in Education.
After her college graduation, Jacqueline Rhodes taught sixth
grade and band in the public schools of Fitzgerald, Georgia.
She remained active in church work and eventually met and
married John Henry Dell, an electrician, in 1952. Jacqueline
and John Dell moved to Connecticut and began their family
of four children--Charity Jonda, Howard Edward, Michael
Jerome, and Patrick Norman. Jacqueline R. Dell taught
in the Groton Public Schools for many decades, including
Eastern Point School, William Seely School and finally
retiring from Noank School in 1997.
Throughout her life, Jacqueline served in church ministries
at Walls Temple AME Zion Church and later Pentecostal
Temple Church of God in Christ in New London, Connecticut.
She was a Sunday School superintendent and teacher,
Vacation Bible School director, director of an instrumental
band at Pentecostal Temple, local and state Sunshine
Band director for the Diocese of Connecticut (COGIC), and
soprano singer in the local church choir. During the late
1950's--1964, Jacqueline was active in the New London
Branch of the NAACP, as head of its education committee.
Throughout the 1970's, she organized a Christian band
called "Living Water", which performed in churches and
community events. She was also active in convalescent
home ministries with her family and the late Sister
Lora Mayo, church accompanist.
Jacqueline R. Dell also served as worship leader and
choir director at Packerville Baptist Church in Plainfield,
Connecticut, assisting her husband Rev. John H. Dell as pastor of
the Plainfield congregation from 1986--1997. She also served
as a Connecticut delegate on the White House Conference on Aging
under President George H.W. Bush in 1985. In 1990, Jacqueline founded
and directed Vision for Missions, a Christian charitable organization
which serves children in Jamaica, West Indies and Lodwar, Kenya.
Vision for Missions provided funding for pre-schools and health
clinics in Jamaica and a pre-school and orphanage in Lodwar, kenya.
Upon her husband's retirement from the pastorate, Jacqueline
and John Dell joined New Life Christian Fellowship Church in
Ledyard, Connecticut where she founded the Senior Choir and
continued her life's passion with Vision for Missions. Rev. John Dell
predeceased Jacqueline in 2005. She leaves four children--Charity,
Howard, Michael and Patrick; several grandchildren--Jennah Dell,
Katie Perras, Zondalee Van Niekerk and Abby O'Connor; daughter-in-law
Darlene Dell; siblings Marion Harper, Vera James, Elizabeth Carter,
Sandra Springfield, Jesse Rhodes, Clinton Rhodes, and Robert
Rhodes; and a host of nieces, nephews and great-nieces and
great nephews. Jacqueline was pre-deceased by her brother
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to VISION FOR MISSIONS,
P.O.Box 1902, Groton, CT 06340. Jacqueline R. Dell's Homegoing
Celebration will be held Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:00 noon at
the New Life Fellowship Christian Church, 1729 Center Groton
Road, in Ledyard, CT. Visitors are encouraged to wear white, light,
or bright festive colors and bring a small percussion instrument
(maracas, claves, tamborines, jingle taps, shaker eggs, bongos
or cowbell) to this joyful celebration. Interment will follow at
Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London, CT.