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After a courageous battle with a long illness, Jeannette Yannitelli, caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, left this world on August 13, 2021, at age 83.
Jeanette's life began November 11, 1937, born to Andrew Jackson Milam and Blanche Barnes Milam, an impoverished but hard-working family in Florida. To help provide for her family, Jeanette became an excellent fisherman, wildlife explorer, and forager. After attending school, she became a Real Estate Salesperson in Fort Myers. In 1959, a handsome pilot and real estate developer, Donato Yannitelli, swept into her office and Jeannette off her feet. Don and Jeannette married in Santa Rosa, Fl, in October 1959 and settled in his hometown, Garrison, NY. In Philipstown, she formed fast friendships thanks to her charm, wit, generosity of spirit, authenticity, and ability to connect to others in very human terms. Jeannette and Don established and worked together in the family development businesses (Jeanette even operating heavy equipment when necessary!), forming Yanco Properties in 1964 and Andon Associates in 1969. Jeannette quickly adapted to the idyllic life in Garrison, raising her family, enjoying the social life, playing golf and tennis at the Highlands Country Club, where she won many championships. Tragically, their flourishing fairytale love affair marriage ended in 1978 when Don's plane crashed, killing him in Mystic, CT. Through Jeanette's incredible tenacity and the help of Don's family, she and Don's four boys, as well as the family businesses, carried on. Consequently, the supportive community of Philipstown became increasingly significant to Jeanette, and rare was an event, church fair, potluck, senior social, or fundraiser where she was not spotted.
Jeannette was passionate and dedicated to whatever project she embraced in life, politics, civic affairs, sports, fishing, gardening, cooking, love of animals. Through these interests, in 1993, she cultivated a friendship with Roger Chirico, and from then on, they rarely parted from one another. Jeanette and Roger reveled in boating and striper fishing on the Hudson, dancing, socializing at the Cold Spring Boat Club and other events.
The survivors of Jeannette are her four sons, Don II (Lori), Anthony (Mary Ellen), Tino (Susan), and Vincent, as well as grandchildren, Salvatore Donato (Katie), Theodore, and Aubrey Jean. In addition to her husband, Donato Yannitelli, Jr., Jeannette's parents, Jack and Blanche Milam, sisters, Jane Milam O'Connell and Pamela Milam-Cox, brother, Jack Milam and grandson, Anthony Yannitelli, Jr., predeceased her.
Jeannette faced the illness that ravaged her body with dignity, great heart, and even humor. She taught all of us how to love unconditionally, enjoy life, and above all, care for each other. A graveside service will be held at a future date. In remembrance of Jeannette's life, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.
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