Rochelle Jefferson
Friday
28
January

Visitation at Main Service

9:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, January 28, 2022
Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church
609 Arctic Avenue
Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Friday
28
January

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Friday, January 28, 2022
Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church
609 Arctic Avenue
Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Rochelle Jacqueline Jefferson

Rochelle Jacqueline Jefferson, known fondly as "Shelle", transitioned from this life on January 21, 2022. She was the third child of Bessie Jefferson's four children, born on November 16, 1944, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A lifetime resident, she spent her childhood living with her family in the close-knit community on the 700 block of Arctic Avenue, just down the street from the family church, Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church. Known for her big smiles and easy conversation, Shelle graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1964, and later obtained an associates degree. Many will recall her cruising around the city in her Volkswagen beetle, with her brother's Old English Sheepdog, Fuzzy, hanging out in the back seat and Mary Wells or Marvin Gaye blasting on the radio. Others will remember seeing her riding her bike during early morning hours down the boardwalk to Ventnor. In many ways, she was Atlantic City's unofficial goodwill ambassador, always ready to share 'her' city with anyone open to seeing, listening, and learning. Her enthusiasm was infectious. Her career evolved from supplementing the family's income as an elevator operator at Breakers Hotel during her teen years to later working as a clerk in the Atlantic City Tax Office under Commissioner Horace Bryant. All along the way, she touched the lives of everyone she met, always happy to support and to encourage her colleagues. This special characteristic and a reputation for being trustworthy and forthright led her to a distinguished, 30-year career at New Jersey's Casino Control Inspection Division. She began as an Inspector but ultimately was promoted to Manager of the Division. She led her team with empathy and fairness until her retirement in 2008. Retirement never slowed Shelle down though! It only gave her more time to connect with people, to cruise the city with friends, to catch offshore Bingo games with her "Bingo Buddies" and—before streaming music apps— to search for new albums, tapes, and CDs. Shelle also volunteered as treasurer for the local chapter of AARP and led buses full of seniors on annual trips to Trenton. Together, the Ventnor AARP members petitioned and lobbied for changes to improve senior resources and opportunities in the state. Shelle was a loyal and dependable friend who 'never met a stranger' and spoke her mind, whether or not her opinion was popular. She was self-confident, but humble, and openly identified herself as a Child of God. As a devoted member of Hamilton Memorial, she faithfully created the Sunday bulletin and never missed the chance to create special birthday and anniversary cards for church members or to support youth events. Shelle's immediate circle of friends included Mark Clark and Billie Jones; together they were often called the "Three Musketeers." But her friendship circle was wider than AC! Before the days of social media, Shelle helped to organize and sustain an internet friendship and support group of Black women-- "Sister Friends"—who resided across the United States. The group also met in person for occasional conferences in different locations. As Facebook and texting became part of our everyday lives, Shelle's circle of friends grew even wider, embracing friendships across the spectrum of races, genders, and generations. Shelle was a stoic warrior. Twice, she fought and beat breast cancer. Although she continued to battle other medical conditions, her discomfort and pain never influenced how she defined her days. Instead, her Faith always caused her to see the glass as half full. She reflected God's light onto the rest of us with inspirational daily messages on social media, customized cards, and thoughtful personal texts—encouraging us to see the beauty in every day and in ourselves. Her legacy is the impact she had on all our lives, gently shifting our perspectives to appreciate the simple blessings of each day. She is survived by her three siblings, Edward R. Batten, Sr., Andrienne S. Jefferson, and Constance Robinson; as well as nieces, Shanna Batten Aguirre and Hanifah Walidah; nephews, Edward R. Batten, Jr. and Jon Christopher Green; and a host of friends who she always considered to be family. Funeral services will be held at 11AM, on Friday, January 28, 2022, at Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church, 609 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey. The viewing will begin at 9AM. The family would like everyone to adhere to COVID protocols. Please wear a mask and maintain your social distance while in the church. Donations may be made in memory of Rochelle J. Jefferson to: the Shirley Mae Breast Cancer Assistance Fund: https://shirleymaefund.org/
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