Jeanette Haigler, 53, of Philadelphia, a retired legal secretary at the Federal Reserve Bank and a former businesswoman, died Sunday, Nov. 1, at Temple University Hospital from complications of cardiac arrest.
Ms. Haigler suffered a severe asthma attack that triggered cardiac arrest on Oct. 10, a day she had planned to participate in a food drive for frontline workers that her son, Terrill Haigler, organized.
Terrill Haigler gained national attention for his “Ya Fav Trashman” Instagram account in which he described the difficulties Philadelphia sanitation workers had picking up the increased amount of garbage generated during the coronavirus pandemic.
After his mother fell ill that morning, Terrill Haigler spent several hours with her before arriving to help with the food drive in the parking lot of their church, the Voice of Praise Worldwide Ministries on Old York Road in Logan.
″I knew my mom would have wanted me to be here and make sure everything went perfect," he told The Inquirer that day.
Jeanette Haigler was born in Philadelphia to Betty L. and the late Cleveland Haigler. She was the third of four children.
She attended public schools in Philadelphia and graduated from William Penn High School in 1985. While still in high school, she began working for the Federal Reserve part time. She would work there for more than 20 years.
When she retired from the bank, Ms. Haigler pursued a lifelong passion for business by opening her own travel agency, her son said.
“It was an inspiration to me to see that no matter what, she was going to follow her dreams,” he said. But she also had “side jobs” such as working as a home health aide, he said.
Ms. Haigler was known for her generous spirit and was always helping friends and family members, her son said.
“She had the biggest heart that I knew. She would help anybody anyway she could,” he said. “Her biggest thing was family first, you always take care of family.”
Ms. Haigler’s family said she dropped everything to travel across the country to help take care of her nephews when her sister and brother-in-law were deployed in the military.
Among her hobbies was listening to old-style R&B music and dancing around the house. “She loved to dance,” her son said.
From the time he was 3 years old until he went off to college, Terrill Haigler said his mother enrolled him and his younger sister in dance classes at Freedom Theater on Broad Street. One of her favorite activities was taking her children to the annual Odunde Festival, he said.
Pastor Alice Martin, the minister at Voice of Praise, said she had known Ms. Haigler for more than 20 years, since her children attended the day-care center the pastor ran on Broad Street.
“She was an excellent mother, a woman of integrity. She was a great example to young parents,” Pastor Martin said. “She was a very compassionate soul.”
In addition to her mother and son, Ms. Haigler is survived by her daughter, Juanita, three grandchildren, a sister, two brothers and other relatives and friends.