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To Mommy Jean

November 17, 2021
Love you you sheltered and feed me and had me as you step child on Indiana ave glad you and my mom worked Atlantis casino in Atlantic city back in the 198”s We meet from that and you showed me loved and how to cook also yes it’s Jason Jefferson Jane’s son Rip always great mother to many Jean Webster

Life Story

January 19, 2011

Jean R. Webster, Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Friend, affectionately known as “Sister Jean” to all who loved her, was born on January 7, 1935 and went home to be with the Lord on Monday, January 10, 2011.  She was one of nine children, born to John and Mattie Ragland, who predeceased her.  In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by: sisters, Lucille Ragland, Claudette “Choocie” Russell and Ernestine N. Denning; brothers, Leroy “Noonie” (Katie, Bobby (Geraldine) and Sidney Ragland.  She was born in New York City, New York and continued her education in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  She later attended Culinary Art School in New Jersey, and began her career as a chef in 1979, opening some of the finest restaurants in various Casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

She was baptized in 1984, and licensed as a Missionary in 1986 under the leadership of Bishop Charles Lyles and Pastor Diana Lyles, where she continued to serve until her going home.

She is survived by: her daughter, Pastor Cecelia Woodard, founder of WIN International Ministries in Meridian, MS; one grandson, Eugene “Corkey” Ragland; two sisters, Joyce and Joan Ragland; two great-grandsons, Courtney Younger and Dante Belcher, one great-granddaughter, Isis Hughes, church family, staff, and those who preached whenever asked.  Last but not least, all of those who supported her in any way possible.

Sister Jean” began feeding the homeless in 1986, when she saw a man eating out of a trash can.  She gave him five dollars and told him to get something to eat.  She told him to be at her house the next day.  After he came the next day and ate, on the third day he came back with a friend.  The word was out that there was a woman feeding the hungry out of her house!

This was the beginning of her ministry.  The Lord told her to feed the hungry.  She sacrificed much for her “Special Guests” to make sure that they would be fed.  There were many times that she used her money for her prescriptions to make sure that there would be more than enough food.  As word got out in the Casino Community, Donald Trump came on board as one of the many to make sure that there was no lack in food.  As God would have it, it caught on like wild find.  It was noticed abroad that there was a woman with the heartbeat of God who had compassion.  She took little and made much.  Not only did the Casino Community get involved, her sisters Joyce Ragland and Ernestine Denning, and brother Bobby Ragland, rolled up their sleeves, pitched in and spent countless hours helping her feed the people.  Her brother Bobby became the pot washer and Joyce and Ernestine became the waitresses.  Let’s not forget sister Debbie Thomas who had been with her since the beginning at Indiana Avenue, who rolled up her sleeves as well.

The friends of Jean Webster played a big part in the life of Sister Jean.  We know that Friends of Jean Webster, Inc. will continue her legacy with the love that Sister Jean started it with.  We thank each member of the board who made it possible for the legacy to continue, and we know it will be carried out with the integrity that Sister Jean started it with.

Matthew 14:14 – “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.  15  And when it was evening, his disciples came to  him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now pas; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.  16  But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.  17  And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.  18  He said, Bring them hither to me.  19  And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.  20  And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.  21  And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”

Sister Jean” fed tens of thousands.  Her favorite scripture was:

Matthew 25:35 – “For I was an hundred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took in thee in? or naked and clothed thee?  39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Sister Jean” was a little woman with a big heart.  When it came time for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, she made sure that each family on the request list for food received a very healthy box, even including pie crust.

Sister Jean” never missed a shot to poke fun with her Bishop, Charles R. Lyles.  Her eyes would light up when she saw him coming.  Her eyes lit up whenever she saw Past Diana Lyles as well.  When “Sister Jean” would cook for special occasions, Pastor Diana Lyles would say “Sister Jean! Who is going to eat all this food you put on my plate?”, “Sis,” Jean would reply “You are.”  There were many times that Bishop Lyles threatened to put her over his knee if she did not calm down and take care of herself.  Bishop knew that that threat did not hold water with her.  Many times, after being discharged from the hospital, she would go directly to the kitchen to check on her “guests.”  There was no stopping or discouraging her.  Her people ALWAYS CAME FIRST!

While her awards are too numerous to list, I thank you all for honoring her.

It is because of her love for the people that they loved her back.  She loved her family and we loved her back.  If it were possible, “Sister Jean,” upon her arrival in heaven, would say to God, “Where is the kitchen? I have to feed my people.”  God’s response would be, “Enter into my rest, my good and faithful servant.

My mother, “Sister Jean,” fought the good fight of faith.  She ran her course and finished.  She crossed over and received her crown (a new chef’s hat).

Mom, you will be always in my heart, as well as in the hearts of all who loved you.

Living to see you again, your daughter, "Cee-Cee" (Pastor Woodward).

Lovingly Submitted,
The Family

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