Jonelle Hawkins

HawkinsJonelle Photo

Today we honor the legacy of Jonelle Sanford Hawkins. The messages and outpouring of love for Jonelle have the same consistent message: her signature laugh, winning smile, consistency, warmth, the adoration she displayed for her family/friends and we’d be remiss if we didn’t add her effortless beauty.


Jonelle’s beauty was magnified by her love for the Lord and she flourished in her faith and deep love of God. Jonelle spoke of God calling to her as she visited the home of a friend. Just like the garden that Our Father chose to turn Jonelle’s attention towards Him, her love grew as she nourished her faith through her Kingdom Embassy family and beloved Pastor Dave Dawes. Like the plants that spring to life after winter releases it’s icy grip, Jonelle was born again. In 2015, she was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel. A title in which she took serious. She stayed faithful to the Gospel to the end.


The Sanford family of 10 brothers and sisters birthed a wealth of children, including Marzette “Mook” and Haleigh “Berry”- Jonelle’s precious gems and her contribution to the family legacy. Jonelle was an amazing mother and grandmother she didn’t play about her cubs! While she wrapped her arms around her own children and her precious grands, we are awed by the depth of energy Jonelle displayed to not only shower her love and attention on her own troop, but also that of her nieces and nephews. As a mother, grandmother, auntie/ AuntyMa and sister Minister of the Gospel, Jonelle was consistent in her support at track meets, competitions, child births and beyond.  Jonelle seemed to have an endless supply of energy to support her loves. No matter how small of an event Jonelle often found a way to make it special. She offered encouragement and believed in her loves when they didn’t believe in themselves. She shared a special bond that encompassed her entire family. Last but not least let’s not forget, Jonelle loved to dance and at family gatherings her pasta salad was praised!


Jonelle is the Gold Standard of friendship. Jonelle offered a listening ear without judgment. She would hear your confession and never repeat them. With friends (and family) she offered support whether you were wrong or right but best believe she would also direct you on how to get right! Jonelle’s friendships spanned decades from childhood bonds to those formed in her Chase family she loved her girls. The great memories of laughter, obstacles we faced and celebrations are too many to name but treasured nonetheless. It’s no coincidence that Jonelle’s impenetrable circle of sisterhood donned their capes to support her in her time of need. Jonelle was the foundation and rock for which Cherri, Carmen, Melanye, Ayanna and Rena will always cherish. Jonelle is the prototype of friendship. Direct but loving, consistent and fun. She’ll always be cherished by her circle of sisterhood.


Jonelle was proceeded in death by her parents James and Eleanor Sanford, Siblings: Helena Jenkins, Jeremiah (Uncleman) Sanford, and Sandy Sanford; her nephew Ricardo (Cardi) Smith, and Great-nephew Ricardo (Mannie)Mills; Jonelle leaves to cherish her memory her two children: Marzett Hawkins & Haleigh Scott; Her Grandchildren:  Siblings: James Sanford, Jackie Sanford, Zina M. Sanford; Rocky Sanford, Eugene Sanford, Renee Sanford.

Jonelle is the gentle eye of the storm and THE storm. So many layers of gentle nurturing and strength are exhibited through the bonds she’s created. She had the unique ability to make connections that made us feel so very special and loved. Love is an action word and Jonelle was a mighty woman of action overflowing with love and selflessness.  Always showing up ready to lend a hand, get the party started and support. She gave the best hugs and sound counsel.  Her guidance was a beacon of light that will never be extinguished.

Online Obituary Donation in memory of Jonelle Hawkins

Condolence Messages

  1. The world lost an Angel. Jonelle was compassionate, kind, caring and loving. She had a smile that would light up a room. Her faith and love of God was a light to a dark world.

    Jonelle you will be missed, praying for those you left behind for peace and hope.

  2. I just found out today that Jonelle had passed away. My prayers are with her family, especially Haleigh.

    Rest in Peace, Jonelle.


  3. I am so sorry to hear this news about Jonelle. My prayers to her family in this difficult time. Jonelle had such an incredible smile and laughter. She brighten my days at work. We prayed for each other during our challenges of losing loved ones. She was so proud of her children and spoke often about them. Now she is at peace with the loved ones she lost. May God grant her soul eternal rest, amen!

  4. My heart goes out to her family. I worked with her for many years. I remember that wonderful laugh and great sense of humor.
    I will miss her dearly.

  5. My heart is so sad. She was so helpful and kind to me. She helped me through a difficult transition. I will always remember her smile a love of her family.

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