Cover photo for Juanita Collett Shackelford's Obituary
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1931 Juanita 2023

Juanita Collett Shackelford

March 21, 1931 — February 16, 2023

Birmingham

 

Summa Juanita “Nita” Collett Shackelford, 91, passed away on Thursday February 16, 2023. It was discovered on the morning of January 4th, 2023, that she had suffered a major trans ischemic stroke, the effects of which set her on a path of decreasing health which resulted in her loss of life.  

Juanita grew up in Whitney Junction, Alabama and after graduating from Ashville High School, she moved to Birmingham, Alabama to begin a career with the telephone company. As a young AT&T employee she was selected to home deliver the City of Birmingham’s first Princess Telephone to the Customer while donning a “princess crown.” She handed the Princess Telephone to the customer on a royal blue pillow with gold trim, a photograph of which appeared in the Shades Valley Sun in 1960.

And she appeared again in the local Birmingham UAW-CIO newsletter as one of the local CWA-CIO chapters typical female members, of which 90% of the members at that time were women.  

At the age of twenty, she was introduced to a sailor named Kenneth Lee Shackelford, and they married in 1951.

The pair relocated to Key West, FL then to Pensacola, FL where once again Juanita found herself included in a photograph as an Operator in the local paper during a tour of the premises by J. Carrol Naish, star of the Luigi radio and television show. 

In August of1952, Juanita bore her first child, whom she named Raymond. Some 12 years later, having returned to Birmingham, AL she gave birth to her daughter Lana. Juanita was a member of the Roebuck Park Methodist Church and served as Church Treasurer for several years.

After a 43-year career in telecommunications, Juanita retired from the managerial ranks at BellSouth in 1991. She was a lifelong member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

Whereupon she began assisting her husband Kenneth with his musical pursuits as he led his band that was named The Prime-Time Band. For many years they traveled to The American Legion Post 170 in Ashville, AL where Ken’s band performed every Monday night for more than thirty years and Juanita, a member and officer in the American Legion Auxiliary Post 170 dutifully managed “the door” by collecting the cover charge from the patrons and she also coordinated concessions for the event.

In her later years, Juanita enjoyed attending her church, GraceLife Ministries, her job at Sam’s, her many friends she met there, crocheting with friends and dining out with them after a they had all spent the morning at the hair salon.

Nita was preceded in death by four brothers, Woodrow, Theodore, Paul, and Herbert, her brother-in-law Charles, her sister Patsy, and sisters in law Shelia, and Carolyn, her niece Kayla, and nephew Keith.

Juanita is survived by her brother Howard Collett, and her sister Peggy Wise, as well as her two children, and Lana and Ray, along with his wife Melissa, her grandson Joel, and her great granddaughter Dylan, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.    

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Juanita Collett Shackelford, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home

2701 John Hawkins Pkwy, Hoover, AL 35244

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm

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