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Janifer Lynn Lighten Of New Rochelle Dies At Age 50

Former Wall Street Banker, active in church and community, battled with cancer.

The Lighten Family sadly lost their matriarch, Janifer Lynn Lighten, on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

Mrs. Lighten, who was 50 years old, succumbed to cancer. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family and friends in her New Rochelle home. 

Mrs. Lighten, was a former Wall Street banker, who turned full-time wife to her husband William Lighten and mother of four, Adrienne, Alexis, Christopher and Michael. She focused her talents on serving her alma mater, Yale University, as well as local organizations in the non-profit sector in her beloved community of New Rochelle.

Mrs. Lighten was the inaugural president and CEO of the Yale Black Alumni Association. Additionally, she served numerous organizations in her community including the Board of the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle. She and her children founded the Remington Leadership Financial Literacy Program at the Remington Unit of the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle. She also served on the Head of School Committee and the Executive Board of the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, her children’s secondary school.

She was a Trustee of the Jack and Jill of America Foundation and held various leadership positions with The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

In 2010, in recognition of her community service and Philanthropic endeavors, Mrs. Lighten received a resolution from state Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins which stated, "Rare indeed is the occurrence of such compassionate blending of strength, intellect and commitment as that demonstrated by Janifer Lynn Lighten over a lifetime of sacrifice and dedication to others..."

She was a faithful and active member of Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, where she co-founded the Grace Innovation Ministry, an investment educational development ministry.

Her homegoing services will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church at 52 South Sixth Ave. in Mount Vernon.

The arrangements are as follows: 
The wake will be held on Wednesday, February 15th from 6:00-9:00 p.m. and funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 16th at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Lighten Family Foundation which focuses on Education, Mentoring, Social Services, and Legal Defense for Urban Youth. Donations can be mailed to:

The Lighten Family Foundation 
c/o UBS 
299 Park Avenue-26th floor 
New York, NY 10171 
Attn: Robert Sechan 

CORRECTION: This obituary was modified from its previous version to include Janifer Lynn Lighten's husband's name.

jack robinson February 12, 2012 at 02:31 PM
We will all miss Janifer; she was a great role model Robinson Family
Myra Evans Lapeyrolerie February 13, 2012 at 01:19 AM
May you rest in peace. You will be missed. Love, the Lapeyrolerie Family.
Florise Neville-Ewell February 13, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Our community also lost one of its stars. May you rest in peace knowing that your children will continue your great legacy.
Shandra February 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Janifer has taken flight and now rests in the arms of her savior. Gary and Shandra Cromartie
Christine Waiters Ficklin February 13, 2012 at 04:52 PM
We all knew in High School that Janifer was one of the special blessings destined for greatness. May God bless the family and lighten your heavy hearts in your time of bereavement. Christine (Waiters) Ficklin
Diane McCloud Saunders February 14, 2012 at 03:10 AM
My family and I are sorry to hear of the lost of such a very special person. Over 30 years ago Janifer was the maid of honor in my wedding. Although we had lost touch with one another over the years I have often thought of her. May God bless and keep her family during this time. Diane (McCloud) Saunders
Tracy Baptiste February 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM
My deepest condolences go out to the Lighten, Funches, and Parker Families. May she rest in peace.
Kenneth Killer February 14, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Without a Janifer was a special and intelligent young lady at Wilby High School. and it was my pleasure to have her a a student. She not only will be missed, but should be missed. Ken Killer, Science Department Chair, Wilby High School
Carlos Fields February 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM
A role model and beloved family member. We will miss you. And look forward to seeing you again bye and bye. Your cousins: Carlos Fields and daughter Caira.
Minnettt Venters February 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Take courage and have hope in the resurrection. Jesus said he is the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith even though he dies will have life. What I remember most about Jennifer is that she was always a warm and positive person with a beautiful smile. No doubt, you will see her smile again! My deepest sympathy, May Jehovah continue to bless and comfort your family. Minnett Venters "Wilby" High School - 1979
Mariel Villarino February 15, 2012 at 02:57 AM
My deepest condolences go to William and children. I will always be grateful for having shared part of my life with you. Janifer will always be in my heart as well as my sweetest memories of Adrienne and Alexis. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. May God continue to bless you and comfort you. Mariel Villarino Dinan
Sonya Sharpless February 15, 2012 at 02:07 PM
My deepest sympathy to the family, Janifer will truly be missed take comfort in knowing that she is with the Lord and one day we will all see her again. Sonya Sharpless, Wtby, Ct.
RhondaHarge February 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family .May god keep you and give you strength .Rhonda Harge Wilby High School class of 1979.
Deborah Parker February 15, 2012 at 08:24 PM
We send our deepest sympathy to the family. May God give you strength and comfort in your time of sorrow..May heaven smile upon you and remember that earth has no sorrow that God can not heal. Mother Mary English, Deborah Parker and family
Natasha Johnson February 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM
My deepest Sympathy goes out to Janifer entire family. She had grace and beauty all rolled into one. Damarcus and I will never forget all the support you and Bill has bestowed upon us. We will love you always. Until we meet again in Heaven. NATASHA
Brian February 16, 2012 at 02:20 AM
The tennis community will miss you dearly. I was set for our lesson on the slice serve and changing your grip. You always looked for change. I will miss our intense points that usually ended up with a laugh. You will be missed. Brian
Helen Taylor February 16, 2012 at 04:27 AM
My heart goes out to the Lighten, Funches and Parker family. My the Lord bring you peace with happy memories of Janifer. Helen T
Fiona Yue February 17, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Your funeral today was wonderful and a fitting tribute to one who touched so many of us with your fun, laughter, kindness and generosity. I loved playing tennis with you. We usually ended up in a heap of laughter on the court. You will be dearly missed. My deepest sympathy goes to your family, who I never got to meet but heard so much about. Your fight is over, Jan. Rest in peace, dear friend. Fiona x
Victor Johnson February 17, 2012 at 02:38 PM
To the Lighten family, may the presence of God continue too dwell within you as you mourn the lost of your Mother, Wife and a Ambassador to the community. God Bless, The Johnson Family
Syboney Moore February 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM
May God continue to strengthen ur family as the days, months and years pass. My prayers go out to the Lighten and Funches Family. Sister Funches, Brother Funches, Arthur Jr. and Lynette, my family was saddened by the devastating news! Know that God loves you all and he's with you all! Heaven has gained another angel. Love you all deeply, Niecy, Mother Elder & Family!
Syboney Moore February 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM
May God continue to strengthen the Lighten and Funches Family! Sister Finches, Brother Funches, Arthur Jr., and Lynette, my family are praying for u all. Just know, heaven has gained another angel! We love you all! Love, Niecy, Mother Elder and the rest of the Elder family!
Valerie Cooper February 11, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Sending a shout up to heaven in celebration of my Columbia-BSchool roommate's 1st anniversary in heaven. RIP Janny ! I love you and although gone, you will never be forgotten. Valerie Cooper, your Stamford, CT homegirl, Columbia B-School roommate and AKA Sorority sister.

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