Juanita Vonceil Collins-Goodwin was born in Jacksonville Florida to Frank and Willy Lou Collins, on January 2nd 1956. She was the youngest of 7 children, and endured a very turbulent, dysfunctional and abusive life which started at home. It caused her to become a component in a long family line of functional alcoholics and abusers.
Juanita, along with her Mother and 6 siblings left Jacksonville Florida at a tender age, to live and become educated in New York City. Her journey there began in Brooklyn, which is where she met her best friend Rosalyn Felder at 13yrs old. Later in her teenage years she moved to the Queensbridge Housing projects in Long Island City, where she met her high school sweetheart Dwane Goodwin...who she conceived, but almost lost her oldest Daughter, due to a painful kick to her pregnant belly by her brother Andrew.
Determined to complete her education and her pregnancy, Juanita completed her high school diploma by taking night classes and Graduated from Julia Richmond High School and gave birth at 17yrs old. As her life progressed and paths shifted, Juanita always desired to be a flight attendant, but became an administrator for the New York City board of education department of school buildings in Long Island City instead. She had a thriving career there for many years before relocating.
During this time, she met her 2nd daughter's father and gave birth again 10 years later in 1982. She endured 8 years of physical, emotional, mental and verbal abuse at his hands during their relationship...but Juanita, and the determined fighter she was, got out alive and chose a life of sobriety (which she maintained for 7 years.) After which, she was offered by the same brother (who had also chosen the path of sobriety) to relocate with her daughters to Georgia for a better way of life. However, her Brother was unable to deliver on his offer and promises...as he still struggled with his abusive nature. This resulted in Juanita returning back to New York with her youngest daughter...while her oldest daughter, who was 17 at the time, remained in GA with a friend of Juanita's, (Lois) got multiple jobs and worked to create a life and opportunity for Juanita and her youngest daughter. They returned to Georgia a year later to a very comfortable life.
In 1993, Juanita's first grandson, Justin, was born to her oldest daughter who was now 20, and she found her greatest joy in the assisting of raising him, as Juanita had always wanted a Son. She became very active in her spiritual life and became a member of faith Christian center in Smyrna Georgia for many years. She reconnected with her high school sweetheart Dwane during this time, and they were married in 2007 and she relocated with him to Emporia Virginia where his home was to start their lives together. There she began working in the Healthcare industry as a caregiver administer, and then became hands on as a caregiver.
In 2018, Juanita decided to return back to her roots in Jacksonville Florida where she was able to be closer to most of her family members who had returned many years prior. She also reconnected with her childhood best friend Rosalyn who had relocated to Florida a few years prior also. While Juanita endured many dark struggles from her childhood, which followed her throughout most her life...it left a lot of room for misunderstandings, and judgements. However, for all who truly loved and understood her, they knew she was a beautiful person, inside & out. She was determined to never allow her circumstances to defeat her, and they didn't. She had a huge heart for people, and she loved her family and friends dearly. Especially her Grandchildren. She spent her last two years living independently, and doing things she wanted to for herself. She wasn't exactly where she wanted to be, but she was on her way. Her presence and loving nature was a blessing to many of the residence in her building who needed her, and they embraced her and her gift to freely give love. God is well please with his servant and she handled her final assignment with grace. She will be truly missed by many and loved by us always.
Juanita was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Willie Lou Collins; grandparents, Robert and Rosa Mae Harris; and siblings, Arthur Collins, Rosa Mae Collins- Simon, Willie Frank Collins and Robert Collins.
Juanita was survived by, her husband, Dwane W. Goodwin; daughters, La Wanda Sharell Collins-Goodwin and Nzinga Victoria Collins Williams (Soy); grandchildren, Justin DeVante' Johnson, Zadiyah Vonceil Collins, Brandon Jordan Goodwin, River Alias Moore, Wynter Alias Moore, Zymier Tyrelle Williams, Sydonie Marie Williams and Jayden Steve Williams. Juanita is also survived by blood relatives and thru marriage b, 3 brothers; 3 sisters; 3 sons; 18 nieces and nephews; 20 grandnieces and nephews; 1 great grandniece; best friend, Rosalyn Felder; and a host of friends, neighbors and associates who love her.
Sarah L. Carter's Funeral Home Northside is serving the family.
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