Jean Celina Phaire

Jean Celina Phaire, 69, Randallstown, Md., passed away on Nov. 22, 2017.

Jean was born on July 26, 1948, to the late Alfred Davis, Sr., and Helen Davis in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

She was the eldest of seven children and enjoyed helping her parents care for her siblings. It was during these formative years that she discovered her passion for family and service to others.

Jean was eager to learn and graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1964 at the age of 15. She subsequently attended the College of the Virgin Islands where she earned an A.A. in nursing and met the love of her life, Rodell Phaire Sr. She was a member of the first nursing class. Jean then moved to the U.S. mainland to continue her nursing education where she earned a B.S. and M.S. in nursing at the University of Maryland and CBN (Certified Business of Nursing) at Johns Hopkins University.

Jean began her career as a staff nurse at Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital, New York Hospital, and the University of Maryland Medical Center. Her career subsequently progressed to the highest levels of nursing administration. She also worked as an assistant professor of nursing at the Community College of Baltimore and Coppin State College, and as a management consultant to Community Health Care and Geriatric Centers. Jean then returned to the hospital setting as assistant vice president of nursing at Lutheran Hospital and Liberty Medical Center; vice president of Patient Care Services at Bon Secours Baltimore Health System in Maryland; and executive vice president/chief nurse officer at United Medical Center in Washington D.C.

Her reputation for being competent, intuitive, and honest was reinforced on countless occasions through her interactions with colleagues and staff. She retired in 2013 and devoted her time to family, especially her grandchildren, affectionately known as her “little people.”

Jean’s affiliations and activities included the American Organization of Nurse Executives; National Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau; Corporator, St. Ambrose Catholic Church; Baltimore City Community College Advisory Board; Mary Mahoney Nursing Honor Society; College of the Virgin Islands Alumni Association; Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives; National Kidney Foundation of Maryland, Board of Directors; and John Paul Regional Catholic School, Board of Directors.

She was also a nursing leadership lecturer at the University of the Virgin Islands and a guest faculty lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing.

In addition to her career and activities, Jean was a mentor to family, friends, and acquaintances and would go out of her way to help those in need. She was never without a kind word, support, or encouragement.

To know Jean was to know her love of family. She was the beloved wife of Rodell Phaire, Sr.; devoted mother of Rodell Jr. and his wife Cytena, and Altina Bernikow and her husband Jason; cherished grandmother of Caleb and Elias Phaire and Jaylen and Jasmine Bernikow; dear sister of Alfred Jr. and his wife Silla, John, Neville, and Marvin Davis Sr., Colleen Fahie, and the late Louella Hunter; loving aunt to several nieces and nephews. A host of other relatives and friends will also cherish her memory.

Jean enjoyed spending time with family and friends, particularly her grandchildren. She enjoyed gatherings and cookouts where she tirelessly hosted and showcased her culinary skills. Jean loved to laugh, sing, and dance. She enjoyed attending line dancing classes at the Baltimore County Senior Center. She was always impeccably dressed and carried herself with grace and elegance.

She accepted Christ as her Savior early in life and was a devoted member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church, which has been her church home for more than 40 years.

Jean has left a lasting imprint on the lives of all who have had the pleasure of knowing her. Her spirit was untouchable, and her faith unquestioned. Jean was truly a most loving and selfless woman, wife, and mother and her memory will continue in all who knew her for eternity.

A Mass of Resurrection will be held at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Baltimore, Md., on Dec. 11, 2017. Interment will be at King Memorial Park, Baltimore. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation in the memory of Jean be sent to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas at

Arrangements are under the care of Turnbull's Funeral Home and March Life Tribute Center, Windsor Mill, Md. To send condolences to the family of Jean Phaire, please visit

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