If you’ve ever worn a ladies fashion shoe, chances are you can thank Jacquelyn Boutureira for the fit. A “perfect size 6,” Boutureira was a foot model who traveled to China a half dozen times a year to test shoes for Jones Apparel Group. The foot model’s last trip to Asia was cut tragically short, when she collapsed of a hemorrhagic stroke at a hotel in China.
She passed away on Friday Dec. 16 after she was airlifted New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she passed. She was 43.
A native of Howard Beach, Boutureira graduated from Stella Maris High School in 1986. During high school, she had open heart surgery to replace a valve in her heart, a surgery she credited for her special zeal for life.
“I am so grateful to be alive, given a second chance in 1984, it’s a treasure, a blessing, to wake up every day,” is how she described herself on Facebook.
She attended beauty school, but grew tired of styling hair and decided to dedicate herself to fitness instead. She moved to Hawaii for a year to study to become a personal trainer and there met her life partner, surfing enthusiast Greg Allen. That stint as a personal trainer began a life-long commitment to exercise and healthy living.
For this stunning beauty, grass was not just something to walk on, but also something to drink. Known for her sweetness, spirituality and positive attitude, she became a vegetarian and tried to eat only raw foods. She worked part-time selling health food and supplements, and loved to encourage nutritious eating.
“It was always very, very important for her to be fit, pretty and in shape,” said her sister, Jennifer Daly, of Franklin Square. “She was beautiful in every way.”
In 1996, she landed jobs as a foot and shoe model with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole. Since 2007, she worked for Jones Apparel Group, which owns the brands Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, Easy Spirit, Anne Klein and others.
“They designed shoes around her foot. She was literally the person who would say, ‘it’s too tight here, its narrow here, fix it,’” Daly said. “She loved her job and was very dedicated. They always said, ‘she was the perfect size 6.’”
She enjoyed photography and was particularly close to her mother Lynn.
Boutureira was found unconscious Nov. 28 in her hotel room in China, where she had gone for a work assignment. She was transferred to Hong Kong, where doctors released the pressure in her brain and performed extensive surgery.
In addition to Jennifer, she is survived by her parents John and Lynn of Howard Beach; her brother John of Westchester; sister Janinne Mugnolo of Howard Beach; brother James of Brooklyn; brother Joseph of Yonkers, and 11 nieces and nephews.A funeral Mass was held Monday at St. Helen’s Church in Howard Beach.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association.
This obituary was submitted by Frenchie Robles, a family friend and reporter at The Miami Herald.