Jeanette Thomson Fernández by
Ronald Louis Fernández Sept 16th version
If you have a story about
Jeanette, send it to email@example.com and I will post it.
Jeanette, my wife of 49 years, passed away on Sunday August 14,
2022 at 9 am at Island Hospital in Anacortes, Washington.
I want to tell you
about her life and show you photos of her family and friends
Jeanette was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 26, 1944.
Apparently her mother intended to call her Jean but her friends
thought there were too many Jeans around and suggested Jeanette as
being more modern. Her middle name was Thomson which was her
paternal grandmother's maiden name. Wilson was Jeanette's maiden
name, from her father Henry Wilson. In Scotland she was always
known as Jinty, when she moved to Canada in 1967 everyone called
She was proud to say that she was born a Glaswegian, but she was
actually raised 14 kilometres east in Coatbridge, North
Lanarkshire. During the 19th century this town was a center
of the iron and coal mining. When Jeanette was growing up it was
essentially a working class town which had passed its prime.
Consequently, most of Jeanette's contemporaries eventually moved
Jeanette's father, Henry Wilson was born in August 29,
1909, in Airdrie (near to Coatbridge). He started as a slater
(roofer) and eventually wound up as "Clerk of Works" (sometimes
referred to as Master of Works) whose job was to oversee the
construction of school buildings around Glasgow and also in
Ireland. He played in a local brass band. He was in the civil
defense during the WWII. He apparently sang a bit, as Jeanette
said he would sing an old Stephen Foster song "Jeanie with the
Light Brown Hair". For a working class man he was exceptionally
well read. I inherited a small part of his library after it
had been picked over and it included Herodotus (the first history
written the western world), Shakespeare, Chaucer,
Plato, Sophocles, Charles Darwin, Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe),
Confucius, R. W. Emerson, the Life of Budda, the Koran, George
Borrow's book on gypsies and, of course, Robert Burns (the 18th
century nationalist Scottish poet).
Jinty and Dad 1946
Jeanette about 3
Jeanette told me that he often bought her
books on a wide variety of topics. As an adult she still cherished
the Alice in Wonderland that he had bought her. From her stories
it is clear that she was instilled with a love of reading and
books by her father.
Jeanette's mother was Jemima Hepburn Lynch born July 19, 1919 in
Coatbridge. Apparently she lived on a farm when she was young. She
read mainly romance novels. She had a thick lowland Scottish
accent. She had a friendly sense of humor. She was well loved by
her friends and family with whom she shared thousands of cups of
tea. After Henry's passing she worked with her sister Peg in the
kitchen of the local school. She married Henry in 1932.
Their first daughter was Margaret (b.1937 d. 2019) and their last
was Jeanette in 1944. A few years after Julia, her
granddaughter, was born Jeanette and I brought Jemima to
California for a visit--it was her first ever airplane trip.
Through a contact at Air Canada Jeanette got her ticket upgraded
to first class. When she got off the plane she said," I don't see
why people find airplane travel a bother." We took her to
Disneyland and she was tickled when she met Mickey Mouse in the
Main Street Square. She said, "I can't believe I'm here." Julia
was able to visit Jemima in Coatbridge several times as she grew
up. They were lucky to know each other. Jemima died on May 13, 1992.