Fern Jackewitz Williams was a smart, strong-willed, and eminently capable woman. Fern retired from this life on November 23, 2018 in Denver.
Fern was born on September 28, 1921 in Bovey, along one end of the Iron Range of Minnesota, close to Grand Rapids. Fern grew up in her parents’ restaurant - the Novelty Lunch. Fern helped her mother cook and do whatever needed to be done.
Fern met her husband, Otto, in a neighboring dance hall while still in high school. They dated for about five years before Otto was drafted into the Army. Then Fern became a war bride, getting married while Otto was in boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on February 26, 1942 during World War II. During the war, she lived with his family in Nashwauk before returning to her parent’s restaurant where help was needed.
Otto and Fern had many successful enterprises during their life together.
They ran her parents’ restaurant in Bovey for a time; they owned a Gambles hardware store and a furniture store in the town of Nashwauk, MN, where they raised their daughter Janice.
Fern worked as a solid partner in all of these ventures, and was particularly good at numbers and finances, keeping track of every single detail. After their daughter left for college, Fern and Otto escaped to the warm environs of California; eventually moving to Denver to follow their daughter; and then they settled in the warm sands of Phoenix during their retirement where Fern could breathe easier, a refreshing relief from the lack of oxygen at Denver’s high altitude.
Fern and Otto made friends at the senior centers in Phoenix, playing cards and the occasional game of bingo. They were lucky enough to be married for 72 years.
Fern had one brother, George, and one sister, nicknamed Penny, both of whom she loved dearly.
Fern is survived by her daughter, Janice. Also surviving are grandchildren Jane, Jackie (Bryant), and Scott; great-grandchildren Ashley and Brayden; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Fern Williams will be buried in Ft. Logan in Denver next to her beloved husband.
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