Obituary: Carolyn Fernandez, 1922-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Carolyn Fernandez, 1922-2023 

Instructor of art history and certified art appraiser will be remembered for her elegance and impeccable taste

Published January 23, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated January 24, 2023 at 2:35 p.m.

click to enlarge Carolyn Fernandez - COURTESY
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  • Carolyn Fernandez

Carolyn Wakefield Fernandez, born August 6, 1922, no longer young and filled with days, died at age 100 on January 18, 2023, in her Northfield home, surrounded by her loving sons and other family members. She will be remembered for her innumerable accomplishments and contributions to the community, as well as her elegance, wry wit and impeccable taste.

Raised in Morrisville by her mother, Ethel Wakefield, she graduated from People’s Academy in 1939 before attending Vesper George School of Art in Boston, where she studied art appreciation and clothing and interiors. For six years, she worked for Windsor Art Galleries as a window dresser and purchaser of fine art objects. She then became an assistant buyer in the antiques department at Jordan Marsh, where she received a certificate in merchandising. Later, she was an instructor of art history, art appreciation and clothing at Vermont College in Montpelier.

She met the love of her life, handsome World War II veteran Sergeant Julio (Cheezie) Fernandez, whose parents, Arsenio and Jovita, had immigrated to the central Vermont area from Santander, Spain, only decades before. Raising her three sons, Vincent, now of Richmond, Vt., and Stephen and Peter of Northfield, she made for her beloved family a comfortable and stylish home.

From 1981 to 1985, Carolyn assisted in the evaluation of over 450 antique quilts for the Vermont Quilt Festival; she became a member of the board of trustees and the chairperson of the search committee in 1983. Carolyn also studied dated quilts and textiles in the collection of the Shelburne Museum as a certified art dealer and appraiser with the Vermont Antiques Dealers’ Association and member of the New England Appraisers Association.

Her buttermilk doughnuts, sold at the family market from the ’60s to the ’80s and in later years at other local businesses, were a much-celebrated town tradition. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Carolyn was an avid traveler, sojourning to Spain with her lively sisters-in-law, Nina Fernandez-Platt, Irene Fernandez-Anderson and Julia Fernandez-Popowski, all married to high-ranking military officers. She also visited other parts of Europe, including Italy, Austria and Switzerland, with her daughter-in-law Jennifer and granddaughter Lisa.

She is survived by her three sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The Fernandez family would like to thank Carol Patterson, Carolyn’s personal health attendant, and the rest of the excellent staff at Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice for their endless love and tireless care.

A celebration of Carolyn’s life will be held in the spring at the Methodist Church in Northfield. Further details will be made available by Kingston Funeral Home, memorials.vtfuneralhomes.com/carolyn-fernandez/5124050/index.php.

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