Carolyn Wakefield Fernandez, born August 6, 1922, no longer young and filled with days, died at age 100 on January 18 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 the People’s Academy in 1939 before attending Vesper George School of Art in Boston where she studied Art Appreciation and Clothing & Interiors. For six years she worked for Windsor Art Galleries as a window dresser and purchaser of fine art objects. Then she became an assistant buyer in the Antiques department at Jordan Marsh, where she received a Certificate in Merchandising. She then was an instructor of Art History, Art Appreciation & Clothing at the Vermont College in Montpelier.
She met the love of her life, handsome WWII veteran, Sergeant Julio (Cheezie) Fernandez, whose parents, Arsenio & 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 – 1985, Carolyn assisted in evaluating over 450 antique quilts for the Vermont Quilt Festival, of which 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 Association and member of the New England Appraiser’s Association.
Her buttermilk doughnuts, sold at the family market from the sixties to eighties, 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 grand-daughter, 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 CVHHH, 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, website.