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  • "May heartfelt thoughts and loving memories bring you..."
    - M. Johnson
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VIRGINIA MARGARET (nee. McNAMARA) FENSTERMAKER, 91, passed away surrounded by family on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at Merrill Gardens Assisted Living, in Vancouver, Wash. She was a longtime resident of Fort Wayne. Born May 5, 1920, in Fort Wayne, she was the daughter of Ellen Catherine "Nellie" Forbes and Elda Ervin McNamara. She spent her childhood in Fort Wayne, attending Waynedale Elementary and graduating from Elmhurst High School as salutatorian of her class. She had earned a scholarship to college but could not attend during the depression. In 1941, she met Donald "Jack" Fenstermaker and in October of 1942 they eloped to Chicago. He had enlisted in the Navy and Virginia followed him to San Diego, Calif. They lived in Coronado Beach during the war years until Jack was shipped to Hawaii. She then came back to Fort Wayne to be with her family, with Jack joining her at the end of World War II. She started working at Fort Wayne National Bank in the early 1950's and continued working there as a teller then up to branch-manager prior to her retirement. She returned to college and graduated from Indiana University 17 years later, with honors, while working full-time. After retirement, Virginia and Jack moved to the Pacific Northwest to join both their children, lived in Vancouver near their son, Jim, until Jack's death in 2000. At that time, Virginia moved to Phoenix, Ore. to be near her daughter, Susan. She lived independently until early 2012 when she moved into assisted living. She was a remarkable woman who brought laughter, wit and wisdom to all who knew her for her entire life. Her hobbies included gardening, reading, sewing, and politics. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, James Fenstermaker and Shirley (Vancouver, Washington); daughter, Susan McNamara of Phoenix, Ore.; brother, Marlyn McNamara of Tavares, Fla.; grandsons, Seth Harriff, Andy Fenstermaker and Matt Fenstermaker; three great-grandchildren, Kyle, Ben and Will Harriff; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack; and brothers, Bertram and Ervin. No service (as was her request). A Celebration of her Life and Tribute to her will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Shriner's Hospitals for Children, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239.
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Apr. 15, 2012
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