Fern Wyatt, 91, died at her home in Braselton, Georgia, Friday, October 10, 2008. Her remarkable life touched on many of the significant events of the last century.
She was born in Alma, Arkansas the second of Henry and Bertha Osburn's seven children. The farm family felt the Dust Bowl and the rigors of the Great Depression. The outbreak of World War II brought young men from all over the United States to train at Camp Chaffee in Ft. Smith, including Ned Wyatt of Decatur, Georgia. The blonde waitress at the cafe caught his eye and they married in l942. The marriage lasted through his death in l999.
Fern was part of a vast wave of small town women who heeded a call to wartime Washington, D.C., to fill the offices of a government suddenly thrust into fighting a global war and mobilizing an entire nation. She worked for the Department of the Army, charged with keeping track of the soldiers and airmen missing in action and captured in the European theater. She kept families informed of the status of their sons. Wartime Washington was remade with temporary offices and dormitories for the workers who worked long hours with only Sunday for rest.
Following the war and Ned's return, they made a home in Decatur and were part of the great growth of Atlanta. Their two children, Allen and Robin, were born. They lived in the Midway neighborhood, both Ned and Fern were volunteers and leaders in the schools and Midway Presbyterian Church where both were elders. Fern was known for her extraordinary homemaking skills both as a cook and seamstress. She gardened with Ned, growing both beautiful flowers and vegetables. She worked as a consultant in the china and silver registry for Davison's department store at Columbia Mall. She remained with the store as it transitioned to Macy's and retired from that store.
Ned and Fern spent a decade following retirement in Ozark, Arkansas, where they pursued their love of gardening, especially roses, worked in the Ozark Presbyterian Church and traveled. While Ned built beautiful furniture, Fern handmade traditional quilts. Most importantly they were able to be a vital part of the lives of their grandchildren. Ned passed away soon after their return to Georgia and Fern began the last stage of a full life.
She and her daughter, Robin, continued her love of gardening after joining households. With a shared lifelong love of mountains, they enjoyed a second home in Burnsville, N.C. She enjoyed good health through the end of her life. She went to sleep peacefully Friday after preparing for another weekend trip to the mountains.
Fern Wyatt is survived by her son Allen Wyatt and his wife Michelle, her daughter Robin, grandchildren, Dawne Trent, Elizabeth Kleinman, David Wyatt, Jeremiah Wyatt, and Thomas Fleenor, great-grandchildren, John and Morgan Trent, Wyatt Kleinman, and Becca and Heith Wyatt, and her sister Imogene, of Alma, Arkansas, the last of the seven Osburns. Finally, she is also survived by her beloved dog, Pookie.
The family will host a visitation at Ingram Funeral Home in Cumming, Georgia on Monday October l3, 2008 between 2 and 4 p.m., a graveside service will be held Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., presided by the Reverend Maggie Lauterer, of First Presbyterian Church of Burnsville, N.C. The internment will be at Sawnee View Memorial Gardens in Cumming, Georgia. The family will host friends of Fern at her home at 2150 Fleurie Lane, Braselton, Georgia, 30517 after the service. Any one wishing to make a gift in lieu of flowers please make a contribution to the Humane Society or the First Presbyterian Church of Burnsville, N.C.
Ingram Funeral Home & Crematory, Cumming, Georgia will be in charge of arrangements.