Mabel Marie McKenzie Fernandez passed away on September 13th, 2020 at the age of 98. She was born to Myrtle Mae York McKenzie and Charles McKenzie on Feb. 10th, 1922. She was the only daughter and youngest child of seven children. All of her brothers preceded her in death.
She grew up in the Soulard market area of St. Louis during the Depression. As a child she learned to play the piano and her lifelong love of music, song, and dancer carried her through the difficult times in life. On April 1st, 1938, at the age of sixteen she married Angelo Fernandez.
They had five children: Norma Jean, Joseph, David, Nona, and Ned. Norma Jean and David preceded her in death. She was a loving mother and enjoyed walking her children to Catholic school every day. She created wonderful memories with her grandchildren when they spent summers with her and grandpa at their homes. Memories range from first time eating a TV dinner, to picking grapes and fruits from the orchard, to eating her “pan size” pancakes.
Her favorite sayings were, “When your brain doesn’t work your legs do twice the work,” and, “the Lord’s been good to me.” After 56 years of marriage, her husband Angelo preceded her in death. In the years following Angelo’s death, she attended senior dances and made many new friends.
She was always trying new things like teaching PSR classes to 12 year olds, learning to drive in her late 40s, computer technology, secretary for OATES. She loved dancing and continued till her 97th birthday. In the spring of her 97th year she started saying, “I think old age is catching up with me.” Mabel has lived to have five generations. She has eight grandchildren, twenty-five great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Relay for Life of Audrain County.
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