Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Jacqueline Joan Fairbanks


Jacqueline Joan Fairbanks

1928 - 2015

Jacqueline Joan Fairbanks, 87, passed away surrounded by her family on October 22nd, 2015, at home in Bemidji, MN.

A Celebration of her life will be held on Monday, October 26th, 2015 at 11am at St. Phillip's Catholic Church, Bemidji, MN, with visitation held one hour prior. Graveyard services will follow at the Fairbanks Cemetery on Mission Corner. Visitation will be held on Sunday, October 25th, from 5 to 7 PM with a prayer service at 6:00 PM at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home.

Jackie was born on May 13, 1928 to Herman "Ole" and Anne (Murray) Fairbanks in White Earth, MN. She was the first baby born in the "new" White Earth Hospital. She grew up with nine siblings in Beaulieu on the White Earth Reservation. She attended Flandreau Indian Boarding school graduating in 1946. She then moved to Minneapolis and roomed with several of her siblings.

She met her beloved, Jack Raymond Fairbanks, on a streetcar in Minneapolis. She often joked it was a "Streetcar Named Desire". They married in 1952, celebrating 62 years together on June 7, 2014. Early in their marriage they moved to Bemidji and raised six children, all born within 7 years. They relocated to Minneapolis for a couple of years but eventually returned to Bemidji. Once her children were older, she worked several jobs to help support the family, such as cooking hot lunch at St. Philip's School. She shared many happy times with her St. Philip's girlfriends, namely Bert Westlein, Darlene Tisdale and Mary Westrum. She took secretarial courses at the Bemidji VoTech, but before completing her diploma was offered and accepted a job with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and joked of being a college drop out. She went on to work for White Earth Nation and retired from the White Earth Land Settlement Act Project in 1999.

As a member of the St. Charles Catholic Church in Cass Lake, she was Chair of the Kateri Circle and dedicated to the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. She was overjoyed to learn of Kateri's Sainthood in 2012.

Jack and Jackie built their retirement home on Mission Corner in 1990 and lived there until relocating to Bemidji in 2007. Jackie spent her last four years living with her daughter, Barbara, being cared for by family and special family friend, Cheryl Harr.

She was a wonderful cook and baker, specializing in rhubarb desserts, homemade bread, and beer-battered walleye. She loved collecting and trying new recipes. Over the course of her lifetime she mastered sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, canning and winemaking. She was an avid reader and enjoyed novels featuring strong heroines who faced extreme life adversity. "Gramma" Jackie had a knack for teasing her grandkids. She loved shopping and garage-saling. She was also pretty good at hitchhiking. She and Jack attended countless choir concerts, as well as hockey, baseball, and golf events for their children and grandchildren. Jackie encouraged everyone to look after each other through thick and thin.

She is survived by her children Mary "Mary Liz" (Don Dale), Frank "Dudsie", Barbara "Bobbadoos", Christine "Tinatuda" (James Dickinson), Daniel "Danny Joe" (Tayra) all of Bemidji and John "Johnnykins", Duluth; 16 grandchildren (Josie, Adam, Josh, Jake, Shawn, Kristopher, Brittany, Rebecca, Kali, Jasmine, Tayla, Hazen, Trey, Jackee, Olivia, and Hali) and 9 great grandchildren; brother Joseph, Minneapolis; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She is preceded in death by her husband Jack on October 25, 2014, her parents, Herman and Anne Fairbanks; brothers Herman, Herschel, Everett, Juel, and Lyle; sisters Lois, Shirley and Ione.


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