Gwendolyn F. Jernstedt 1935 - 2024

Gwendolyn F. Jernstedt, nee Hart, 88, passed in peace and comfort at home on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, in McMinnville Oregon. She was preceded in death in 2016 by her husband, Gordon K. Jernstedt of Carlton, Oregon. Gwen was born  March 27, 1935, in Vernon, New York, the daughter of the late Thomas and Vida Hart.

Gwen graduated in 1958 from Baystate Medical School of Nursing in Springfield, Massachusetts. She then practiced nursing in the Boston  area prior to attending and graduating in 1964 from Syracuse University with a graduate degree in Nursing  Administration. It was at Syracuse where she met her husband, Gordon, at a mixer for graduate students. They were married in 1962, and upon graduation settled in 1964 in Ashland, Wisconsin. Gwen worked as an Ashland County Nurse prior to taking the Director of Nursing position at Memorial Medical Center in Ashland. Upon retirement, she ran Jernstedt Family Daycare Center, also in Ashland.

Gwen enjoyed travel, reading, community service, playing bridge with friends, and church-related activities. She was a member of Salem Baptist Church in Ashland and First Baptist Church in Carlton, Oregon. Gwen held leadership roles in numerous organizations, including Northland College Women’s Auxiliary, League of Women Voters, American Field Service, Carlton Together Cares, and Yamhill Community Action Partnership, among others. She served on regional planning commissions, police and fire commissions, and city councils, both in Ashland and Carlton.

Gwen’s greatest public contributions, though, were the commitments she made to children in need. She and her husband Gordon opened their home to more than 20 foster children between 1968 until 1997, when they retired to Carlton. Gwen and Gordon’s work as foster parents for so many years undoubtedly gave the young people who came through the Jernstedt home a sense of stability and care, and this positive impact is immeasurable.

She is survived by a son, Kristian Jernstedt, and his wife, Barbara, of Pleasanton, California; daughters, Jaquie Rice of Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Jernstedt of McMinnville, and Elizabeth Foster and children Katey McMahon, Nolan McMahon and Jacob Foster of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania; and granddaughters, Annika Jernstedt of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Emma Furr of San Francisco, California.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, February 23, 2024, at First Baptist Church of Carlton. Memorial contributions are gratefully accepted at First Baptist


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