Yvonne H. (McManus) Jackson, fully 99 ½ years a proud Oswegonian, passed peacefully to her final rest in her home, in the company of loved ones, on Nov. 17, 2020.
Born March 23, 1921, to William and Mary (Quesnell) McManus, she was a sister to the late Harry McManus and the late Francis “Jiggs” McManus, lifelong Oswegonians. Yvonne attended her neighborhood Kingsford Park School, and graduated from the Oswego High School in 1938.
Employment as a secretary gave way to wartime service in the WAVES (US Navy) from January-1944 to July-1946. Among her duties while assigned to Washington, D.C. was marching in the funeral procession of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was while on leave to Florida that she met fellow Navy serviceman, and husband to be, Thomas A. Jackson of Brockton, Massachusetts (d.1989). They were married at St. John’s Church in Oswego in September, 1946. Five sons were born from July 1947 to April 1960 in five different locations, where family ties, or Mr. Jackson’s work as a boilermaker, took the growing family. Oswego was where it was decided they would drop anchor and settle. The boys all graduated from OHS or OHCS. Their Oswego home since 1960 remains in the family.
Yvonne was able to resume employment when the youngest son (James) reached school age. She began her fruitful career in secretarial civil service, first at the neighboring C.E. Riley school, then at the Oswego Board of Education, and ultimately at Oswego State. She retired as secretary to the Women’s Physical Education Department in Lee Hall. That position enabled Yvonne to ardently pursue her love of swimming in the Lee Hall pool. As a 71 year old, Yvonne earned three swimming medals in the 1992 NYS Senior Games. She made enduring friendships with many P.E. faculty members, with whom she shared retirement activities including hot air ballooning and golfing.
Her husband’s affinity for his “hometown” Boston Red Sox resulted in full-blown fandom for the Sox in Yvonne and the boys. Annual visits to Brockton, MA family included games in Fenway Park, beginning with the 1950s teams of Ted Williams. Yvonne’s last trip to Fenway was in 2011 for two days of games. Baseball also beckoned Yvonne to games in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Toronto, Washington, and San Diego.
Yvonne volunteered for years as a seasonal tourist greeter at the Oswego Welcome House “schoolhouse,” and also volunteered weekly for numerous years at the Human Concerns Food Pantry. She enjoyed the company of people, while offering to help others. The same spirit from involvement kept Yvonne active in a regional WAVES veteran’s group until last year, and in attendance at national WAVES conferences in widespread US cities. She advocated for the establishment of the Military Woman’s Memorial, and attended its 1997 dedication in Arlington, VA, just across the Potomac River from where she barracked during WWII.
Yvonne was predeceased by her husband Thomas in 1989; and sons Thomas (Linda) in 2013, and Kenneth (Deborah) in 2017. She is survived by sons Daniel (Connie), Robert, and James; and grandchildren Rahmi, Kyle, Traci, Grant, Amy, Vanessa, Lydia, and Elizabeth; and great-grandchildren Amanda, Elizabeth, Kailyn, Alice, Gabriel, Leif, Vale, and Zion.
We will remember Yvonne for her love of family, curiosity, friendliness, ready smile, laughter, and the resultant joy she found in life.
Funeral services will be private.
Burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
There will be no calling hours.
Arrangements are in care of Dain-Cullinan Funeral Home, Oswego.