Agnes Jacqueline Fertitta Dyer
Agnes Jacqueline (Jackie) Dyer, the guiding light of her family, went to sleep on September 22, 2021, and awakened in the loving presence of her sweet Lord. The youngest of 4 daughters born to Sicilian immigrants Joseph John and Marie Antoinette Fertitta in Beaumont, Texas in 1922, she was just shy of being 100 years young.
Clinging proudly all her life to her Sicilian heritage, her love of the Catholic faith, and her near and extended family, she was a bedrock for us all in hard times and a source of love and fun always. If you counted her among your friends, you were blessed and instantly treated like family, the ultimate compliment.
She embodied the traits of her immigrant roots throughout her life: strength, resilience, independence, perseverance, a strong work ethic, and love of family and friends. She imparted those same traits to her six children, Robert, Joseph, Marian, Karen, Colleen, and Jackie. Her husband of 71 years, Woody, always said she was the strongest woman he knew. Her children wholeheartedly agree.
An excellent cook, she said a little pasta was good with just about anything and would settle a bad stomach. Her garden was always beautiful, and she counseled that putting your hands in dirt was good therapy. Never one to shy away from new things, in her 90’s she tackled modern technology (smart phone and tablet) so that she could stay connected with her multigenerational family and large group of friends. She definitely had spunk.
Wondering why she outlasted just about everyone of her generation, she was quick to say how blessed she was to have a mind as sharp as a tack even as her body faded. She continued sharing life’s lessons and insights right up until the end. Time with her was cherished by all who were lucky enough to hear the wisdom that could really only come from having lived a century and actively living her faith. Her life journey was a long and full one, from early childhood, through teen and early adulthood, to motherhood, career, and retirement years, and finally wise senior sage.
As a very young girl, she helped with deliveries from her parent’s corner grocery, and rewarded herself with chocolate from the store’s candy cases. At one point, her father locked the cases to control how much she ate. Thus was the beginning of a lifelong sweet tooth. If you wanted to bring her a special gift, just make it something with nuts, chocolate, and caramel.
Her first career after graduation from Beaumont High School was that of a beautician, joining her three sisters in a beauty shop on the corner of Laurel and First Avenue in Beaumont. Once she began to have children and stayed at home, you could still get a haircut on her porch along with a cup of coffee and homemade biscotti (Italian cookie). Having four daughters, this skillset came in handy. Her daughters remember lessons on using curlers, hair products, styling, and, yes, cutting your own hair. If you complained about any of these routines, she said “one must suffer a little to be beautiful”.
She met her future spouse, Woodrow Robert Dyer, Sr, when she was 12 and he 13 years old as neighbors in Beaumont. They eloped in 1942, had a family of six children, and ran a family clothing store together for many years. She and Woody were founding parishioners of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Beaumont. In their later years, they were apostolic ministers during services, worked on parish councils, and sponsored new Catholics through the Right of Christian Initiation. She attended daily mass until she stopped driving at age 95, when she discovered daily mass on television via EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) and other online religious outlets, faithfully watching and praying the rosary daily. We are certain she was whisked through the pearly gates at breakneck speed.
A beautiful person inside and out — there simply wasn’t a better daughter, sister, spouse, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, in-law, neighbor or friend on this earth. Loved by so many, she leaves a huge void that cannot be filled. But we rejoice that she is finally in her heavenly home with first class angel wings.
She was preceded in death by her parents (mentioned above), her husband, Woodrow Robert Dyer, Sr.; her son, Joseph Raymond Dyer; her sisters, Rose (Guy) Fazio, Angie (Joe) Fazio, and Jenny (Floyd) Miller. She is survived by her son, Robert (Ann) Dyer; daughters, Marian Dyer, Karen (Paul) Wilson, Colleen Dyer, and Jackie Grigar as well as six grandsons, one granddaughter, and 8 great-grandchildren. Of her husband’s family, she is survived by sister-in-law, Faye Hasse, of St. Louis, Mo.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Mrs. Dyer will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, September 30, 2021, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 5075 Bigner Road, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Her interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, where she will be laid to rest between her dear husband and son.
Her arrangements will be livestreamed and available via Zoom at the link below:
Topic: Agnes Jacqueline Fertitta Dyer Live Service
Time: Sep 30, 2021 12:45 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 878 8861 3421
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Mass of Christian Burial
St. Pius X Catholic Church
- 5075, Bigner Rd, Beaumont, TX, 77708,
- September 30, 2021
- 1:00 pm
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
- 4955, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,