Fernand A. Pages, 91, formerly of New Jersey and most recently of Downingtown, PA, passed away on January 2, 2021. He was the husband of Jacqueline L. (nee Jud) Pages. Born in Graulhet, France, he was the son of the late Robert R. and Eugenie M. (Buzenac) Pages. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Marcel and Pierre. In addition to his wife, Fernand is survived by his daughter Michele, wife of Hilton Garrett, and two grandsons, Dan and Jack.
As a young man, Fernand worked as a leather tanner in France. With his father, he became involved in local politics and the Labor Union. It is during that time that he began working towards his dream of immigrating to the United States.
In 1959, he travelled to the US with a coalition from the Labor Union. It was a 9 month, all expenses paid journey, to all major US cities. For 3 months of this trip, he was in Washington DC completing a program in Language, Economic, and Social Studies for French Trade Unionists, at George Washington University. For those of you who have talked with Fernand, you might have a little chuckle over hearing he had a degree of sorts in the English language.
After returning to France, his mind was set on returning, but he had to wait two years before he could apply for a Visa. In January 1961, after waiting patiently, he began his paperwork. Although originally planning on immigrating by himself, his plans changed in November 1961. He had travelled to Strasbourg, France to attend a soccer game, and it was there he met Jacqueline. In his words, she looked over at him and was hooked. They were married on June 9, 1962 at the Eglise Saint-Guillaume in Strasbourg.
By December 1962, they had arrived in New York City on the 2nd voyage of the SS France. They were lucky to have family members in the US, Mina and Paul Walter, who helped with their transition. From Westchester, NY, they moved to Elmhurst, NY, West New York, NJ, and Leonia, NJ where they remained for 26 years until finally settling in Exton/Downingtown, PA in their retirement.
Fernand trained and worked as a chef/saucier in the restaurant industry until retirement. He was lucky to work in such fine restaurants in New York City as La Grenouille, Le Perigord, and the Water Club.
In retirement, Fernand loved reading, cooking, watching the news and Wheel of Fortune, taking his mid-day siesta, and spending time with his family. Nothing made him happier than a good glass of wine, a delicious meal, heated discussions on politics or history, and a good laugh. And often, when he had all these things together, he would spontaneously burst into deep, passionate singing, serenading family, friends, and anyone else around.
He loved his family and friends. He was a presence, and he will be missed.
Due to the pandemic, no services will be held at this time. When we can all safely be together, we will have a celebration where we can raise a glass and toast Fernand and the wonderful life he had.
Services and Interment will be private at the convenience of the family. Logan Funeral Homes, Inc. Exton, PA in charge of arrangements. www.loganfuneralhomes.com
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