Jacqueline Simmons Gustafson, 88, of Keyser, W.Va., passed away on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at her home in Keyser with her family gathered at her side.
Jackie, who was a near life-long resident of Mineral County, was preceded in death by her loving husband of 63 years, Oscar Gustafson, who passed in 2011. Jackie was the anchor of the Gustafson family throughout her life, as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Jackie was born Dec. 26, 1928, in Morgantown, to Goldie and Ora Leonard Simmons. The family moved first to Elk Garden and then to Keyser where Jackie graduated from Keyser High School in 1946. She then attended Potomac State College, where she met her future husband Oscar "Gus" Gustafson, who had just returned from Navy service in World War II.
Jackie and Gus were married on July 4, 1947, to start what would become an inspirational partnership of 63 years. After Jackie completed her associate arts degree at Potomac State, they moved to Morgantown where she worked to help put Gus through his master's program. After a brief stint in Buckhannon, they returned to Keyser where Gus first taught at Keyser High School, and then at Potomac State College as a professor of agriculture, until his retirement in 1988. Throughout their 32 years at Potomac State, Jackie was a vital contributor and member of the college community, including serving as accountant for the PSC farm and helping with many Agriculture Club and faculty activities. Jackie and Gus were extremely proud that all four of their children graduated during this time from Keyser High, Potomac State and West Virginia University.
Jackie was a long-standing member of Grace United Methodist church, as well as an early member and later president of the Mineral County Home Demonstration Council, where she was especially proud of her role in founding the annual flower show at the Mineral County Fair. She also served as the accountant for Hi-Rock Animal Hospital and Hampshire Animal Hospital for the last 40 years, working daily with her son, John Gustafson, and grandson, John Philip Gustafson, to help create two thriving veterinary practices.
In the second half of her life, Jackie derived great joy from her many grandkids and great-grandkids; always looking forward to weekends and holidays when the house would be filled with three or four generations of family. She also became an avid traveler, exploring with the family many sites in Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, and much of the United States. Jackie also had an exceptional passion and talent for cooking throughout her life. She enjoyed compiling an annual family recipe book for the last 20 years, totaling over 2,000 old and new recipe favorites, and her hand-dipped homemade chocolates became an annual family tradition and holiday gift for friends and loved ones since 1974.
She is survived by her four children, Robert and wife, Kelly, of Morgantown, John and wife, Linda, of Keyser, Jacqueline Sions and husband, Haven, of Morgantown, and Michael and Scott Quint of Boston; eight grandchildren, Ashley Lynn Seabury, Jaclyn Megan Sions, Haven Benjamin Sions, Lindsey Michelle Atkinson, John Philip Gustafson II, Michael Drew Sions, Jeffrey Andrew Gustafson and Juliana Layne Gustafson; and eight great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, mother and father.
Friends will be received at Markwood Funeral Home, Keyser, on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Funeral services will be conducted at Grace United Methodist Church, 30 S. Mineral Street, Keyser, on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at noon with the Reverend Lauren Godwin officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to services.
Interment will follow in Potomac Memorial Gardens, Keyser.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oscar "Gus" Gustafson Memorial Agriculture Scholarship at Potomac State College, that was established by the Gustafson family in 2011.
Condolences may be left for the family after Mrs. Gustafson's obituary at www.markwoodfuneralhome.com.
Published on June 11, 2017