Derry, NH — Our loving mother and inspiration, Jette F. Tinker, passed from this world into her life’s reward on February 22nd.
Jette lived in Derry and Londonderry, N.H., since 1969. She was 74. She is survived in the lives of her sons, Eric and Flemming; their wives, Tracy and Lisa; and her grandchildren, Mirelle, Peter, David, and Daniel.
Jette’s impact on people extended well beyond her immediate family to her many friends, relatives, supporters, and caregivers.
Jette was born on May 2, 1938 and grew up in Denmark. As a young child, she witnessed the occupation of her country and the hardships brought on by World War II. Nevertheless, she grew up with an unstoppable positive attitude and as a young adult graduated from nursing school. Her friends and relatives knew her for her kind and gentle spirit and a wonderful sense of humor that became the trademark throughout her life.
After marrying our father, Edward, and having her first child, Eric, her young family moved to the United States where she would live the rest of her life. The Tinker family moved to New Hampshire in 1969 where she worked as a registered nurse in the coronary care unit of Alexander Eastman Hospital in Derry (now Parkland Medical Center).
Mom was a competitive tennis player and created beautiful needlepoint wall hangings. Throughout her life, she remained a loyal “Dane.” She loved the artwork, music, foods, and humor of Denmark. Her home was always filled with Danish flags, and she introduced the best parts of Denmark to her many friends here in America – especially Danish chocolates, liquorice and cheeses.
The years that followed brought divorce, diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the responsibility for raising her two boys as a single parent. As her health declined, she could no longer work as a nurse, however, never giving up, she got a part-time job with Easter Seals, and started her own business called “Scandinavian Health, Inc.,” which promoted and imported a novel acupressure product invented in Denmark. She also became an independent distributor of Shaklee healthcare products.
Mom not only endured, but also ministered to others during her life’s most difficult challenges. She was guided and upheld by her faith in the love of her Lord Jesus Christ and the knowledge that her life – no matter how difficult - had purpose. She lived her life by her sense of mission and responsibility to God and the people around her. Her faith was tested daily as she gradually lost her ability to walk. Her belief in the need for serving others never ended — even when she became fully dependent on others for the most basic elements of living.
During her many hospitalizations, her buoyant and courageous attitude was an inspiration to fellow patients and medical staff. While multiple sclerosis attacked her body, eyesight and speech for almost 40 years, she never gave up her will to live out her life in her own home. Through the years, several health providers and caregivers assisted her, and the family will always be grateful to them. We are especially grateful to our caregiver partners, doctors, nurses, and agencies in the later years who stepped up to respect her wishes to remain and die at home. MS quickly took many of the common experiences we all hope for and cherish in life, but never defeated her or took away her attitude of thankfulness. Mom lived a life that few people could endure – yet she did so without anger or self-pity. She lived her belief that God’s grace was sufficient for her. Her courage has been an inspiration to all who were blessed to have known her.
Now she has ultimately won her battle, multiple sclerosis has been defeated, there is no more pain or suffering, only freedom, blessing, and reward.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service for Jette is planned on Saturday, March 16th at 11 a.m. at Central Congregational Church, 14 Crescent St., Derry, NH 03038, (603) 434-4411. There will be a reception following. Over several years, she had a significant impact on many of us, thus all are welcome and warmly encouraged to join us in the life celebration of this special woman. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to Granite State Independent Living, www.gsil.org/donate.php. The Peabody Funeral Home of Derry is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information, please visit www.peabodyfuneralhome.com