We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Smith Funeral Home - Sunnyside
Armando “Gene” Fernandez, age 90, passed away Friday, June 3rd in his home surrounded by his loving family. Gene was born August 15, 1931, in Sunnyside, to his father Salvador and his mother Zada. He grew up the son of a sheep rancher, a tradition he continued for most of his life. Gene enlisted in the Navy at the time of the Korean War. He served on a minesweeper and saw many locales around the world, likely experiencing life and mixing in a bit of mischief from time to time. Following his time in the Navy, Gene met, dated and married the love of his life, Jimmie Lou, who was best friends with his late sister, Carmen. Gene worked in a few different fields in his early employment years, including Alaska in the fish canneries. After living in a few locations away from the valley, Gene and his young family returned home to Sunnyside to pursue his dream of being a rancher. He managed to juggle working daily in Yakima at an aircraft/aerospace component manufacturer for over 30 years while tending the sheep and cattle ranch at home. It was there that they raised their 5 children: Tony, Angie, Vicki, Gina, and Ric. His first grandchildren; Ian and Nicole spent a lot of their early and teen years at the ranch with Gene and Jimmie Lou.
Gene very much enjoyed the visits from his children, his grandchildren and more recently his great-grandchildren. Thanksgiving and Christmas were a welcome and chaotic event, as usually the entire family was on hand. Other times of note were the yearly sheep shearing and working calves at the north ranch property.
There was never a shortage of things to do, or fires to put out as is the life of a rancher. Gene may have slowed down - a little - as he aged, but he certainly never stopped, not even until the very end of his time with us.
As Gene grew older, he really enjoyed pleasant evenings sitting outside on the deck with his wonderful wife while maybe sipping a beverage, listening to the pleasant silence of the country, and hopefully admiring the little world that he had built.
Gene is preceded in death by his incomparable wife Jimmie Lou, daughter Angela, and his sister Carmen. His legacy will be continued by his 4 surviving children, 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Gene’s smile was infectious and his unwavering love for his wife Jimmie Lou, their family, and the Crown F legacy that he built will not be forgotten.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside, WA. Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens, Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to sign Gene's online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.