Jacqueline S. Kent
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Jacqueline Ethel Stocker Kent died March 6, 2020, in Carlsbad, California, after a long and eventful life, full of many blessings. She was 91.
Jackie was born May 11, 1928, in Port Chester, New York, to Florence Hope Carlson Stocker and Charles Elliott Stocker. She and her twin sister, JoAnne, and their mother nearly did not survive the birth.
The twins, often called Jackie-Jo, were close all their lives. In their first months, their mother was so ill that Jackie was sent to live with her paternal grandparents, Arthur B. and Ethel Lombard Stocker, in Springfield, Massachusetts, while JoAnne stayed in Port Chester with her mother and maternal grandparents, Adolph and Marie Carlson. When finally reunited, the baby twins were delighted to see each other again.
The girls grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, where their grandfather was city editor and editorial page editor of the Springfield Union newspaper and their dad, Elliott, was a reporter. The twins enjoyed picnics at the Forest Park Zoo, dressing up as Mickie and Minnie Mouse on Halloween, and skiing. During the Depression, money was tight and their dad earned extra by writing a newspaper column on skiing, while their mother, Florrie, wrote a "Ski Chatter" column, witty poems and book reviews.
During World War II, the family moved to Rhode Island when the twins' dad took a city editor's job at the Providence Journal. At Cranston High School, Jackie was a bright, beautiful, popular student. She graduated in 1946 and received a scholarship to Pembroke College, the women's college then part of all-male Brown University. Jackie, the first in her family to complete college, earned a bachelor's degree with honors in English literature.
Both twins met their future husbands at the Mathewson Street Methodist Church in Providence. On Jan. 22, 1953, Jackie married John L. Kent, a U.S. Navy officer, in Monterey, California. The couple had three sons, John Eliot, Brian Carlson and Bruce Chapin Kent.
Her husband's career in the Navy meant the family moved every few years, crisscrossing the country, from Monterey to Key West, Florida, to Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii, and North Kingston, Rhode Island. The family also lived in Falls Church, Alexandria and Norfolk in Virginia, while John served at the Pentagon. As the wife of a Navy captain, Jackie often enjoyed the role of hostess for Navy social events. Jackie and John also enjoyed traveling, including trips to Europe and touring in RVs around California and as far as Montana.
After John's retirement from the Navy, the couple lived in Corona del Mar, California, in Houston, Texas, and Redondo Beach and Torrance, California. John pursued a successful second career in real estate. In the late 1980s the couple moved to Carlsbad, California, where they resided for more than 30 years.
Jackie's twin, JoAnne Schontzler, settled near the Kents in Carlsbad in 1986. One of Jackie's happiest times was making ceramics, a hobby that the twins turned into a ceramic tile company, Riviera Designs. Jackie, John and JoAnne also enjoyed traveling with friends in the Joy Wagon RV travel club.
Jackie was generous to her family and those in need. She and John delivered meals to elderly shut-ins for Meals on Wheels as one of their volunteer activities.
She loved reading biographies and books about history, especially the history of the American West, writing poems and reading the Bible. She was a member of the San Dieguito United Methodist Church. Her Christian faith was very important to her, especially in her final year as she struggled with cancer. She always signed her letters "God bless you."
Her husband, John, died on Dec. 10, 2016, at age 93, after 63 years of marriage.
In Jackie's last days, her family gathered at her bedside to sing hymns, say prayers and offer her comfort. Sons John and Brian, sisters JoAnne and Carol, niece Gail and brother Geoff, as well as relatives from the Reedy family, spent time with her. Her son Brian was with Jackie at the end, singing hymns and reciting Bible verses to her. Jackie died peacefully, surrounded by love.
Jackie's family had deep roots in Massachusetts history. She was a descendant of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower and of the 17th century founders of Springfield, William Pynchon and Deacon Samuel Chapin.
Jackie is survived by her sons and their spouses, John and Shari Kent of Monterey, Brian and Eileen Reedy Kent of San Diego, and Bruce and Valerie Kent of San Diego, and their three sons, Sean, Gage and Ian; her sisters JoAnne Schontzler of Carlsbad, and Carol Stocker and husband Robert Mussey of Milton, Massachusetts; brother Geoff Stocker and wife Peggy of Warwick, Rhode Island; niece Gail Schontzler McCafferty of Bozeman, Montana; nephews Bob Schontzler Stone, James Schontzler, Robert Stocker and Nicholas Stocker, all of California; and nephews Barton Kent of Washington, Robert Kent of Florida, and Larry Kent, Garry Kent and Michael Kent of Texas.
A family memorial will be held at a future date.
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