Yenema V. “Burma” Fernandez, age 88, died Friday, April 4, 2014 after a brief illness. She was the daughter of Shelby and Pearl Childress Bermingham in Bauxite, on July 17, 1925. A 1944 graduate of Bauxite High School, she attended Airline Technical School in Omaha. Burma worked in World War II defense rocket plants and was a teletype operator at Sunflower Ordinance and TWA Airlines in Omaha and Dayton and Gentile Depot in Dayton. In 1952, she and her husband established Fernandez Art and Craft in Kettering and Fernandez Framing in Bellbrook in 1957. In the mid-1960s, after Pancho’s death, she expanded the business to include office supplies.
She was very active in community affairs, including the Bellbrook Business Association (now the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Chamber of Commerce) and the Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Educational Foundation.
Burma was a founding member and chairperson of Bellbrook Community Bank. She was the first woman on the board of Bank First National in Zanesville. She was a board member of Blue Jacket Outdoor Drama and a member of Gem City Sweet Adelines. She was a board member of the International Military Affairs Organization and a member of International Friendship Force. She was elected to the Greene County Womens' Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Bellbrook Hall of Fame in 2009. She attended Bellbrook Methodist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husbands Norbert K. “Pancho” Fernandez and Lloyd Webb.
She is survived by her daughter Kathleen Fernandez Hillibish, stepdaughter Connie Webb Jenkins and grandson B.J. Jenkins, both of St. Louis.
A memorial service was held in Bellbrook on May 3. Although living in Ohio since 1946, she never forgot her Arkansas roots. Her life will be celebrated in a memorial service, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24 at Bauxite’s Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church and her ashes will be buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery. Arrangements by Conner and Koch Funeral Home, Bellbrook, Ohio.