Jean M. (Teresino) Yarnall, 89, of Warwick, died on April 23, 2013 at the Brentwood Nursing Home in Warwick after an illness of eight months.
Mrs. Yarnall was born Jeanette Marjorie Teresino on December 4, 1923, in East Hartford, Connecticut to the late Camella Orgento and Pasquale Teresino. From the age of four to eighteen, she studied ballet and performed regularly with the Hartford Ballet at the Bushnell Auditorium. She excelled in public elementary school and received a scholarship to Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Hartford. After graduating in the Class of 1941, she became a professional roller skate dancer with the Hartford Skating Palace, performing over the next two years in both local and national competitions. In September 1943, she decided to join the new Navy division of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service or WAVES. On December 30, 1943, she legally changed her name from Jeanette to Jean and filed paperwork that led to enlistment on January 12, 1944. She graduated in June 1944 from Link Instrument Training Instructor School (L.I.T.I.S.) in Atlanta, having chosen to train pilots in cockpit instrumentation. Jean worked in this capacity primarily at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, where she attained the rank of Chief on July 22, 1948. She was honorably discharged from the Navy on February 2, 1950. At Quonset, she met her husband and they married on November 23, 1948. After raising two sons, Jean went back to work full-time in 1966 for the Warwick Public Library, where she became head of Circulation. She retired in 1996 with thirty years of service. Mrs. Yarnall was a charter member of National WAVES Ocean State Unit #118, serving at times as secretary and treasurer. In 2006, she received a Citation from the Rhode Island House of Representatives in recognition of her “service to community and the military.” A year later, she was also honored by the Rhode Island Veterans Action Center 2007 Patriot WAVES National Award.
Mrs. Yarnall is survived by her husband, Robert J. Yarnall Sr. of Warwick; and two sons, Robert J. Yarnall Jr. of Charlestown and James L. Yarnall of Middletown, Rhode Island. She is also survived by a sister, Patricia Teresino Cronin of Newington, Connecticut, a brother, Lewis J. Nedell of Rocky Hill, Connecticut; and two granddaughters, Kristin Yarnall Gallagher of Needham, Massachusetts and Kathryn Yarnall of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Commital prayers with military honors will be held on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in the Rhode Island Veterans’ Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick, RI 02889, for the Jean M. Yarnall Book Fund.