Surrounded by her beloved family including her four children, their spouses and several of her grandchildren, and spouses, Barbara Jean (Jackson) Tourtillotte, 97, went home to Jesus on Thanksgiving Day. She went into eternity exactly the way she would have planned (and maybe she did) surrounded by her three cherished things; family, faith and love.
Barbara, the youngest of 6 children, was born on August 27, 1922 in Seattle to Bertha and Senator Frank C. Jackson, Sr., and graduated from Roosevelt High School. She met her husband Robert “Bob” Tourtillotte while working at Western Blower Company. They were married June 2, 1950, and soon built their family home on Mercer Island, where she lived until moving to Island House Senior Living last July.
She will be most remembered as a woman of tremendous faith, a woman who loved her family and friends passionately and a woman whose heart was as big as an ocean. She loved to travel with family and friends. Barbara took up golf in her mid 80’s and played until she was 96. She loved to garden, which was evident by her beautiful yard. Her love of flowers flowed naturally into her work for the Mercer Island Florist, which was perfect as it not only fueled her passion for flowers, but also allowed her to work side-by-side with dear friends. Barbara volunteered at numerous places and organizations throughout her life, including Meals on Wheels and the Mercer Island Thrift Shop, as well as supporting many charities through her generosity. She gave back wherever she could, right up to her final days. Her father was a Washington State Republican Senator, which ignited a strong love of politics and the Republican Party. She served as VP and President of the Mercer Island Republican Women for three years.
Barbara leaves behind her four children, Sue Wilson, Sally (Tim) Carroll, Kirk (Barb) Tourtillotte and Nancy (Mike) Kenyon. Her legacy includes her grandchildren Craig, Kate, Kyle (Courtney), Lindsey, Amy (Todd), Brett, Kristen (Michael), Jill (Stephen), Kelly (Krist), Kim (Chris), Kristina (Jacob), Jason, Kerri (Chris), 20 great-grandchildren and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
We are forever grateful for this incredible woman and her passing leaves a hole in our hearts that will never be filled, but we are thankful for her long and full life.
Her family is very grateful to the loving and caring staff at Island House as well as EvergreenHealth (Hospice) caregivers who were with her in her last few days. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Northwest Harvest or Union Gospel Mission.
Her celebration of life will be held at the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, 3605 84th Ave. SE, on Saturday, December 21, at 10:00 am followed by a luncheon and shared memories.