Cover photo for Jeannine Boynton Robertson's Obituary

Jeannine Boynton Robertson

Jeannine Boynton Robertson

Jeannine (Jay) Boynton Robertson passed away peacefully on September 28, 2021 at her home in Boise, Idaho at the age of 91. She was born on November 14, 1929 in Tocopilla, Chile, and was the daughter of Arthur Leland Boynton from Hornell, NY, and Winfred Doust from Dorset, England. Her parents separated when she was quite young and she was raised by her father. Her father was an electrical engineer who was the manager of a large thermal electric generating plant in Tocopilla, Chile which supplied electric power to the Anaconda Copper mine at Chuquicamata, Chile. Jay had a half-brother Bill and a half-sister Mary Anne, from her father’s previous marriage, who were about ten years older. Their mother, Marie, who lived in Chuquicamata was like an aunt to Jay.

Jay grew up bilingual and led a very active childhood, full of adventures. While growing up in Chile, the Chilean police taught her to ride horseback, and she swam in a community recreation area on the ocean that her father created called Caleta Boy which is still used today. She also enjoyed playing tennis and golf. Jay attended Santiago College, a prep school in Santiago, Chile, for two years before transferring to Drew Seminary, a prep school for girls in New York State, for her last two years of high school.

After high school Jay enrolled in a pre-med program at the Arts and Science College of Cornell University. It was at Cornell that she met and fell in love with Frank Robertson, a student in the Civil Engineering School there. While at Cornell they became engaged. Jay graduated a year before Frank, and went to work as a lab technician for Dr. Georgios Papanicolaus, the developer of the Pap Test, at Cornell University Medical College in New York City. After Frank graduated they were married on June 21, 1952 in New York City.

Shortly after they were married they moved to Boise, Idaho, where Frank took a job with Morrison Knudsen Company. While with MK, Jay and Frank moved many times back and forth across the country going to the next project, with each of their four children being born in different towns across the country. In thirty-four years “with the company” Jay packed-up, moved, and unpacked 15 homes in 10 different states.

They spent eleven years living in Westport, Connecticut, where Jay was very active in Westport town politics and the local League of Women Voters chapter. Jay was also an accomplished cook and took many classes focusing on French and Italian cooking. She was a dedicated amateur athlete and swam competitively at the YMCA, played in golf and tennis tournaments, raced with her husband in their sailboat at Cedar Point Yacht Club, and skied with her children.

In 1979 they moved back to Boise. Jay made a whole group of new friends in the Boise League of Women Voters. She was active in Planned Parenthood and was President of the Boise chapter. She was also active with a group of ladies (Women in Finance) who followed and invested in the stock markets, acting as their president for one year.

Jay was an active swimmer at the YMCA, and became a member of the “Y” Senior Racing Team, traveling with the team to US Masters events. She continued to play tennis and skied in the winter. After Frank retired they became very active fly fishers, spending summers fishing the trout streams of the Northwest, traveling with their Airstream Trailer and camping on the stream sides. Jay became an excellent fly tyer, and joined a group of Boise women who got together weekly to tie flies at Idaho Anglers Fly Shop.

Jay and Frank made winter trips south to Chile to fish the streams and lakes of Patagonia. Over the years they made seventeen trips south, spending a month or two on each trip. Jay’s fluency in Spanish made it all possible. They owned a Nissan Pathfinder in Chile which made it easy (along with Jay’s Spanish) to travel and get along in the back country of Chile and Argentina. Over the years they met and made close friends with a number of Chilean and Argentinian fishers, traveling all the way from the northern borders to the southern tip of both Chile and Argentina.

Jay is survived and will be greatly missed by her husband, Frank Robertson, her daughters Josephine Robertson, Amelia Whelan, Sara Robertson Aibel, and her son Harold Robertson. Her nine grandchildren (named by age) Lola Maclean, Jessye Aibel, Audrey Scott, Will Whelan, Roxanne Kratt, Michael Aibel, Franklin Robertson, Steele Kratt, Jeannine Whelan, and two great grandchildren Madeline Maclean and Olive Crets.

Our family would like to give special thanks to Keystone Hospice and BrightStar Care for helping to care for Jay in her final days.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeannine Boynton Robertson, please visit our flower store.


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