Ernestine Head Jernigan

March 25, 1910 ~ April 16, 2007 (age 97)

Ernestine Head Jernigan, 97, died Monday, April 16, 2007 at A. G. Rhodes at Wesley Woods nursing facility in Atlanta, GA.

She was born March 25, 1910 in Athens, GA to the late Harrison V. Head and Leila McMahan Head.

Mrs. Jernigan attended Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens and graduated from the University of Georgia with both a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Education. During 37 years in public education she taught school in Winterville, Siloam, Sparta, DeKalb County, and Jackson, GA. She was also a principal of Siloam Elementary School. Early in her career she left teaching for a short time to work as a Home Demonstration Agent in Greene County where she met and married William Moore Jernigan of White Plains. During the WWII years she worked for the Farm Security Administration demonstrating improved food preparation and preservation techniques to farmers and their wives throughout the Southeast. Following the death of her husband, William Moore Jernigan in April 1968 she began assembling the diary of her sister, Elizabeth Vaughan. Elizabeth, her two young children, and other civilians were interned in the Philippines by the Japanese. Over a two year period Mrs. Jernigan transcribed Elizabeth''s notes that were written on used school examination booklets, torn brown wrapping paper, soap bar wrappers, and other scraps. The diary was begun by Elizabeth in 1941 with the announcement of the war with Japan and continued until 1945 with the release of the POW''s. The diary was subsequently published by the University of Georgia Press as The Ordeal of Elizabeth Vaughan.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Elizabeth, Herbert, James, Clarence, and Harvey, and nephew, Dr. Clay Vaughan. Surviving family members are her son, William Mell Jernigan and wife Toni of Atlanta; daughter, Leila Jernigan Moeller and husband Dick of Oakwood; grandsons Robert Wade Jernigan of Arlington, Virginia and Lt. William Keith Jernigan, of Ft. Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska; granddaughter Wendy Annette Moeller of Atlanta; nieces Van Head Waters of Jefferson, GA, and Elizabeth Vaughan O''Gorman of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; and nephews Clarence Head of Winter Springs, FL, and Peter Head of Bermuda.

A memorial service will be held at the White Plains Baptist Church on May 19th at 11 AM. The family requests that any memorials be made to the White Plains Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 38, White Plains, GA 30678. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

© 2018 McCommons Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS