Nellie May Pusich died Jan. 7, 2009, due to cancer. She was 70.
Born May 8, 1938, to Clarence and Nellie Fowler, in Stanwood, Wash., she moved to Douglas aboard her father's fishing boat at the age of 3. Graduating from Douglas High School in 1956, she later lived in Washington, Germany and Hawaii before returning to her true "home" in Douglas in 1966.
Back where she wanted to raise her family, she embarked upon a successful career with multiple businesses, including serving as owner and operator of Foodland Super Drug for more than 30 years until her retirement in 2003. Active in the community, she was once named Juneau "Woman of the Year" for her achievements.
Well known for her gourmet cooking, she loved to entertain and share her hospitality anywhere she went whether at home in downtown Douglas or at their "snowbird" nest in Yuma, Ariz.
An avid gardener, her true passion was sportfishing. She could often be found most summers out on their boat, the M/V Sea Master, where she frequented many of her favorite places such as Taku Harbor, Elfin Cove, Kadasham and Funter Bay.
Fishing was in her genes, her family said, and unfortunately for most who thought they could out-fish her, humility was a lesson well learned. To soothe those battered egos, she typically shared her catch as consolation, always ensuring everyone left with a smile.
"She was a steadfast businesswoman, a gracious and nimble host, a loving wife and mother and most importantly - a generous and caring soul," her family said.
She was preceded in death by her parents and niece.
She is survived by her husband of 26 years, Lawrence "Larry" Pusich; children, William and Dottie Whitehead, Keith Whitehead and fiancé, Kara Rakestraw, Debbie Pusich and Bryce Patsy, all of Juneau, Gerald "Dee-o" and Terri Whitehead, of Rathdrum, Idaho, Rod and Sandy Whitehead, of Adak, and Linda Sturrock-Burger and Adrian Burger, of Snohomish, Wash.; brother, Robert Fowler, of Washington; grandchildren, Adrianne, Bethany, Natasha, Joshua, Joseph, Jerred, Jeffrey, Destiny, Keaton, Jake, Alex, Paul, Kylie, Brittney, Tyler and Alison; and countless friends whom she considered her extended family.
She requested that no service be held but wished to have a celebration of her life held on her birthday, May 8, 2009, at Sandy Beach for all who knew her. Further details will be posted in the Empire preceding the event.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, those wishing to convey their sympathies to make a donation in her name to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau.