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Jackie Lorensen, 63, lost her battle with breast cancer Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, in Rochester, N.Y., surrounded by family.
A resident of Juneau from 1973 to the present, Jackie, attended by her husband, Ron Swanson, and daughter, Carrie Lorensen, resided with her sister, Laurie Conti, and her husband, Rob, while she underwent medical treatment in New York.
Born in 1946 in Rochester, Jackie graduated from Fairport High School in New York and the State University of New York at Oswego. She taught art in the Albany School District. After moving to Alaska, she taught fifth grade at Gastineau Elementary School in Juneau and retired as the school librarian at Floyd Dryden Middle School. She also worked for five years as the education coordinator at the Alaska State Museum.
Active in the community, Jackie was past president of the Friends of the Alaska State Museum. Former vice president of the Juneau Garden Club, she helped write and edit the first edition of the book, Gardening in Southeast Alaska. She served on advisory boards for the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums and for the Jensen-Olson Arboretum. She also founded the Friends of Auke Lake and was active in selected political campaigns.
Jackie loved flowers. A Southeast Alaska Master Gardener, she grew flowers and vegetables in every nook and cranny indoors and in the gardens of her homes in Lemon Creek, North Douglas and the dream home she designed on Auke Lake. Every place she lived had a greenhouse where she spent most of her free time "potting on" plants of all varieties. In the summer, family and friends referred to her house and yard as "Bouchart Gardens North."
An avid walker, Jackie felt that the day was not complete until she had walked four miles with her beloved dogs, Piper and Toby. Her cat, Gordon Lightfoot, was her gardening companion.
Married to Ron Swanson in 1992, Jackie loved to travel with her husband. They flew their airplane throughout much of the United States and Canada, especially to their cabin on Atlin Lake in British Columbia where Jackie entertained many friends, walked many miles, and planted many flowers.
The consummate hostess, always prepared with healthy "treats," Jackie had a great sense of humor and often quoted Alice Roosevelt Longworth: "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me."
Surviving relatives include her husband, Ron Swanson; daughter, Carrie Lorensen; sister, Laurie Conti and her husband Rob; former mother-in-law and friend, Ingie Lorensen. Predeceased family members include her son, Brian Lorensen; former husband Ron Lorensen, and her father and mother, Bill and Doris Schutt.
Donations in Jackie's name may be sent to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, 419 6th St., Juneau, AK 99801. Services will be announced at a later date.