Longtime Juneau resident Vitan Mitev Ganev died with his family at his side at 10:24 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2009, at Wild Flower Court due to complications from multiple strokes. He was 68.
Born July 7, 1940, in Popovo, Bulgaria, he left his country for the United States in his early 1920s. He traveled to many places within the United States, one being San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1967, where he married and had two daughters. He traveled many places to determine where he and his family should reside, even going as far as New Zealand. He chose to move his family to Juneau in 1972.
His family said he was an amazing violin player, artist, writer, cook and inventor. He loved to travel, take care of his family and spend time outdoors hunting, fishing and hiking. He believed in healthy living through laughter, love, hard work, fresh air and natural foods. He built a garden for his family and used the vegetables to make fresh juices and healthy meals. He was a storyteller who enjoyed sharing the vast array of adventures he experienced during his 68 years.
"A few things that come to mind when thinking of Vitan is his way of expressing his unique views of life, his quest for knowledge and the truth and his humble desire to share his knowledge with the world to best serve all," his family said. "His biggest desire was to provide all he could for his family at any cost and to ensure his daughters and their families were happy in all areas of their lives. His amazing spirit touched many people in the most surprising ways. His simple smile and caring eyes will be missed."
He was a resident at Wild Flower Court for four years, where he befriended many residents and staff. He came to Wild Flower Court after suffering a stroke while traveling in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2005.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mitio Ganev Mitay and Sineonka Vitheva Iordanova, of Bulgaria.
He is survived by his daughters, Katherine Ganev, of Boulder, Colo., and Dareen Beatrize Puhlick and husband, Nick, of Juneau; and grandchildren, Chase Schneider, Sofia Schneider, Tyler Puhlick, Cassidy Puhlick and Brady Puhlick, of Juneau.
Friends and acquaintances are invited to join the family at a service to be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16, at the Alaskan Memorial Park & Mortuary, 3839 Riverside Drive. A reception will immediately follow at the residence of Nick and Dareen Puhlick, 1521 Ling Court.
Donations in his honor may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation Attn: Accounting Department, 8301 Professional Place, Landover, MD 20785-7223, or online at www.epilepsyfoundation.org/howtohelp/. Donations can also be made to the Epilepsy Therapy Project online at www.firstgiving.com/epilepsytherapyproject. His youngest grandson suffers from epilepsy among other things, and Vitan wanted to help find a cure.