Elizabeth J. Magnuson

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Former Juneau resident Elizabeth J. Magnuson, 78, died Feb. 19, 2002, in Fairbanks of cancer and diabetes.

She was born March 22, 1923, in Seattle to Howard Glen and Helen (Upper) Wilcox. She lived in various parts of the greater Seattle area and in Oregon until July 1936, when the family moved to Petersburg. The family then settled in Juneau from 1936 to 1940. They moved to Fairbanks when her father became a professor of mining engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

She married Dennis Fenno in Dillingham, and lived there from 1942 to 1955. When this marriage ended, she moved her family to Fairbanks in order to complete her education. In 1962, she and Vince Magnuson were married and built a house in Fairbanks, where they lived until their deaths.

In 1985, she retired from working as an educator for state and local entities. In retirement, she and her husband spent time traveling and visiting friends and family. She was an active member of many organizations, including University Community Presbyterian Church, PEO Chapter F, Pioneers of Alaska Auxiliary No. 8, Fairbanks Garden Club, Fairbanks Retired Teachers' Association and Alaska State Retired Educators' Association.

Her family said that she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by her husband Vincent Magnuson; her parents; brother James R. Wilcox; and grandson Shane Rogers.

She is survived by her brother Donald Wilcox, Anchorage; children Sally Fenno, Fairbanks, Betsy Fenno, Seattle and Fairbanks, Kathleen Rogers, Seattle, Eric Fenno, Fairbanks, Mike Fenno, Fairbanks, Patrick Magnuson, Fairbanks, and Robert Magnuson, Anchorage; grandchildren Danaan Smith, Kyzyl Fenno-Smith, Alexandra Cleghorn, Steven Johnson, Jonalyn Carver, Morgan Wilson, Jibidrik Wilson, Mysteli Rosman, Shawn Rogers, Daniel Nguyen, Lief Fenno, Jason Fenno, Jennifer Nelson, Sarah Van Nort, Ben Van Nort, Emily Magnuson, Neil Magnuson, Michaela Magnuson and Chase Magnuson; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and reception will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2, 2002, at University Community Presbyterian Church in Fairbanks. She requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to Hospice of the Tanana Valley, P.O. Box 82770, Fairbanks, AK 99708.

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