Former Juneau resident Wendy Sue Matheny, of Coos Bay, Ore., died March 8, 2009. She was 58.
Born March 21, 1950, in Juneau, to Jim and Blanche (Younker) Doyle, she was called their "Little Dove." Her military family moved from coast to coast, returning to Juneau in 1964. She graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1968 and left Alaska to attend Pacific University.
She married and spent several years in Texas and Germany before returning to Juneau. Happy that her daughter, Wynette, could grow up in her hometown, she worked for the court system, charter seaplane companies, the state of Alaska and the University of Alaska Southeast before moving to Coos Bay in 1995.
A member of the Coquille Indian Tribe, she was the social services director at the Tribal Health Center for many years, helping families and children in need. Before her retirement, she was the coordinator of the Coquille Tribe Community Fund, helping nonprofits make a different in the lives of people of the bay area.
She fought breast cancer for 17 years but remained strongly focused on life, her family said. She inspired family and friends with her positive attitude and continued pursuit of her dreams.
She loved it when her entire family shaved their heads to match her bald pate, her family said. Her smile was never more sparkling than when her mother, brothers, sister and uncle Tom all got matching "Little Dove" tattoos, they said.
"Wendy maintained lifelong friendships and made new friends every day," her family said. "Remembering her unabashed laughter and her brilliant smile will always bring joy to those who loved her."
She was preceded in death by her father, James A. Doyle; and uncles, Frank E. Younker and Roy "Duffy" Doyle.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Wynette and Zachary Hanna; grandchildren, Siena, Isabella and Jackson; mother, Blanche Doyle; brothers and their families, Rocky and Jan Doyle and their children, Fauna, Quila and Kitzen Doyle and Jeni Branting, and Terry and Bev Doyle and their children, Brendan and Katelyn; sister, Laurabeth Baron; nephew and family, Lon and Katrina Matheny and their children, Kaylee and Sarrah; nephew, Lynn Cox; great-nephew, Daniel Cox; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and loved ones, including her extended tribal family whose support and care meant so very much to her.
A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Kilkich Reservation Plank House in Coos Bay. A reception will follow at her home. Her ashes will be interred in the Kilkich Columbarium. Cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay.
The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Attn: Gift Management Services, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75244. Arrangements are under the direction of Coos Bay Chapel, 503-267-3131. Sign a guestbook at www.theworldlink.com.