Longtime Alaskan Sydney Jane Brannin Dodge, 88, died Friday, March 11, 2011 from natural causes at the Colony Manor Assisted Living Home in Wasilla.
Memorial services were held on Friday at Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake. Pastors Ethan Hansen and Marty Moffat officiated. A celebration of Sydney’s life followed at the Palmer Elks Lodge. Her ashes will be laid to rest with her mother at the Mountain View Cemetery in Big Timber, Mont.
Sydney was born July 27, 1922 to Sidney Arthur and Iva Kathryn (Melvin) Brannin in Bozeman, Mont. Her family moved to Juneau in 1935 where she graduated from Juneau High School in 1940. After living Outside, in 1952 she began residing in Anchorage working as secretary to United States District Court Judge James Martin Fitzgerald from 1957 to 1986. She retired in 1987 and moved to Houston, Alaska, eventually settling in Wasilla from 2009 until her passing. Sydney was a member of Faith Bible Fellowship, Pioneers of Alaska, Mid-Valley & Palmer Senior Citizens, and Paws and Taws Square Dancing. She was a foster grandparent of Alaska for 20 years and coached cheerleading for Houston Junior High School.
“Words like feisty, classy, witty, dedicated, committed, and loyal come to mind when thinking of Sydney. The person she loved the most in this world was her husband, Dell Dodge. She had a wit and ability to retell stories of good times, which meant time spent with her was accompanied by much laughter. For these reasons, and many more that cannot fully be expressed, Sydney will be missed and thought of dearly and often,” her family wrote.
Sydney was preceded in death by her husband Dell Chandler Dodge; parents; sister Harriet Brannin; stepmother Lois Fisk; nephew Richard Sidney Hickman; grandson Brennan Darrell Christianson and former husband William Henry Sorgenfrei.
She is survived by her daughter Janis Margaret Christianson of Houston; sister Margaret Alice Brannin Hickman of Anchorage; son in-law Vernon Darrell Christianson of Anchorage and Lake Wateree, S.C.; daughter in-law Kathy Dodge Meyer of Tacoma, Wash.; granddaughter Markie (Timothy) Louise Blumer of Henderson, Nev.; great-grandson Leif Brenmark Christianson Blumer of Henderson; grandson Anthony Chandler Dodge of Tacoma; half brother Allen Scott Brannin of Port Angeles, Wash.; half sisters Judith Lee Brannin-Wagoner of Sedro Wooley, Wash and Bonnie Jo Brannin Kirkendall of Renton, Wash; various extended family members.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sydney’s memory to Big Lake Elementary School, P.O. Box 520049, Big Lake, AK 99652.
Arrangements were by the Valley Funeral Home & Crematory.