Juneau resident Shirley Ann Nygard died peacefully on June 7, 2009, at Wildflower Court in Juneau. She was 79.
She was born on Aug. 26, 1929, in Bracken, Saskatchewan, to Ray and Elsie Coons. She was the youngest of six children.
She was raised in Loring, Mont., and she graduated from Malta High School in 1948. She attended college in Havre, Mont., and later moved to Great Falls, Mont., where she worked in several administrative jobs. It was there she met her husband, Ed. They married on July 24, 1955. After Ed's work had taken them to Sells, Ariz. and Kotzebue, Juneau became home in 1961. It was a place she loved.
After retirement, she and Ed spent many years traveling the United States. Their annual trek to Hawaii for 20 years was one of the favorite fun places. They were joined there frequently by family and friends for more fun. Her favorite place in Europe was Finland - she said the hospitality was tremendous and the countryside was clean. They also really enjoyed the RV life.
She worked for the Juneau School District and the University of Alaska. Shirley loved to bake, knit, read and work on crosswords, word finds, jigsaw puzzles, and play cards. She liked TV game shows and walks with her good buddy and neighbor, Doreen. Her family said she had the most generous heart and kind smile. She adored and was very proud of her nine grandchildren.
She was a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Order of Eastern Star No. 7, serving as Worthy Matron in 1980 with her husband as Worthy Patron, and was a longtime volunteer of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Elsie Coons and her siblings, Don, Ken and Wesley Coons, Eunice Davies and Rose Dyrdahl.
She is survived by her husband of nearly 54 years, Ed Nygard; children, Chuck Nygard and wife, Bonnie, of Townsend, Wis., Gail Fenumiai and husband, Al, of Juneau, and Scott Nygard and wife, Crystal, of Palmer; grandchildren, Shauna Nygard, of Denver Colo., Cole and Hali Nygard, of Townsend, Nicole, Brittany and Phillip Fenumiai, of Juneau, and Eric, Alexander and Nikolas Nygard, of Palmer; brother-in-law, Norman Dyrdahl, of Malta, Mont., sister-in-law, Lois Coons, of Billings, Mont.; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, July 6, at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 740 West 10th St. A reception will follow at the Moose Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123-1718 or Resurrection Lutheran Church, 740 West 10th Street, Juneau, AK 99801.
The family would like to thank the staff at Wildflower Court, Reifenstein Dialysis Center, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, Scottsdale Select Care Hospital, Plaza Healthcare, Scottsdale Regional Hospital, Davita Dialysis Center, Dr. Alex Malter and many other Juneau medical professionals for the care and compassion provided. A special thanks to Dr. Henry Akiyama for the years of care he provided. Mom was treated with dignity and respect by all and it was greatly appreciated.
The family may be reached at 1652 Glacier Avenue, Juneau AK 99801.