Delia 'Del' Pruhs

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Delia "Del" Pruhs, 82, died Sunday, July 18, 2010 in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

Del was born July 4, 1928 in Otter River, Mass. to John and Mary Tenaglia. She graduated from Templeton High School in Baldwinville, Mass.; St. Vincent's School of Nursing in Worcester, Mass.; and Donsbach University School of Nutrition in Concord, Calif. She moved to Point Barrow in 1952 to work as a nurse before settling in Fairbanks in 1954 where she met and married her best friend and husband, Don Pruhs. They lived in Fairbanks for more than 35 years before retiring in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Delia was very involved in the Fairbanks Community and the State of Alaska. She was active in Sweet Adelines, the Breast Cancer Detection Center where she volunteered as a nurse and later worked as executive director, and she worked as a nurse at Lathrop High School. Del served as Commissioner to both the Alaska's Workman's Compensation Board and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. She was the Alaska Regent to WAMI, a collaborative medical school program among universities from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. She supported many other civic organizations and was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska.

According to her family, "Del's commitment to health and higher education will continue to benefit Alaskans for generations to come. Her kindness, creativity and love of community were central to her life. There wasn't a neighborhood child or family friend who didn't know she served pasta every Wednesday and Sunday at 5:15 p.m., sharp. Those dinners were special occasions for family and friends; they were filled with love, laughter and good-natured ribbing. Her heart, home and table were always open to others."

She was a master knitter and seamstress who enjoyed reading, learning, gardening, cooking, bridge and sports. She was a dedicated supporter of Monroe Catholic Schools of Fairbanks and an avid fan of professional baseball and football.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years and her parents. She is survived by son Dana Pruhs, daughter-in-law Deanna and granddaughter Danner of Anchorage; son Danny Pruhs, daughter-in-law Patti and grandsons, Palmer and Parker of Prescott, Ariz.; son, David Pruhs of Fairbanks; daughter Donelle Thompson, son-in-law Ross and grandson Jacob of Anchorage; sister Kay LeBlanc of Phoenix, Ariz.; sister MaryJane Johnson of Champaign, Ill.; brother Nicholas Tenaglia of Phoenix, Arizona; and many nieces and nephews.

A viewing was held July 23 at Green Acres Funeral Home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Funeral services took place July 24 at St. Daniel the Prophet Catholic Church in Scottsdale.

In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to send donations to the Monroe Foundation at 615 Monroe St., Fairbanks, AK 99701, or submit online at If donating online, please reference "In memory of Del Pruhs" in the company name field.

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