Dorothy 'Dode' Wicks

Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Former Juneau resident Dorothy G. "Dode" Wicks died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure on Aug. 7, 2008, in Vancouver, Wash., where she had lived since 2002. Her daughter, Sandra Wicks, of Anchorage was at her bedside, while in her final days Dorothy frequently talked on the phone with her son, Rick Wicks, of Göteborg, Sweden. She was 88.

Dorothy was born on Dec. 10, 1919, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Dora Hospers Gleysteen and Jacob Christian Gleysteen. In 1937, she graduated from Sioux City's Central High School and then earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education in 1941 at the University of Iowa.

She is survived by her daughter, Sandra J. Wicks, of Anchorage; and son, Rick Wicks, of Göteborg, Sweden, and Anchorage.

According to her family, she was athletic and had a lifelong love of the outdoors. She loved to swim, boat, fish and sail at Lake Okoboji, Iowa, to which she returned almost every year throughout her life. There she met her husband, Alan E. Wicks, who was working at the Lakeside Laboratory.

The summer after college, she and Alan married in Juneau, where he had gone to work with the Public Health Service. Their daughter, Sandra, was born in Juneau in 1943, before the family moved to Los Angeles. They moved back to Iowa City in 1946, where Rick was born.

Dorothy taught first grade in Iowa City from 1951 to 1958, when the family moved to Anchorage. There she taught first grade and later kindergarten, until retiring in 1976. She lived in Eugene, Ore., from 1979 until 2002.

She loved to sing and was active in many choirs and choruses throughout her life. She had a wonderful smile and many friends, her family said. She was proud of her Dutch heritage, keeping in close touch with many relatives throughout the country. She was always willing to bake a pie upon request and was known for her excellent pie crust, they said. She loved to travel and had been to Egypt, Japan and China, as well as Sweden and other countries in Europe, and all over the United States.

She was a concerned environmentalist and bird-watcher, and among the many philanthropic organizations and activities in which she was active, she was a monthly contributor to Habitat for Humanity.

In July, she and her children and grandchildren had had a weeklong reunion in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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