Juneau resident Lois Nakamura died Oct. 20, 2009, in Los Altos, Calif., where she spent the past four years receiving treatment for a brain tumor. She was 72.
Born in 1937, she received her bachelor's degree at Walla Walla College in Washington and her nursing degree in Portland, Ore. She spent her first three years of professional nursing as the assistant to Peter, then as the medical director for the American Peace Corps in Pakistan from 1964 to 1966 and in Sarawak from 1966 to 1967. Her family said she successfully faced the challenges of foreign and unknown environments in the same positive manner that she handled all of life's adversities.
From 1970 to 1972, she was the director and nurse for the prematernal home in Bethel. Honey buckets, water wagons and frequent power outages in the formerly abandoned and decrepit house were no barriers to the loving, safe and comfortable shelter she provided for pregnant ladies coming to Bethel from their villages in "bush" Alaska.
Three years in Anchorage, one year in Hawaii, three years on the Navajo reservation and 13 years in Portland filled the time between her experiences in Bethel and her arrival in Juneau in 1991.
She provided medical transcription services for the Bartlett Memorial Hospital in Juneau from 1991 until her diagnosis with cancer in 2005.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. Peter Nakamura; and two children, Kristin and Kevin Nakamura.