Gay Zaruba

Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2009

Juneau and former Ketchikan resident Gay Zaruba died Nov. 21, 2009, at home. She was 98.

Born Gladys Aileen Young on Dec. 7, 1910, in Minco, Okla., to Blanche and Charles Young., her father was a farmer and when she was 6 months old her family moved to Rockwell City, Iowa.

She graduated from high school in 1929 and taught school for two years. She then pursued a dream of becoming a nurse and attended the University of Chicago School of Nursing. After two years, she returned home to assist with the care of Joseph Zaruba.

She and C.A. "Tuck" Zaruba were married Dec. 20, 1932, and celebrated 61 years of marriage. Following a few years of living in Omaha, Neb., they moved in 1939 to Ketchikan, where they fished for salmon in the summer and trapped in the winter up until 1949, when they "moved to town."

She worked at Ketchikan General Hospital, was a founder of a school for disabled children and was an active member of First United Methodist Church. In 1965, she and Tuck moved to Florida to care for Tuck's mother and then returned to Alaska in 1970, settling in Juneau. She worked for the state of Alaska Department of Administration for 10 years, processing applications and conducting state tests. She retired in 1980.

She loved to garden and was a member of Pioneer's of Alaska, Northern Light United Church and Aldersgate United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday school for more than 50 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Tuck Zaruba, in 1993; sisters, Lois Whitesides and Nora Prince; brothers, Gerald, Norton and Charles Young.

She is survived by her son, Tom Zaruba and wife, Ingrid; granddaughter, Katie Foster; grandson, Carl Zaruba and wife, Amber; great-grandchildren, Chase, Bailey-Jane and Dylan; sister-in-law, Marjorie McKeon; and many nieces and nephews.

Services will held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 9161 Cinema Drive.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, 419 Sixth St., Juneau, AK 99801, or Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

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