Former Juneau resident Michele "Shelly" Szepanski died peacefully in Minnesota on Dec. 4, 2008 after a steadfast four-year battle with melanoma.
Born Feb. 4, 1967, in Minneapolis, Minn., she lived in Juneau, Anchorage, McGrath and Fairbanks, for most of her 41 years. She graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1985 and was a member of the All-State Girls' High School Basketball team her junior and senior years.
While battling cancer, she continued to work on her doctorate program in moose research, got her pilot's license and took dressage lessons. She maintained her love for the outdoors and Alaska even during her most difficult health challenges.
She is survived by her parents, Lynn and Bill Szepanski, of Anoka, Minn.; sister, Jennifer Mendive and husband, Steve, of Palmer; grandmother, Lorraine Waller, of Minn.; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in Minnesota, Oregon and Alaska; and good friends, Kalin Kellie, Heather Wilson and Caroline Brown, of Alaska.
A celebration dinner will take place in Fairbanks at a later date. Her ashes will be spread at various locations in Alaska according to her wishes. Read more at shellyszepanski.blogspot.com/
Her parents can be reached at email@example.com. Memorials may be sent to The Melanoma Research Foundation, 170 Township Line Road, Building B, Hillsborough, NJ 08844, or online at
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