Shirley Dresnek



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Former Eagle River resident Shirley Elizabeth Dresnek, of Wasilla, died March 28, 2013 surrounded by loved ones. She was 87.

A funeral mass and celebration of life were held April 3 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla.

Shirley was born March 5, 1926, at home in Winooski, Vermont, the daughter of Irene (Kirby) and David J. Barron. She and her family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where she met the love of her life. When she was 13 years old, a new family with three boys moved in across the street. She saw the tall, good-looking, middle son and knew immediately that this was the man she would marry. She told her mother that a voice came to her and told her she was going to marry this boy. Her mother told her she was a ‘silly girl’. She and the middle son, Leo Dresnek, were married five years later on May 5, 1945. They went on to celebrate 66 years of marriage.

The one thing she most wanted in life and was happiest in doing was to have a family and take care of them. In a span of 18 years, 10 children were born — five girls and five boys. Her husband was her everything and her children her most amazing achievements. She shared stories of raising her family with anyone who had the time to listen. The move to Alaska from Michigan in 1968, was one of the fascinating stories. The family took a month long trip cross country to start a new exciting life in Alaska, in a school bus renovated to hold their personal belongings and eight of their children.

Her family wrote, “Dad was always looking for something better and they finally found it in Alaska, which became home to the family. Mom had reservations about the move but followed Dad and trusted in him that he knew what was best for the family.”

Shirley had the most unwavering faith in her religion and firmly believed in eternal life. She always took pride in her personal appearance and attire in which everything had to match! Shirley was always a positive role model for her family and friends and thought the best of people. Her bright, infectious smile will be missed, as well as the time spent with her working her many, many puzzles. She leaves a huge void in her loved one’s lives but they will honor her by doing what is right and “saying their prayers.”

She is survived by a brother, Donald C. Barron of Traverse City, Mich.; her daughters, Shirley Smith, Marty Nekeferoff, Meri Stewart, Irene Kemp, and Nancy (Craig) Henrionnet; sons, David (Jean) Dresnek, Michael (Marilyn) Dresnek, Steve Dresnek, Leo Dresnek, and John (Kathleen) Dresnek; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leo Dresnek, Sr.; her parents, Irene and David Barron; two brothers, Sanford and Roger; and four sisters, Ruth, Betty, Rita, and Carol.

Cards and letters may be sent to Meri Stewart, 8060 Giddeon Circle #2 Anchorage, AK 99504.

The family would like to thank the staff (you know who you are) at Primrose Retirement Community of Wasilla for their constant support, love, hugs, words of encouragement, direction, and the care that they gave our Mom and Grandma. You became part of our family!

Valley Funeral home and Crematory of Wasilla cared for the family.

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