Longtime Eagle River resident Deanna Nicolard died at her home on Feb. 24, 2012 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. She was 73.
Services will be held Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m. at Kings Way Ministry Center in Eagle River.
Mrs. Nicolard was born on April 9, 1938 in Tacoma, Wash. She first came to Alaska in 1962 to visit her sister and brother-in-law, who were stationed at Fort Richardson. There she met her future husband, Pete Nicolard.
After the Good Friday earthquake in 1964, Pete proposed to Deanna through the mail, sending her a ring in a small box. She said yes and traveled back to Alaska, were they were married just nine days after the earthquake, on April 9, 1964. They both shared the same birthday, also April 9.
Pete and Deanna settled in Anchorage, and a few years later adopted two daughters 18 months apart. She was an active member and baptized in the Full Gospel Church in Anchorage. In 1976 the family built a house in Eagle River. It was during this time that Deanna became a volunteer parent at Homestead Elementary School. She popped popcorn at the school once a week and came to be known to many youngsters there as “The Popcorn Lady.” At the same school, Deanna met with other families in the gym on Sundays, families who were the beginnings of a new church that was soon to be built just up the street. She was a charter member of Kings Way Assembly of God (now Kings Way Ministry Center) and attended church there for the remainder of her life.
She served at Kings Way in many capacities over the years, including President of Women’s Ministries, Daisy Leader, nursery worker, and cleaning crew just to name a few. She cooked countless meals for other members of the congregation and strangers alike.
“Deanna was a true servant of the Lord and could be counted on any time of day or night to be a steadfast prayer warrior,” her family said. “She was a mentor to many women over the years, both young and old.
“Deanna loved the Lord with all her heart and was a living example of what it means to be a Christian woman, wife, mother and friend. She blessed many people over the years with her positive encouragement and prayers, and with her wonderful banana bread, which she is ‘famous’ for amongst her friends and family. Although she will be greatly missed, her family rejoices in the fact that they will see her again one day in heaven,” her family said.
In the late 1980’s with both of her kids grown and out of the house, she provided day care to children of family friends in her home and developed a special bond with many of the kids that lasts to this day.
In 1988 she and Pete celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. April 2012 would have marked 48 years of marriage.
Beginning in the early 90’s she took a job at the Great Land Christian Cache in Eagle River, which she enjoyed greatly and as a result formed many special friendships.
Also in the 90’s, Deanna became a grandmother, a role she cherished greatly.
“She was the grandma that most children can only dream of having, providing unconditional love and support over the years. She particularly enjoyed taking the grandkids shopping, going out to lunch for Chinese food after church and spending quality time with them at her home,” her family said.
The family would like to thank Providence Hospice of Alaska for the compassionate care provided to Deanna and her family during her last weeks at home, as well as to the staff at Katmai Oncology Group at Providence.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Ida Myhre; and brother, George Myhre.
She is survived by her husband, Pete Nicolard of Eagle River; daughters and sons-in-law, Julie and Vance Zuehlsdorff of Eagle River and Tina and David Honore of Arlington Heights, Ill.; grandchildren Michaela Moore, Cassidy Moore, Gabrielle Honore, Ava Zuehlsdorff, Shaelyn Zuehlsdorff and Elijah Salstrom; and sister, Shirley Spring of Stanwood, Wash.
Arrangements by Cremation Society of Alaska, www.alaskacremation.com.