Shirley Cecilia Anderson Seavey May 13, 1939 – August 24, 2017
Shirley (Anderson) Seavey was born May 13, 1939, in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, to Gustav Arvid (Richard) and Olga Elizabeth Anderson. She attended high school in Milaca, Minnesota, where she played the clarinet in band and drums in marching band, sang in the choir, and was a varsity cheerleader. She graduated from school in 1957.
Shirley met Dan Seavey in 1956, who romanced her relentlessly, using whatever means available to him — including his awesome physique (according to him) to win her affections. They actually met at a county fair, where he was working as a carnival wrestler — so much for “romance.” She finally relented, only to find out, because of his callow age, he needed a permission slip from his parents to get married. They were married July 12, 1958, and had three children in two and a half years, while working to help put Dan through college.
They moved to Seward, Alaska, in 1963, and to their current home just after the Earthquake in 1964. She lived the great Alaskan lifestyle, including modernizing her home to include electricity and running water.
She studied the Russian and Korean languages, sign language, flower essence therapy, homeopathy, color therapy, classical guitar, and piano, and loved her time with the book club. She volunteered at the Seward Chamber of Commerce, taught Sunday School, and women’s Bible studies. She was an avid gardener, accomplished seamstress, excellent cook and homemaker, and generously taught other women what she knew. She shared her bread baking skills through the Home Ec department at Seward High School, baked for club bake sales, and chaperoned dances – especially the ’50s dances – she and Dan could cut the rug.
She worked on election boards, at C. Rupe Kulin Insurance Agency, and was the office manager for the family businesses, Trails North, Seward Bus Line, and Cruise Bus Alaska. She also owned the first commercial espresso machine in Seward. She typed and edited Dan’s book, “The First Great Race,” depicting his adventures and memories of the first Iditarod Race. Any mistakes are his.
She traveled extensively in the United States, and went to India, Ecuador, The Netherlands and Sweden, and made at least 20 trips over the AlCan Highway, through Canada. Her favorite places were Nova Scotia, the Redwoods, and the Grand Canyon, and she was smitten with all of Sweden and Amsterdam.
She lived a very full life; rode horses, mushed dogs, hiked, biked, cross country skied, skijored, rode the bungee chair at the fair, joined in the all-night sledding parties and bonfires, and went to as many of her kids’ and grandkids’ events as possible. She collected kids. It didn’t matter who they were, when they showed up, or how long they stayed. There was always room at the table and a bed to sleep in. She was always all about her family. Her patience, abilities, and good humor were a gift to everyone. She put others before herself, and loved unconditionally.
She often wondered what she wanted to be when she grew up. Well, while she was growing up, she raised her family that includes artists, writers, singers, dancers, entrepreneurs, athletes, healers, competitors, inventors, and adventurers.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister Marlene Anderson Ree, and grandson, Louis Christian Audette, III.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Dan Seavey; children Mitch (Janine), Tracie (Louis Audette, Jr.) and Darian (Siri); her grandchildren, Danny (Safia), Tyrell (Tekla), Dallas (Jen), and Conway Seavey, Halle’ (Ian) Pelman, Aleacia (Greg) Landon, Ricky (Tessa) Lindley, Tarah (A.J.) Statham, and Taylor (Katie) Seavey; and great-grandchildren Allikzandra, Emma, Cora, Jessen, Tazlin, Annie, Michael, Courtney, Connor, Travis, Setra and Lennox, with more on the way. She is also survived by her brother Vincent, sister Donna, and many nieces and nephews.
The family offers their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to her caregivers, Laurel Miller, Ann Ireland, Abiud Gonzalez, Audrey Jackson, Dr. Brent Ursel, Mark Ifflander and Tonya Foote.
Memorial donations may be made to Seward Area Hospice, PO Box 1331, Seward, Alaska 99664
Services will be held at 1 p.m., September 16, 2017, at the Seavey House, 12830 Old Exit Glacier Road, Seward. A celebration of life will follow the service.