Joyce Elaine Peterson Galleher
Joyce Elaine Peterson Galleher headed for “heaven’s blueberry patch” on March 29, 2019 surrounded with love. She left this world a much better place.
AMAZING: Joyce radiated a zest for life and a love of adventure that took her from North Dakota to Nome. A Scandinavian by blood, she often said she felt more Mexican or Irish. She celebrated all cultures and all people.
ADVENTUROUS: She moved from the North Dakota sod house to Washington state at a young age as her family escaped the destruction of farming during the dust bowl years. They first live in Ballard (Seattle) and later in Bremerton where she graduated with the Class of ’47 – a group she would stay connected to for life. A few years after graduation she met and married the love of her life, pilot Richard “Dick” Galleher in 1951. The adventure continued as they headed for Alaska – a honeymoon home in Bethel in 1952, then Dillingham, Red Devil, Anchorage and finally Nome in 1958.
ACCOMPLISHED: In business she was a weather observer, an airline employee and then owner (Northern Consolidated, Alaska Airlines, Munz Northern Airlines), a corporation board director (Alascom, Pacific Telecom), a licensed real estate agent and a hospice volunteer. In 2014 Joyce was recognized as one of Alaska's Living Aviation Legends.
As a mother she created a wonderful life for Gail, Brian and Blaine. She treasured her Cub Scout group and participated in the Alaska Miners Association and the Alaska Visitors Association. She loved sharing Nome and her family with visitors from all over the world.
ADVENTURER: In retirement, she and Dick sailed on the “Joyce Elaine” out of Poulsbo, Washington, took road trips in their 1938 Darrin Packard and spent time with family in Alaska. She was an adventurer, whether it was walking the ditch lines in Nome or the tundra in Iceland. For her it would have been a hard decision to choose between her Nome dune buggy or the classic Packard – dune buggy would probably have won out. Roaming the wide beaches in Nome or picking blueberries near Anvil Mountain gave her joy. Joyce often wrote that if she went missing, we could find her in the berry patch.
APPRECIATED: Joyce lived almost 90 years, but never acted her age – she was youthful in her enthusiasm, curiosity and openness to all. She took time to touch each person’s life along the way. She loved her friends in all the western villages.
Joyce was preceded in death by husband Richard “Dick” Galleher, her sons Brian and Ross, her parents Alvin and Lola and her sisters Jeanne and Jerry Ann as well as many other cherished family and friends.
She is survived by her daughter Gail (Frank Flavin) and son Blaine (Kim), grandsons Brett Galleher (Kelsey) and Conner Merboth, nephew Greg Mitchell (Karen), nieces Jacque Mitchell Quello and Jennifer Galleher Vroom.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to KICY, KNOM, or the Nome XYZ Senior Center.
A memorial gathering in Nome is being planned for August. Date TBD. See https://tributes.com/Joyce-Galleher. The Galleher family can be reached at PO Box 240944, Anchorage, AK 99524.
Adventurous start, amazing finish!