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Jayne "Beth" Fessler
Jayne "Beth" E. Fessler, 93, died Aug. 24, 2007, at the Mary Conrad Center.
A celebration of life for family and friends will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Christ Church Episcopal, 5101 O'Malley Road.
She was born Dec. 26, 1913, in Clinton, Mich. An avid reader of Jack London and Robert Service, she made her first trip to Alaska via the Alaska Steamship Co. in 1941 to visit her sister, Evelyn Mae Nelms, in Anchorage.
After returning to Michigan, she enlisted in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. She served as a sergeant in the Intelligence Department at the Pentagon, deciphering code, and actually received the message from Gen. Douglas MacArthur that the war had ended. Jayne was proud to be involved in the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring and recognizing the women who served in the armed forces during World War II.
After her discharge, she returned to Anchorage in 1946 and worked as a bookkeeper for Municipal Light & Power. She met Louis Fessler and they were married in Talkeetna in 1947. On Aug. 7, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
"She was wonderfully involved and supportive while raising her family in Anchorage, and often said those were the happiest times of her life," her family wrote. "She enjoyed picking berries, baking, gardening, reading and spending time at their Big Lake cabin. She was active in PTA and Boy Scouts and volunteered to run the gift shop at Holy Family Cathedral. In 1963, in true pioneering spirit, she and her family homesteaded 160 acres in North Kenai for a year, enduring a rustic frontier environment without modern conveniences.
"In 1964, she and Louis established Fessler Equipment Services. She supervised the clerical and bookkeeping side of the business until her retirement but she still contributed actively until her death.
Jayne loved and enjoyed her grandchildren and was a huge influence in their lives. She very much enjoyed her family nights, when she could beat everyone at cribbage. In Jayne's later years after suffering heart disease she enjoyed the companionship and many lunches with her 'Heart Rehab' group. She was also involved with Christ Church Episcopal, where she received much support.
"She is remembered by family and friends for her wonderful sense of humor and fun. Always generous with others and open to new experiences and adventures, she loved life and was always philosophical and had great wisdom. Her loving, kind, good-natured personality touched everyone she met."
She is survived by her husband, Louis; son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Vana Fessler of Yakima, Wash.; daughter and son-in-law, Kathie Schmid and Peter Dahl of Honolulu, Hawaii; and grandchildren, Brian Schmid and Cate Schmid of Anchorage, Elizabeth Thompson of Seattle, and Doug Fessler, Michael Fessler and Keira Fessler of Yakima.
Donations may be sent to Christ Church Episcopal, 5101 O'Malley Road, Anchorage 99507.
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