Our beloved mother, wife and grandmother Shirley Lorraine (Ray) Thiel passed away from a short, but bravely fought battle with cancer on June 19, 2016, in Spokane, Washington.
Born in 1947, Mom was a force to be reckoned with, as everyone who knew her was well aware. She was a widow with five children at the age of 25. One day a window opened and my dad flew in. Mom and dad were married for 42 years. Thanks, Dad, you are beloved, too.
Mom loved so many things: friends, music, scary movies and, lest we forget, tequila. But what she loved most of all was Alaska. It was her home for 30 years. She and Dad resided in many different parts of the state, but Kodiak was where her heart lived. She so enjoyed her little church, her friends at Safeway, her dogs (and me and "Mr.-Fix-It" John living down the street), but her true love was the ocean and everything that lived in it. Sorry Dad!
Mom had a good life and she was so very, very loved. We will all miss her. Always. My mom had a great sense of humor and she believed in ghosts. If you're reading this, Mom, knock something off of a shelf every once in a while and I'll know you'll be checking in and I'll be grateful.
Mom was preceded in death by her loving father, Glenn Ray, and her mean mother, Marcella Johnson. She is survived by her five children, Cheryl (Michael) Erdelyi, Kirsten (John) Galliher, Deanna (Thomas) Mogan, Leah (John) Bush and Matthew (Christinea) Gordon. She also leaves behind many cherished grandchildren, great-grandchildren and myriad other relatives.
A private memorial service will be held Sunday, Aug. 21, on the banks of the Little Susitna River, another place near and dear to mom's heart. Goodbye, Mom, I'll think fondly of you every time I hear Barbara Streisand's beautiful voice. Mom would love a donation in her name to the Kodiak Animal Shelter.
Condolences may be sent to John and Kirsten Galliher, 2933 Spruce Cape Road, Kodiak, AK 99615. Alicia Banks, you were with mom and selfless to the end. We all love and thank you for that kindness.