Longtime Anchorage resident, Lenora Sherwood, passed away on December 16, 2013 in Providence Hospital. Lenora was born on Independence Creek Road, Washington, on May 10, 1926 to Harvey and Dora Manners. The youngest of three children, Lenora's early years were spent on a dairy farm during the depression. Nicknamed "Nori", she enjoyed growing up in the small town of Centralia where she moved at age ten. For Nori, the simple times were good times - swimming, biking, playing tennis, dancing at the "Rainbow Dances" with friends.
Nori's parents moved to Alaska in 1943 but she stayed behind to graduate from Centralia High School in 1944. Nori visited her folks in the summer of 1945. She returned to the lower 48 to attend the University of Washington for a year, flying on a Star Airways DC3 to Juneau and catching a Pan America four engine plane for a journey to Seattle that took a total of 12 hours. Nori married Clyde Sherwood in August of 1946 and quit college to help support Clyde, who was working and attending Seattle University. When Clyde graduated in June of 1949, they packed their possessions into a Fleetline Chevrolet and journeyed seven days up the Alcan, arriving in Anchorage on July 1, 1949.
Nori worked for Coffey Insurance and then Romig Insurance until her first child, Valerie was born in 1951. Her daughter, Jo, was born a year later and Jon was born in 1957. Having deeply appreciated her own mother's care, Nori felt fortunate to be able to stay at home with her children during their younger years and during that time, she managed to get an Associate Degree from Anchorage Community College. She worked at Polaris Travel for five years, from 1967-72, and journeyed to Japan, Russia, the Bavarian countries, as well the Pribilof Islands, Nome, Fairbanks, and Kotzebue.
She earned her B.A. in English at the University of Alaska. Nori felt that getting a B. A. 30 years after her high school graduation was one of her biggest accomplishments and appreciated the quality of the faculty at the Anchorage campus.
In the mid 70's Nori moved to Hawaii, hoping to make a fresh start as her marriage to Clyde was ending. She returned to Alaska in 1978. Her second marriage to Gerald Ganopole lasted for 5 years and she then started a new chapter where she learned the joy of a quiet heart, which she viewed as her inner achievement. During her years living alone, Nori embodied Abraham Lincoln's quote, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." She was grateful to have close friendships with all three of her children and also her grandchildren, keeping in touch by E-mails over the distances.
Nori worked at the Hotel Captain Cook for 16 years and enjoyed being able to walk to work, savoring the everyday beauty of the Alaskan landscape in all seasons. She felt that Alaska offered her a rich life - the people, the scenery and the spirit of the land.
She is survived by her sister, Reva Rhoton; her three children, Valerie Anderson (Richard), Jo Mortensen (Mark), and Jon Sherwood; as well as her grandchildren, Eric Anderson (Kelli), Jason Anderson, Drew Anderson (Jennifer), Gabriel Van Engel, Erika Mortensen, Roan Mortensen, Jane Sherbrooke, and Jack Sherwood; as well several great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and close friends. There will be no immediate service. Her family will hold a celebration of her life at a later date in 2014.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Dec. 27 to Dec. 28, 2013