Marylyn Alfsen

  • "Thinking of you..."
    - Kymmy Nicol
  • "Almost a year and I still feel a hole in my heart... Love..."
    - Kymmy Nicol
  • "There are no words to describe how much you will be missed...."
    - Fran & Richard Hiatt
  • "Marylyn, You will always hold a special place in my heart...."
    - Debra
  • "The description of the Alfsen home as warm and inviting..."
    - Becky Patterson Karstetter

Marylyn Alfsen was born in Torrington Connecticut on July 18, 1943 to Clara and Henry Mella. She was raised in a home in the woods with her brothers Charles and Loren and had a life rich with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends with whom she remained close her entire life.

She met and married her husband John of 45 years in Miami, Florida. After spending a few brief Air Force tours in the lower 48, the Alfsen family arrived in Alaska on December 8, 1971 for the typical Air Force three year tour pulling a travel trailer with two daughters and a small poodle, Licorice. They've called Anchorage, Alaska home ever since.

Marylyn received her Associate's Degree at UAA and continued to take classes. She began working for the Federal Aviation Administration in the Medical Division and retired as a Contracting Officer after 28 years with the administration. Some of her key projects included the first major expansion of the Regional Air Traffic Control Center and the new Traffic Control Tower at Merrill Field. During her FAA career, Marylyn received numerous awards and recognitions. While she was proud of and dedicated to her career; her devotion to her family took precedence over all else.

She and her husband John traveled throughout their years together. In addition to their travels throughout Alaska, there were frequent trips to visit family and friends across the country. Their travels also took them to warm tropical islands (no surprise to anyone who knew her) and countries around the world. In her way, she was quietly adventurous, but never allowed any of her family to leave the house without a stern warning to: "Be careful!"

While Marylyn always enjoyed her many travels, she was happiest at home, surrounded by friends and family. Dinner at the family home was always filled with laughter. Everyone who walked into her home spoke of its warmth and all felt welcomed. Her gardens are a perfect reflection of her: elegant and bright with a touch of whimsy.

Marylyn was a very loving mother who provided her daughters with a wonderful life. She had a terrific sense of humor and was able to take a good ribbing herself (especially from her sons-in-law). One of her greatest delights was spending time with her granddaughter Kaitie: playing, cooking, gardening, blowing bubbles and having tea parties. Marylyn was an exceptionally kind, generous, and intelligent lady. She was the perfect role model, setting a shining example for all who knew her.

Marylyn was able to stay in her home throughout her battle with cancer surrounded and supported by her loving family, friends, and caregivers. She passed away at age 68 on April 8, 2012.

Remaining family include her husband John, daughters Karla and Lorraine, sons-in-law Michael Gilley and Jason Denman, and beloved granddaughter Kaitie. She will also be missed by her brother and sister-in-law Charles and Vernessa Mella of Palm Coast, Florida; her sisters-in-law Lelah Weinkauf of Alpena, Michigan and Doris Hefti of Sao Paulo, Brazil; her aunt Helen Serasio and cousin Gail Richardson of Torrington, Connecticut; and Bill Mella of Ocala, Florida; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends, as well as grand-dogs Murphy and Wile-E.

We, as Marylyn's family, wish to convey our most sincere appreciation and gratitude to all those who have provided their support, comfort and care over the course of Marylyn's illness.

We invite friends to join us on Saturday, April 21 at Tanglewood Lakes Golf Club Chalet from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. for afternoon tea in honor of this beloved woman.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to in memory of Marylyn's generous spirit.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Apr. 18 to Apr. 19, 2012