Terry Ann Gonwa
September 26,1956-May 21, 2013
'Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of.'
Little girls grow up and the sugar and spice and everything nice become the unique
qualities that are woven into the complex fabric of who we become as adults. Terry Ann Gonwa's "sugar" became compassion, love, grace and joy. The "spice" became individuality, creativity, strength and integrity, and the "everything nice" was her unrelenting spirit. The blending of these qualities (and many more) made Terry the unique person she was.
Terry loved family! She loved being a wife to Marc and a mother to their three children: Anna, Addie and Gabe. She loved being involved in family activities, whether it was out fishing, hiking, travelling, or cheering her kids on at their various events. Her strength, courage and love are reflected in her children. Her spirit is felt by her extended family from California thru the mid-west and Pennsylvania.
Terry grew up hunting and fishing with her brothers, and learned many doctoring skills from her mother and father in Chrisman, Illinois. She also spent time growing up in Hummelstown and Hershey, Pennsylvania. The aviation industry brought Terry to Alaska, and shortly after she discovered her real passion - social work. She received her B.A. degree in Sociology/Psychology at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. She continued her education and received her Master of Social Work Degree at Portland State University. She held various job positions throughout the years, but her counseling positions at Harborview and Gastineau Elementary Schools were closest to her heart, and this is where she excelled. She truly was a master of her profession; she touched many students' lives. Terry extended her skills to friends who needed an open ear and heart. She was a valued friend to many.
Terry continually was discovering and developing her various interests. While she engaged in activities from knitting, music, or home improvement projects, her true passions were pottery and gardening. She spent many hours at the pottery studio developing and perfecting her craft; each piece that she created was well thought out and mindfully made with the recipient in mind. Her talent in gardening is seen in the many landscapes she created. She also had a soft spot for animals, loving and doctoring them, and always having more than one around.
Strength, integrity and her individuality were Terry's backbone in life. Never one to stand aside and let other's do, she was a voracious participant in life. Others knew where she stood on issues because she was not afraid to speak her mind. Her intentions were always to do what was 'right' and 'fair' and to still be true to herself.
Terry's spirit helped her rise above her illness and not be defined by the disease. She used it as a vessel to continue her path of self-discovery and spirituality. She never lost hope and looked at the cup as half-full.
Terry left this physical world on May 21st surrounded by her family, friends, and her loyal dog. Her spirit remains with those who knew her and were touched by her.
We'll celebrate Terry's life and times on Saturday, June 22nd at 6:00 p.m. at the Juneau Yacht Club. All family and friends are invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the kids' college fund at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Checks can be made out to: 'Alaska USA'; with 'Terry Ann Gonwa' in the memo line.
"Where there is great love, there are always miracles"