Anita Wilde (1926 - 2017)

Obituary
  • "I, too, have warm memories of being with Anita, Henry, and..."
    - Virginia Breeze
  • "Thank you Anita, for helping my Mom and Dad for adopting me..."
    - Tor Wallen
  • "To Michael and to Pam and family--My sincere condolences. I..."
    - Susi Gregg Fowler

Anita Wilde died in Spokane, Washington, September 10, 2017, with her daughter Pamela Wilde by her side.
Anita was born July 12, 1926, in Hamburg/Germany, as the oldest child of Dr. Oswald and Edith Guetschow. She spent her formative years in Germany, mostly during the turmoil of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, graduated from high school in 1943, and finished pediatric nursing training in 1947. In 1952, while obtaining a general nursing diploma at the university hospital in Freiburg/Germany, she met Henry Wilde who attended medical school there and whose home was in Juneau, Alaska. The two married in 1953 and left Germany shortly after Henry's graduation. While Henry finished his medical training in the US and Canada, Anita provided substantial financial support for the young family by working in hospitals. One of her more memorable jobs was working with a team of pioneering physicians in Edmonton on the first heart/lung machine in Canada. It was a primitive machine by today's standards, constantly in need of maintenance; she could be seen running along hospital corridors with screwdrivers and pliers sticking out of her pockets, ready for the next fix. Their daughter Pamela was born in Spokane in 1955.
Upon Henry's completion of medical training in 1958 the family moved to Juneau, Alaska, where Henry began an internal medicine practice and their son Michael was born. Anita's efforts turned to homemaking, and in addition to many other talents her cooking became well-known: her sauerbraten attracted many fans in town, and the family often enjoyed her roller-pancakes on weekends which required her to rise well before the rest of the family. She had a flair for entertaining, an attribute she honed to a fine art in the next stage of the family's life together.
In 1965 Henry joined the US Foreign Service as a physician. The family left Juneau on assignment in various countries around the world. Moving every four years was difficult, but Anita worked tirelessly to make each new living environment both a home and a positive learning experience for each member of the family. She excelled at the entertaining expected of senior foreign service personnel, and gave freely of her medical knowledge when asked. Eventually, Henry was assigned to Bangkok, Thailand, and many years were spent there, both while Henry was still with the US Foreign Service and afterwards.
Moving from country to country awakened in Henry and Anita the desire to re-establish roots in Juneau, and they had a house built to which they returned frequently. Eventually, they established a routine whereby they lived a portion of each year in Juneau and a portion in Bangkok. Anita came to love Juneau and all the advantages of small-town living it offered, including a group of women she became close with. She found much comfort in the Juneau house on Wildmeadow Lane because of the beautiful Alaska scenery, wildlife, garden and serenity that the setting provided.
Following her divorce from Henry in 2010, Anita moved to a retirement community in Silverdale, Washington. Medical problems became significant in 2016, and she decided to move to a facility close to her daughter Pamela and her family, in Spokane. There she enjoyed the close relationships she developed with each member of her daughter's family, and the occasional visits from friends and relatives.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents and by her younger sister Christa Kraas in Germany. She is survived by daughter Pamela Wilde and her husband Tom Scott, son Michael Wilde, grandchildren Lia and Meilin Scott, younger brother Bernd Guetschow and his wife Paula, nieces and nephews in the US, Canada and Germany, by her former husband Henry Wilde, and by many friends and acquaintances.
Anita was caring, thoughtful, insightful, funny, energetic and interested in the world. She expressed herself forcefully and directly and always gave more to others than she allowed for herself. Her relatives and friends miss Anita greatly and cherish their memories of her. There will be a celebration of her life during the summer of 2018 in Juneau, at a time and place to be announced.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Sept. 25 to Oct. 24, 2017