Lucille May McPherson (1931 - 2014)

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January 21, 2014 Lakeview Funeral Home
Lucille May McPherson, 82, passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on N. Boyer Ave in Sandpoint. A reception will follow at the Sandpoint Elks Lodge.
Lucille was born on May 22, 1931 in Lewistown, MT. She was raised in the post-depression era and grew up with the values of ranching life instilled in her. She had a tremendous love of nature and animals, believed hard work was a virtue, frugality was honorable, selflessness and generosity were a matter of principal, and had a deep-rooted sense of family. As her family moved west towards prosperity, she developed a love of horses and horseback riding and even as a young woman redefined gender roles, working side by side with ranch hands doing "a man's work" as a point of pride.
While living in Post Falls, she met her late husband Walter McPherson at a dance hall. The two married and started a family, raising four children: Robert, Linda, Scott, and Rita. They eventually settled in Sandpoint, Idaho where they purchased one of the officer's houses from the Farragut Naval base and moved it to their property overlooking Lake Pend Oreille. Many happy family memories are associated with the "Bottle Bay house," lovingly restored and updated by Lucille and furnished with antiques she spent long hours refinishing. One of her favorite lake pastimes was sunbathing on the dock while her children enjoyed waterskiing.
While raising her four children in Sandpoint, Lucille made numerous friends while involved in 4H. As a 4-H leader she helped young folks refine their domestic talents becoming skilled at canning, baking, sewing, gardening, as well as raising livestock. Fond memories of the animals raised and the large garden, lovingly tended, still linger.
In 1963, Lucille, always adventuresome, signed up to take "housewife" skiing lessons, offered at the newly opened Schweitzer ski resort. She quickly developed a passion for skiing and within a year became an instructor. She was a well-loved ski instructor teaching for over 40 years. Throughout her career, former students would approach her on the ski hill to share their appreciation and fond memories of their time learning to ski with "Lucy."
Lucille's four children all share her love of skiing. In their youth, they participated on the ski team and were active with ski racing. In addition to being a busy mother, Lucille taught lessons at Schweitzer for over 25 years before and after she relocated with her family to Alaska. Following the move, she taught for 30 years at Eaglecrest ski area in Juneau, Alaska. Taking advantage of the abundant natural beauty of Alaska, Lucille pursued many outdoor interests including hiking, ice skating, fishing, canoeing, numerous plants and wildlife, and foraging in the woods for mushrooms and berries.
Lucille's strong faith, as one of Jehovah's Witness, was an important part of her life. She devoted many volunteer hours to her ministry. Her spiritual family was important and she had a reputation for her service to others, giving spirit, and generous hospitality.
After retirement, Lucille decided to move back to Sandpoint, where so many of her friends remained. She continued to buy a season pass for the ski resort each year, getting in as many ski days as she could. Although bittersweet, it brings a sense of comfort that her last day in conscious memory was that of blue bird weather and good snow, a perfect day skiing with friends.
Lucille is survived by her sister, Ruth Inman, her four children and their spouses: Robert McPherson (Terri), Linda McPherson Finerson (Adam), Scott McPherson (Denice) and Rita Shannon (Paul), six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, most of whom she taught to ski.
Memorial donations may be made to Eaglecrest Foundation, P.O. Box 20169, Juneau, AK 99802; or Trail Mix Inc, PO Box 35693, Juneau, AK 99803.
Please visit Lucille's online memorial at and sign her guest book.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Jan. 24, 2014
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