Millicent Ellen "Millie" Gjevik (1935 - 2017)

Obituary
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  • - Tonyia
  • "Millie was a dear friend and is dearly missed."
    - Elizabeth Arnett

On December 18th, 2017 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, Millie succumbed to complications following a massive stroke. In the weeks preceding her death she was surrounded by the love of family and friends.

Millie was born in Hempstead, New York on September 7, 1935. For her whole life she was fascinated with photography, starting with her 'Brownie' box camera. In addition, she always had a love of all things animal. She fondly recalled her first cat, Butch, whom she trained to do a variety of things because she didn't know "you weren't supposed to train cats". As a young woman she bred fish for sale and exercised horses at a nearby stable. She kept fish, birds, cats and dogs for most of her adult life.

After working for AT&T, and in an advertising agency in New York City, she decided to pursue her dream of travel. She visited Europe by herself, and later joined the crew of a Windjammer Cruises tall ship. While in the Caribbean, she met and married the man of her dreams, then settled down to raise their only child on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

She lived on St. Croix for thirty years, working first in the hotel business, then as a bookkeeper and veterinary assistant. She cherished being a wife, mother and friend; frequently hosting guests at the dinner table and preparing parties from poker nights to lavish turkey dinners. She was active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for over 20 years.

After many years in the Caribbean, Millie moved to Juneau, Alaska. She worked at Cruise Line Agencies for one wonderful summer and several years at the U.S. Coast Guard as a civilian, before settling down to a quiet life.

In her later years she spent a good deal of her time writing poetry, going to the symphony, gardening, feeding generations of wild birds and passing along a "Friday Funny". She also derived great pleasure from making sure her interaction with everyone around town was meaningful.

'Sharp as a tack' until the end, Millie was passionate about current events. She regularly called her Alaskan representatives to discuss the 'issues at hand', and was known on a first name basis by several of them. Her feisty spirit was often evident in her strongly expressed views, tempered by her sense of humor and her most basic desire to protect and advise.

Preceded in death by her parents and brother Henry Paul Bechtold, she is survived by her daughter Lisa (Douglas), grandchildren Sommer, Raven, Aurora, Alexander, Evan and Ian all of Juneau, Joanna Napolitano her 'daughter' in every sense of the word, her sister-in- law Barbara Bechtold and many nieces and nephews.

We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received from friends and the community during her hospitalization and after her passing. Her absence has left an ache in the hearts of those accustomed to receiving her calls and visits.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations made in memory of Millie Gjevik to the Gastineau Humane Society or Catholic Community Services.

In honor of a lifetime spent on or near the ocean, a Celebration of Life and Inurnment of Ashes will be held at the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, on May 26th, 2018 at 4:00pm with a reception to follow. All of her friends and acquaintances are welcome. For more details, please call 907-321-1842.
Religious Service Information
Shrine Of St Therese
21425 Glacier Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 780-6112
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Published in The Juneau Empire from May 20 to June 19, 2018
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