Jewell Marie Cruikshank, 89, of Fairbanks, died of natural causes, on April 18, 2013, her daughters, Lisa and Pat, at her bedside.
Jewell was born April 3, 1924, to John and Taimi, in Keewatin, Minn., and was soon followed by her sister, Mae. The sisters were very close and enjoyed a happy childhood growing up in Minnesota. The family moved to Portland, Ore., in 1941. Jewell graduated from St. Mary's Academy in 1942. After high school, Jewell worked in the clerical office of the Portland ship yards during World War ll.
Jewell married Wes Cruikshank on Jan. 21, 1946. Happily married for 45 years, they owned and operated glass shops in the Portland area. Wes and Jewell left Portland in 1957, embarking on their great adventure - moving to the Last Frontier, the territory of Alaska. They settled in Fairbanks, and started Hoffer Glass in 1958.
First residing in the "Ice Palace" (the Northward Building), they decided it was time to move as their children were having too much fun riding the elevators. They stayed busy with seven children, the glass shop and Club 11, which they owned in the early 1960s.
Wes and Jewell enjoyed spending time between Oregon and Alaska, with family and friends, before Wes passed away in 1991. They always had farmland and animals in their retirement, harkening back to their days of childhood during the Great Depression. They were members of America's greatest generation.
Jewell loved Alaska, and making many lifelong friends during the years. Her family always her first love, she instilled ethics and family values in all, raising her children with kindness, patience and love, dearly loving her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Special to each and every one of them, Jewell was Mummu (grandma in Finnish). Very proud of her Finnish, Irish and Scotch heritage, she enjoyed passing down the family history to her family, enabling us to picture in our minds to see and enjoy relatives we never met because of her colorful stories.
Jewell shared a family closeness with countless others who she cared for over the years. Her door was open to anyone needing help in any way, whether it be food, comfort or a joke, as she had a great sense of humor. And when one heard a siren, she taught us to say, "lord have mercy on the suffering souls."
In 2002, Jewell married Charlie Reidel, her dear friend and companion. They shared many happy times together, enjoying each others' company until Charlie's passing in 2007.
Jewell is survived by her sister, Mae; her children, Pat (John) Maclean, Terry (Dinah) Cruikshank, Susan Cruikshank, John Cruikshank, Rory (Libby) Cruikshank, Scott Cruikshank, Lisa (Terrell) Bailey.
She also is survived by her grandchildren, Kent, Gary, John L., Jennifer, Emily, Christopher, Matthew, Dominic, Lauren, Tony, Jewell, Lacey, Levi, Elliot, Scotty, Corey, Ricky, Carmen, Ariel, Alex, Bonnie, Wilson, and 17 great-grandchildren; and many more extended family and dear friends, including Margaret Downey, and Lorraine Walker, and the "other grandma," Janet Kelly.
Her parents aptly named her; she was truly a Jewell to all who knew her, and at night you can look into the stars and see her sparkling there.
A Mass for Jewell will be held at 2 p.m. May 28, 2013, at Immaculate Conception Church, with a gathering to follow from 3-5 p.m. at Soapy Smith's.