Our mother, Lois Brunell (Hough) Swanberg, peacefully passed away on Oct. 1, 2013.
Born in the Territory of Alaska on July 17, 1933, in Nome, to pioneer Alaskans Xenia and Nels Swanberg Jr., she was the eldest of four children. Lois graduated from Nome Beltz High School in 1951, and attended Colorado Women's College.
She met her future husband, Harry M. Hough, in Nome. They married on Sept. 12, 1953. They moved to Fairbanks where their eight daughters were born in the old St. Joseph's Hospital. Lois was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fairbanks. After the Chena River flood in 1967, the family relocated to Anchorage where they remained and raised their daughters.
Lois worked with various employers throughout her life: Teamsters, Lynden Transport, Rural-CAP and BP, where she retired in 1996. The occupation that most fulfilled her was being a mother, doting grandmother and great-grandmother.
Proud of her Alaska Native heritage, she had a special affection for Nome and Fairbanks, forming cherished friendships that lasted her entire life. A devout Catholic, she was especially fond of the Providence Hospital Chapel. She was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska, which the Swanberg family helped initiate in 1907. She looked forward to attending the annual Nome picnics and yearly Christmas gatherings, catching up and reminiscing with her friends.
During her declining health this past year, Lois' family cherished the great amount of time they were able to spend with their mother and grandmother, recalling sweet memories of her past and were blessed in making new ones.
Lois was preceded in death by her daughter, Zena Schillereff; her mother, Xenia Swanberg; her father, Nels Swanberg Jr.; her brother, Alfred "Buzz" Swanberg; and former husband, Harry Hough.
She is survived by her daughters, Jill Warburton, Joy Berger, Robyn and Richard Siira, Jeannine and Bill Gause, Peggy Kircher, Michelle (Mikey) Hough, and Kay and John Siira; grandchildren, Becca, Jennifer, Jaymie, John, Joseph, Molly, Page, Daniel, Jessie, Hally, Randi-Jo, Neil, Ryan, Josh, Karly, Ashly, Sydny, Jake, Hannah, and eight great-grandchildren; her sisters, Diane and Don Peterson, Mary Jo and Jack Gawley; sister-in-law, Catherine Swanberg; and special friend, Robert Hager.
A Mass celebrating her life, and officiated by Father Aloysius Ezenwata, will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 4, 2013, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, at 2111 Muldoon Road in Anchorage. A reception in the Parish Hall will follow.
Memorial contributions, in Lois's name, can be made to The Alzheimer's Resource Center, or Brother Francis Shelter.