Eleanor "Elie" Dryden, passed away on June 10, 2013 in Newport Coast, California. She was 85.
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A celebration of life will be celebrated with family and friends will be held Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 3p.m. at her home at 286 W. Katmai Ave. in Soldotna.
She was born June 1, 1928, in Massachusetts, the daughter of Victor and Theresa Checchi of Cambridge. Eleanor grew up in Boston and its surroundings until 1946 when she met her husband, Jim, who was a WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. They married on Sept. 21, 1946 and moved to Illinois where Jim attended university.
Eleanor and Jim lived in Illinois raising their three children and developing a family business together until 1964, when they pulled up the stakes and headed north to Alaska to pursue their dreams of settling in the Last Frontier. They landed in Anchorage where they began their new business venture developing residential neighborhoods as Banner Homes.
"Eleanor loved to fish as much as Jim, and often out-fished those with her through sheer determination and, of course, skill. Given her Italian origins, she was an excellent cook and developed many recipes using Alaska's abundant fish and game. Eleanor also loved to golf both in Kona, Hawaii, where they once maintained a winter home, and in Anchorage, and would
tell you all about her several hole-in-ones in her golfing career.
Filled with compassion and interest in others, Eleanor made friends easily and maintained contact with many. Jim and Eleanor traveled extensively, often in their Cessna 182 or on their 42' boat, the Jimel. They enjoyed cruising around the world, including once crewing on a sailboat that ventured to Tahiti from Victoria, BC. Jim and Eleanor were a great team, a captain
and his first mate, as well as business partners throughout their life together.
Eleanor was high energy and believed strongly in the goodness of people. Her infectious gaiety and spirit of life was her greatest gift, and to those who knew and loved her, that gift continues to remain with them," her family said.
After being diagnosed with cancer a year ago, Eleanor maintained her usual positive and upbeat attitude of an optimistic future throughout her treatments, hospitalizations and pain. She died at the home of her daughter, Nancy, surrounded by loving family and friends.
Eleanor is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, James O. Dryden, and her three children Norma, Nancy and Oscar. Her sister, Claire Checchi, in Massachusetts also survives her, as does her grandchildren, Serena, Jenna, Asia, Jessie, and James and her great granddaughter, Lila-Skye.
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on June 16, 2013