Joan R. Paal-Fridley (1953 - 2016)

  • "Joan and I worked together at Big Lake Elementary for 11..."
    - Len Davis
  • "Dave, We are saddened to hear of Joanie's passing. We have..."
    - Gary Bullock and Lee Blouin
  • "Behind every good fireman there is beautiful strong woman. ..."
    - Jim Kenshalo
  • "So, so sorry about Joanie's passing. There was only a..."
  • "David, so sorry about your loss! I couldn't believe it when..."
    - Olga Losik

She lived until she didn't. Born in Anchorage, Joan was a lifelong, proud Alaskan. She attended West Anchorage High School, later went on to attend Honolulu and Mat-Su Community Colleges, but she was truly a student of the world. Her passion for new ideas and experiences was evident in her love for travel and her diverse set of friends. She was immensely proud of being a mother and loved fiercely. Her belief in raising productive citizens was embodied through leading by example. She spent her time volunteering for women and children advocacy groups and enhancing after school programs. She ultimately retired from the Mat-Su Borough School District as an Administrative Secretary after 17 years of service. When her daughters were grown, Joan was a surrogate mom, caretaker, mentor, friend and advocate to all those she loved. She always gave more than she got in return. She was an avid reader, writer, the ultimate devils advocate and loved the challenge in exploring "perspective." She will be remembered for her love for gardening, creative cake decorating and cheerful laugh. She was happiest when surrounded by friends, family, sunshine, good food and wine. She changed so many lives and left this world a better place than how she found it. She is survived by her husband, David Fridley; daughters, Meghan and Vanessa Fridley; mother, Jean Paal; sister, Charlotte Paal; brother, Sam (Debbie) McLean; and nieces, nephews, in-laws and countless other beloved family and friends. Her fathers, Daniels McLean and Victor Paal; and sister, Gayle Janecek, preceded her in death. Since Joan preferred to celebrate life rather than mourn death, there will not be a funeral but rather a party in her honor at a later date. We invite you to visit where we will have a memorial page updated with details.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Dec. 4, 2016