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Marcel Doris Silven Colp


1919 - 2019
Marcel Doris Silven Colp Obituary
Marcel Doris Silven Colp passed on to heaven Oct. 16, 2019, at age 100 in the Fairbanks Pioneer Home. Born June 21, 1919, in Seattle, Marcel was raised in Bremerton, Washington. She came to Alaska at age 22, traveling via Alaska Steamship Columbia to Seward and then Alaska Railroad to Fairbanks, arriving on Aug. 17, 1941.
Wanting to see where her great uncle lived 30 years previously, she came on her vacation with her best friend who had a job waiting. That friend did not stay in Fairbanks, but Marcel did! She often talked about that something special, that uniqueness, lure and passion, that draws and keeps people in Alaska. It certainly touched her! She lived out her Alaska adventure for the next 78 years.
Ten days after Marcel's arrival, she started working for the resident engineer at Ladd Field, now called Fort Wainwright. Within four months, in December 1941, she met the love of her life, Douglas Colp, who was also working at Ladd Field. They were married Feb. 27, 1943, at First Presbyterian Church in Fairbanks and began their wonderful 67-year marriage with a honeymoon flight to Manley Hot Springs.
Marcel's temporary two-month position for Resident Engineer's Safety Section led to a permanent position with the Mail and Records Section, where she had increased responsibilities and eventually five helpers assigned to assist her. In June 1945, Marcel and Doug moved to Anchorage, where Doug (who had been drafted into the Army five months after their marriage) was reassigned. Doug was discharged on their third wedding anniversary, and they returned to Fairbanks in April 1946.
They purchased a log home at Eighth and Turner and three days after moving, Doug went back to mining work, often in very remote locations. Marcel joined him in the mining camps (Gold Bench, near Wiseman; Klery Creek, near Kiana; and Livengood, near Fairbanks) when she could along with their two sons, Larry and Jerry.
From 1961-1973, Marcel was a public school secretary at Hunter Elementary School. She distinguished herself by her cheerful attention to detail, often surprising students and new staff when she remembered not only their names but also their birthdays. She served Rosemond Weller as principal for 10 years and, in 1983, promoted a new local school to be named in Weller's honor. Later, in 1995, she also promoted another school named in honor of longtime family friend Anne Hopkins Wien.
Membership in a number of organizations was a big part of Marcel's life, including the First Presbyterian Church, VFW Women's Auxiliary, Beta Sigma Phi, PEO Sisterhood, Women's Auxiliary American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, Folk Dance Club, Pioneers of Alaska Auxiliary/Igloo No. 8 and Fairbanks Genealogical Society. She served as a dedicated member, held many different offices, received multiple awards and somehow made it to most meetings without ever having learned to drive. She was also a big proponent of the arts in Fairbanks, such as selling season concert tickets for 30 years with her sorority, which helped the formation of the Fairbanks Concert Association, and personally attending as many local concerts and Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre shows as she could. Beyond these hometown activities, Marcel and Doug also enjoyed many travel adventures together, including trips to New Zealand, South Africa and Europe, along with trips throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Marcel loved people and continually expressed joy and appreciation for them. Her scrapbooks often associated art with picture of artists. She was known to generously give hugs, emphasizing, "You are loved, appreciated and needed" or exclaiming "joy, joy, joy" in spontaneous moments. She will be remembered by many and her spirit will be greatly missed.
Marcel was preceded in death by her husband, Douglas; brother, John (Bud); and her parents, William and Emma Silven. She is survived by her two sons, Larry (and wife Annie) and Jerry (and wife Myrna), both of Fairbanks, and their families: grandchildren, Jennifer Brown, Sarah Heintz, Tanya Beldin, Brian (and Elizabeth) Beldin, Jessica Colp, Jeremy (and Salena) Colp, Michael R. Gordon, Michelle (and Jeremy) Amstrup, Dynelle Gordon and Crystal (and Robert) Grabowski. Great-grandchildren include Veanni and Jalyse Brown; Michael Noah Heintz and Elijah Flowers Jr.; Scarlett Talcott; Violett Beldin; Kate and Emily Compton; Alexis Kawasaki; Ruby and Royal Colp; Michael J., Mathew and Isabella Gordon; Sadie Mae, Abri, Kaylee, Amy and Bethany Amstrup; Aleaha (and Yaniel) Oquendo; Trey Oletski; and Samantha and Bowen Grabowski. Great-great-grandchildren include Emaya and Evyrtte Oquendo.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, Love INC or .
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church, 547 Seventh Ave., Fairbanks, with reception to follow.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 10, 2019
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