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Shirley Jean Knight (Fultz) Malkuch


1935 - 2019
Shirley Jean Knight (Fultz) Malkuch Obituary
Jan. 8, 1935 – Nov. 3, 2019
Born Jan. 8, 1935, in Glendive, Montana, to Edith (Hayworth) and Luther Fultz. Shirley had six siblings: Harvey, Basil, Martha, Hazel, Mildred and Karen. She attended Fort Benton High School where she met William (Bill) Knight. Shirley married Bill on Sept. 8, 1950.
They had 10 children, including triplet girls and twin boys: Barbara Garrett, Nancy Cooper Van Warden, Donna Knight Duncklee, Deanna Lund, Doris Paul, Carol Knight Freeland, Robert Knight, Richard Knight, Elizabeth Knight Felton and William (Billy) Knight.
Shirley and Bill left Montana in 1962 to homestead along the Peace River in Canada. In 1967 they moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, where they divorced a year later.
Following the divorce, Shirley and her children returned to Great Falls, Montana, where she met Bill Malkuch. Shirley married Bill Malkuch in August 1970. Shortly thereafter, Shirley and Bill moved their family to Fairbanks. Shirley initially worked at the Fairbanks library and Bill worked as a Teamster on the Haul Road (Dalton Highway). Shirley also worked in Fairbanks as a bail bondsman.
Shirley had a great love of learning. She studied hard to get her license as a real estate agent. Then she attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, obtaining degrees in journalism, photography and paralegal. Subsequent to achieving her journalism degree, Shirley developed and wrote the Alaska Trails magazine.
In the 1980s, Shirley and Bill bought a bar in North Pole called "Blackies." They operated the bar for many years and enjoyed visiting with all the patrons during that time.
Shirley loved Alaska and her home in Fairbanks. Many people knew her as "Shirley of Alaska."
In the 1990s, Shirley ran for Alaska State Senate as a Republican. Although she was not elected, Shirley loved the process.
Shirley went on to heaven to be with her lord and savior, Jesus, on Nov. 3, 2019. She is survived by her sister, Karen Reid, of Fort Benton, Montana, all of her 10 children, 24 grandchildren, and 43 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Malkuch; and grandson, Chad Freeland. Shirley is loved and will be truly be missed by all her family.
The memorial service for Shirley Knight Malkuch will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home, 415 Illinois St., Fairbanks.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 6, 2019
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