Frances Miriam (Anifant) Kinberg

To the sorrow of her many friends and family, Frances Miriam (Anifant) Kinberg passed away peacefully at Gig Harbor, Wash. She was 81.

Frances was born on Sept. 25, 1935, in Portland, Maine, to Karmaline M. McGrath and Charles A. Anifant, who had immigrated to America from Greece as a young boy.

Frances Kinberg

She graduated from Cathedral High School in Portland in 1953, and Mercy Hospital’s School of Nursing in 1956. Upon her graduation from nursing school – being an adventurous, inquisitive soul –  Frances moved  to Sitka on her own and began a career as a registered nurse with the Public Health Service.

In an article dated Sept. 17, 1957, the Portland Evening Express noted, beneath her photo, “In just two days, this young lady will be flying to Alaska … in a trip that will take 21 hours with four changes!” The article went on to say, “Miss Anifant expects to stay in this faraway place two years; but she has the privilege of returning if she doesn’t like the country or the work.” 

As it turned out, Frances stayed in Sitka for 30 years, working as an R.N. at the Mt. Edgecumbe Education and Medical Center (later SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital), where she met her first husband, Nathaniel Mandel, and started a family. While with Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital she helped form many health programs for Alaska Natives.

She left Sitka in 1980 to earn her B.S. in nursing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, returned to Sitka and SEARHC in 1982 as a Patient Educator, and became the first certified diabetes educator in Alaska.

In 2015, Frances was awarded the prestigious Sister Consuela White Spirit of Nursing Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Nursing Association (Maine chapter).

Frances married Marvin C. Kinberg Jr. of Sitka in 1978, and the two remained married until his death in 1992. She was also preceded in death by her first husband, Nat Mandel, her sister Margaret Maguire and brother-in-law Jack Maguire, and by her grandson Seth Thurman Mandel.

She is survived by sister Joan Carol Anifant of Scarborough, Maine; brother David C. Anifant and his wife Barbara A. Anifant of Hyde Park, N.Y.; brother Michael J. Anifant and his wife Cathy J. Anifant of Bedford, N.H.; and four children, Rachel Kathryn Trappen and her husband Richard W. Trappen of Gig Harbor, Wash., Margo Mandel of Anchorage, Peter D. Mandel and his wife Nicole Mandel of Anchorage, and Gregory Mandel of Sitka.

She is also survived by grandchildren Kimberley Frances Robertson and her husband Bill A. Robertson, Dylan Scott Mandel and his fiancée Amy Phillips Miller, Molly Grace Mandel, Hailey Hafner, Jacob Hafner, Nicholas Hafner and his wife Haylee Hafner, and Stephan David Lewis; and great-grandchildren August William Robertson, Bay Frances Robertson, and Kinsley Lewis. She will be buried in Anchorage beside her beloved grandson, Seth.

 “Frances was a unique woman, with an infectious laugh and a style, curiosity, and tenderness all her own,” said her niece, Adrienne Anifant Schaentzler.

Her greatest joy in life was her family. She was a beautiful and loving mother, who was always there for her children. Her other loves were animals (especially her beloved Scottie dog Annie Laurie), books, traveling, and the Boston Red Sox. She will be eternally missed by all who knew her.

 

A Holy Mass will be held 10 a.m.  Monday, June 12, at Holy Family Cathedral, 800 W. 5th Ave., in Anchorage, with a viewing at Evergreen Memorial 2-4 p.m. June 11. In lieu of flowers, Frances would choose you donate to an animal shelter of your choice.

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