FIT FOR DUTY – Thirty-seven recruits graduating from the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy's Law Enforcement Training Session 1802 take the oath of office this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. The audience was told that during the rigorous 16-week session recruits lost a combined 200 pounds of body fat. The graduates will be taking law enforcement positions around the state from the North Slope Borough Police Department to statewide Alaska Wildlife Troopers to the Ketchikan Police Department. Speaker at the ceremony was DPS Deputy Commissioner William Comer, who graduated from the academy in 1985. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Evelyn Jean Cici

Evelyn Jean Cici

    Early Saturday morning, January 6, Evelyn Jean Cici was taken home by the Lord. She drifted off to sleep and died peacefully with her daughter by her side, in her Sitka home.
    She was 77.
    She was born July 18, 1940, in Sitka, the daughter of Florence (Hayes) and Harold Donnelly. She graduated from Sitka High in 1958. She married Angelo Cici in December 1958 and lived in California until returning to Sitka in 1972, after their divorce.
    As a very young adult, Evelyn was diagnosed with mental illness, and she struggled every day. Longtime use of one medication caused permanent damage to her kidneys and 10 years ago was at stage five of renal failure. She rejected dialysis, which would have meant leaving Sitka, and once was given no more than two years to live.
    Despite the odds against her, she not only survived renal failure but many bouts of pneumonia, infections, a fractured hip, breast cancer, Parkinson’s and a host of other physical ailments.
    But she was a fighter, and amazed doctors and others at her resilience and strength. She always had faith that tomorrow would be a better day.; it always was for her.
    “We will miss her big beautiful smile, a gift straight from her heart,” her family said. “She was so loving and gave to those around her.”
    Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents; her brother,  Harold ”Bunny” Donnelly; and two granddaughters, Kahana Smisek and Charissa Cici.
    Surviving are her daughter, Angela Smisek of Silverado, Calif.; sons Joe Cici of Temecula, Calif., and Kelly Cici of Van Nuys, Calif.; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
     A remembrance service is planned for early spring. It will be announced later.

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