READY FOR HIBERNATION – Matthew Brechl wears a bear suit and pushes a jogger as he races in last weekend's 10 K WhaleFest Run on Sawmill Creek Road. More than 100 runners turned out for the event. The annual WhaleFest included a well-attended marine science symposium with participants from the University of Alaska, Penninsula College and Fort Lewis College, a film festival, an art show, a whale watching tour, a market, a banquet, a concert and a variety show. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Marilyn M. Thrasher

Marilyn M. Thrasher

Former Sitka resident Marilyn M. Thrasher passed away at the E. Dene Moore Care Center, a nursing home in Rifle, Colorado, on Nov. 9, 2017.
Marilyn Bernice Morgan was born July 10, 1928, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to schoolteacher parents William A. and Blanche P. Morgan. She spent most of her early life in south central Oklahoma where her parents taught school in several communities. 
As a young girl, Marilyn developed an interest in dance and music.  In elementary school she played in a school rhythm band and performed in numerous dance recitals. She played piano competitively and went on to play flute in both high school and college symphonic and marching bands.
 While artistically inclined, Marilyn had a bit of a tomboy side, participating in the 4-H program with projects in beekeeping, dairy cows and chickens.  She graduated from Healdton High School in 1946 and went on to enroll in the School of Home Economics at Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater.  While attending a church social event with her cousins, she was introduced to Frank Thrasher of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.  They married on May 30, 1949, the same day Marilyn graduated from college.
Following his graduation from Oklahoma A&M in January 1951, Frank’s employment took the family to Wichita, Kansas, Blackwell, Oklahoma, and then to Stewart, Nevada, where Marilyn briefly taught home economics for the Bureau of Indian Affairs before completing an Elementary Education Teaching Certificate through the University of Nevada, Reno.  In 1962, the family returned briefly to Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
In August 1963, the family moved to Sitka when Frank accepted a position teaching vocational shop at the BIA’s Mt. Edgecumbe High School.  In 1964, Marilyn began her elementary teaching career when she accepted a position as a second-grade teacher with Sitka Public Schools, teaching for several years at the Mt. Edgecumbe Elementary School and later at Baranof Elementary School, retiring at the end of the 1984 school year.
Frank passed away in Sitka in 1987, and is buried inSitka National Cemetery, where Marilyn will join him again.
In retirement, Marilyn remained active in the community filling a number of roles in Sitka United Methodist Church, participating in Sitka Woman’s Club, supporting the Sitka Summer Music Festival, and volunteering with the Sitka Historical Society.
In 2007, she received the Woman of the Year Award from the Sitka Woman’s Club.
In 2009, Marilyn moved to Rifle, to be closer to family. Declining health and an injury prompted her move into the E. Dene Moore Care Center early in 2013.
Marilyn is survived by her three sons: Patrick (Ann) of Rifle, Colorado, Glenn (Celia) of Wellington, New Zealand and Terry (Tamara) of Fairfield, California; granddaughters Hayley (Paul) Wrezinski, Rhiannon (Aerran) Riley, Sarah Thrasher, Rebecca Thrasher, and Nicole (John) Heller; and great-grandchildren Liam and Amelia Wrezinski.
 A service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 27, at Sitka United Methodist Church followed by a private interment at Sitka National Cemetery.  A reception open to the community and provided by the Methodist Church will begin at 12:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
 


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