LAST DAY  – Blatchley Middle School eighth-graders sit on the bleachers with family and friends sitting around them Thursday during the annual Rights of Passage ceremony at the school. Students gave speeches and received certificates from principal Ben White during the program which marks the students' transition to high school. Thursday was the last day of school in the district.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Mary Stitz

Mary Stitz, 85, died peacefully Dec. 14, 2012, at Sitka Community Hospital.  Both of her daughters had been by her side, and despite all she was going through she still managed a few smiles.
She was born Dec. 25, 1926, to Anastasia and John Miskew in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. She was raised on a farm with seven brothers and sisters in a Ukrainian community; both of her parents were from the Ukraine.
On Oct. 31,1952, she married the love of her life, Edwin Sinclair Stitz. They and their two daughters, Sharon and Jackie, came to Sitka in May of 1964, when Ed was transferred to Alaska by the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition to raising their two children she worked at the Sitka Pioneers Home kitchen until she retired.
Mary was a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where she was an altar guild member for many years. Mary loved God, church, family, her friends and her daughters’ dogs that she referred to as her grandchildren. Mary thoroughly enjoyed her word puzzles and playing cards with her best friend Irene Pearson. She was very competitive in a good game of Skippo!
“Mary never gave up, she always stood tall. She will be truly missed. We know she is in a better place out of the pain and into God’s grace. God saw her getting tired and a cure was not to be so he put His arms around her and whispered ‘Come to me,”’ her family wrote.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ed and all siblings except one sister, Nattie of Canada
She is survived by her daughters, Sharon Stitz of Sitka, daughter Jacki Pearson of Juneau, and son-in-law Larry Pearson of Juneau whom she adored! He did no wrong in her eyes and even though he liked to tease her, she would get the last laugh.
Mary loved her daughters. “She was an awesome mom!” her daughters said. “Our Mom was always one of our biggest supporters and the wisdom she has given us over the years has helped shape the people we are today. We will not forget our mother, she was our bridge. Our mom is a never-ending song in our heart of comfort, happiness and being. We may sometimes forget the words but we will always remember the tune.”
Mary had been in the Sitka Pioneers Home since last June. The family thanked all of those who cared for her during her last illness.
Mary led a simple life and will be  remembered with a memorial service 10 a.m. on Wednesday Dec. 19 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 611 Lincoln St. Sitka.
The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made in her memory to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

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