Rachel Evelyn Gannaway, 75, formerly of Homer, died Nov. 3, 2013, in Anchorage with her family at her side.
Rachel was born April 26, 1938, in Pomeroy, Wash., to Warren and Wilma McCann. She graduated from McLaughlin High School in Milton-Freewater, Ore., and completed her nurse’s training at Deaconess in Spokane, Wash. Rachel married the love of her life, Leroy, in 1962 and they moved to Alaska in 1969. She agreed to move for three years. After six years they sold their cherry orchard in Oregon and when they finally moved, 35 years later, it was to Wasilla.
In 1969 the hospital in Homer consisted of five beds and an RN’s job included patient care, cleaning, preparing meals and laundry. Many nights Rachel worked alone and even “caught” a few babies. She retired from the Homer Medical Clinic in 1999 after a debilitating stroke. She faced the resulting challenges with dignity and humor, much as she approached life.
Rachel is survived by her husband of 51 years, Leroy. He was her primary caregiver for most of the last 14 years, a task he performed with patience and love. She is also survived by her daughters, Anna Dunbar (Franklyn) of Anchorage and Jody Moore (Marcus) of Wasilla; and her beloved grandchildren, Frankie, Rachel, Wyatt, Amelia, and Sean.
A celebration of life will be held in Homer in the spring. Arrangements were made by the Cremation Society of Alaska. Words of comfort can be shared with Rachel’s family at www.alaskacremation.com.