Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 4:42 PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Edna Lillian (Matson) Steik


Edna Lillian (Matson) Steik

Sept. 20, 1934-Jan. 28, 2012

Edna Lillian (Matson) Steik joined her children in heaven on Jan. 28, 2012, after battling lymphoma.

She was born in Ninilchik on Sept. 20, 1934. Her mother passed when she was just 7 years old and, along with two of her 11 siblings, she lived in missionary run childrens homes in Kenai and Valdez. Edna fondly recalled her father dog sledding up to Kenai on birthdays and holidays. When her siblings went to live in Washington state, Edna traveled with a missionary couple by steamship to Oregon and California. After refusing to be adopted because it meant she would have to change her last name, she settled down in Fairbanks with extended family and graduated from high school there in 1953.

Marriage to James Lee Towe and the birth of two children, Jamie and Paul, saw her through the next few years. The death of her infant son and subsequent divorce brought her back to Ninilchik where she married Stanley Roger Steik on Aug. 26, 1960. They were blessed with three more daughters, Sheri, Paula and Tammy.

Edna cared for her aging father, John Matson, until he passed in 1967. Aug. 19, 1974, brought Edna her most devastating moment: Her husband and 11-year-old daughter Paula drowned in Bishops Lake out Oil Well Road in Ninilchik while on an afternoon outing. Edna went on to another marriage to Melvin Don Cooper, but returned to the Steik name because she still had a young Steik daughter. Edna worked in many jobs throughout her lifetime including clothing press operator at a dry cleaners, waitress/maid, cannery worker, tutor, cook at Inlet View for 16 years, drive-in owner/operator of Mamas Kitchen and school custodian.

Despite all of lifes obstacles, Edna raised a family that understands that life happens and we must deal with the hand we are dealt and stay as positive as we can. She was a strong, independent, hard-working, loving mother and friend. An open door, a glass of wine, a hot meal, some laughs, a warm bed, a willing ear and an honest opinion were all available at Mamas, Grams, and the Big Aunties, her family said.

Edna was preceded in death by parents John and Vera (Balashoff) Matson; siblings Luba, Metrofan, John Jr., William, Lawrence, Barbara, Ernest, William, Victor and Herman Matson; husband and son James and Paul Towe; husband and daughter Stanley and Paula Steik; and husband Melvin Cooper.

She is survived by sister Helen Benedict and family; daughter and son-in-law Jamie and Dan Leman; daughter and son-in-law Sheri and Jonathan Liebenthal; daughter and son-in-law Tammy and David Bear; grandson and great-grandson Nathon and Ashton Stonecipher; granddaughter, grand son-in-law and great-granddaughter Tasha, Chris and Emma Elizabeth Boin; granddaughter and grand daughter-in-law Tiffany Johansen and Zoe Dixon; granddaughter, grand son-in-law and future great-grandbaby Whitney, Jason and Baby Schollenberg; granddaughter and fiance Krista Leman and Levi Sutton; grandson and granddaughter Ryan and Heather Bear; and numerous other extended family members.

Pallbearers are Dan Leman, Jon Liebenthal, David Bear, Nathon Stonecipher, Larry George Matson and Eric Kvasnikoff. Honorary pallbearers are Ernest Sonny Matson, Richard Hostetter and Ryan Bear.

A viewing will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2012, in the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik. Funeral will follow at 1 p.m. A tea will be held in Ednas home on Oil Well Road at approximately 2:30 p.m. Parking will be limited; Gary and Terry Cooper have graciously offered their driveway and the area by their shop across the road as extra parking.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Ninilchik Emergency Services or the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik in honor of Edna Steik.