Palmer resident FERNE ARLENE LEEK, 80, died of natural causes July 19, 2002, at the Palmer Pioneers' and Veterans' Home.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the home with the Rev. Chris Savino of Wasilla Christian Church officiating.

Mrs. Leek was born Sept. 4, 1921, in Dodge, N.D., and moved to Alaska in 1938. She attended Palmer High School and worked at the Palmer post office during the late 1960s.

Mrs. Leek was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska, Women of the Moose and Wasilla Christian Church.

She enjoyed reading, crocheting, knitting, embroidery and visiting with people. She moved into the pioneers home in June 1997.

Her family said: "Ferne and Jack loved to fish and camp. They were strong supporters of the Mat-Su Miners. Ferne could always be heard at the games, ringing her cow bell. Ferne loved everyone and all who knew her loved her. Ferne came to Alaska in 1938 with her parents, Earl and Kathreen Hecker, as replacement colonists. Ferne loved living in the pioneer home, and she loved the staff."

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Mary of Birmingham, Ala.; daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and David DeVries of Eagle River; daughter, Jacqueline of Palmer; grandchildren, Barbara, Jennie, Denise and Craig; great-grandchildren, Rachel, Tony, Nicole, Christian, Ty, Joey and Bailey; siblings, Bill Hecker and wife Bergie of Palmer, Alice Totten and her husband Bob of Port Orchard, Wash., Barbara Richardson and her husband Terry of Palmer, and Beverly Joyce Hecker of Livermore, Calif.

She was preceded in death by Husband Jack in 1993 & Sister June in 2001

The family requests that memorial contributions be directed to the Alaska Kidney Foundation, 3000 A St., Suite 410, Anchorage 99503.

Arrangements were by Kehl's Palmer Mortuary.

Sept. 2000 with Lucky the Palmer Pioneer Home Mascot

This poem was recited at her sevice by her niece Teri Tess

She Was Different

by Fred Bauer

She was different, she was special,
unique in a thousand ways,
She was giving, she was loving,
and we’ll miss her all our days.

There are those who covet fame
and court it like a beau,
There are those who covet wealth,
kneeling in its glow,
But she was different…

There are some who strive for praise;
they yearn for world applause,
There are some who chase sweet comfort
as their one and only cause,
But she was different…

There are some who race for power,
sure ‘twill bring them joy,
Some who long for pleasure,
seeing time as an endless toy,
But she was different…

Her legacy was friendship,
she was so giving of her time,
Her bequest was her faith in God,
her children: her books of rhyme.
She knew sorrow in great measure,
and was stung by illness, too,
But neither could defeat her,
nothing her faith subdue.

And when she heard death coming,
she didn’t cower in fear,
Instead she called out boldly,
“My Lord, I’m over here.”

“I’m going home to be with mother,”
she told me, her eyes aglow,
“I’ll see my dad and husband,
they’re waiting there, I know.”

Of course, the Lord will welcome her,
with His angels magnifying
The beauty of that celestial place,
devoid of pain and crying.

And so instead of mourning
as we remember her this hour,
We really should be celebrating
the blooming of a flower.

For heav’n will be much richer
When she puts her pen to rhyme,
Describing golden avenues
with lyricalness sublime.

But forgive us, Lord, for pining,
for wishing she were here,
It’s hard to give up someone
we have come to love so dear.

Because you see--

She was different, she was special,
unique in a thousand ways,
She was loving, she was giving,
and we’ll miss her,
miss her,
miss her, all our days.

Alaska State Flower
Forget Me Not

Click Here Memories

Copyright © 2002 Avnut