Homer resident Corneal Mae "Shirlee" Manson died peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at Maria's Assisted Living Home in Homer. She was 88.
A memorial service is at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 2009, at Majestic View B & B Assisted Living Home on Race Road.
Mrs. Manson was born Corneal Mae Shonka on Dec. 16, 1920, in Lincoln, Neb. As a child, she moved from Nebraska to Renton, Wash., where she met and married her husband, John A. Manson. They settled in Enumclaw, Wash., and began raising their four boys. While John was away during the Korean War, Shirlee worked at the Boeing plant.
In January 1960the couple moved north and raised their family in Healy (Suntrana), Alaska. By 1965 they lived in Fairbanks, and then moved to Anchorage in 1973. Shirlee and John, an avid fisherman, eventually settled in Kenai in 1986. Mrs. Manson continued living in Kenai for a number of years after John passed away, and in the spring of 2005 was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Unable to care for herself, she moved to Homer to be closer to family.
Mrs. Manson owned her own kiln and spent many happy hours pouring Alaska clay into molds, and firing, clear-coating and painting gifts for family and friends, even selling some items in Anchorage and Homer. She enjoyed painting, and each of her grandchildren has their own "oil painting by Shirlee." She loved flowers and puttering in her yard. In the spring she would start flowers in the garage, and as soon as weather permitted, her home was ablaze in color, with spectacular hanging baskets and beautiful, overflowing flower beds. Most sunny days she could be found relaxing on her swing, enjoying the sunshine and her flowers. She especially marveled at the beauty of the Sitka rosebush in her yard that came back year after year.
Shirlee was at home in the kitchen and enjoyed cooking and entertaining her family throughout the year, especially during the holidays. Shirlee was never one to let grass grow under her feet; she was always busy doing something around her house. While living in Homer, Shirlee enjoyed many hours of fishing with Jeanne Manson, and camping out at the Ninilchik River trying her best to catch the big kings.
"Shirlee was heartily loved and will surely be missed by her family and her many friends," her family said.
Mrs. Manson was preceded in death by her husband, John A. Manson, and her son, John W. Manson and his wife, Patricia; brothers, Walter Shonka and Donald Shonka; and sister, Eunice Shonka.
Mrs. Manson is survived by her sons, David Manson and his wife, Jeanne, of Homer, Harvey Manson and his wife, Christine, of Anchorage and Robert Manson, of Kenai; sister, Nita Helvy, of Renton, Wash.; grandchildren, Chrissie Hoffman and her husband, Ernie, of Homer, Kim Anderson and her husband, Joel, of Davenport, Wash., Bobbie Jean Irlander and her husband, Frank, of Seattle, Eric Manson, Kevin Manson and his wife, Bobbie, and Melissa Manson of Anchorage; and great-grandchildren, Charlie, Anthony, Marijayne, and Elijah Manson, and Dane Douglas Maydole, all of Anchorage.
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