Longtime Alaskan and Soldotna resident Patricia J. “Patty” Wyka died Thursday, April 26, 2007, after battling lymphoma at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She was 83.
A memorial Mass was held at noon Saturday, April 28, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. Father Richard Tero officiated. A celebration of her life followed the Mass.
Mrs. Wyka was born Jan. 17, 1924, in Jackson, Mich. She grew up and received her education there, graduating from high school in Jackson. She worked as a bookkeeper for the Jackson Citizen Patriot. She was the associate publisher of the Lake Park Journal in Minnesota. She also tackled the job of running the Babcock Press and selling advertising, where she met many friends.
In 1962, she met her husband, A. Harry Wyka, and they moved to Lewiston, Idaho, where they had a small-scale cattle ranch. They moved to Alaska in 1970, residing in Fairbanks where she worked as a telephone operator at Fort Wainwright for 18 years. They later moved to Anchorage and she worked at Fort Richardson for seven years.
While working at Fort Wainwright, she received many awards from the Army for her meritorious service. She called the boys “her boys” and they held her in high esteem.
Mrs. Wyka was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. She enjoyed painting, crocheting, sewing, cooking and arts and crafts.
“Patty was a very loving person. She loved to paint and took it as a serious hobby, selling many paintings over the years. Many paintings were sold to the Japanese. Other paintings have been sold to people from England, Hawaii, Anchorage and some in the Soldotna area. She also loved to fish and travel about looking at the glories of Alaska. She will indeed be greatly missed by those who knew her. So for now it is -30- Patty,” her family said.
Mrs. Wyka was preceded in death by parents, Earl and Frances Fellows; sister, Arlene Arnold; brother, Rex Sailbury; and daughters, Lyra Lee Callander and Lila Frances Lewis.
She is survived by her husband of 44 years, A. Harry Wyka of Soldotna; daughters, Lenna Gilbert of Manistee, Mich., Lynette Connell of Jackson, Mich., and Oween Weaver of Powell, Tenn.; son, David Wyka; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials donations be made in Mrs. Wyka’s name to the American Cancer Society, 1057 W. Fireweed Lane, Ste. 204, Anchorage, AK 99503, for cancer research.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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