Nancy loved Nome news
In my first real job, I worked for Nancy in the summers as a photo editor and office assistant. One summer, when a big news story broke out, the Nugget turned into a flurry. She had informants all around town. Kids younger than me would run in the front door, breathless as they described the most recent rumor. She fed off of their excitement, making hurried phone calls for confirmation.
She reacted this way to news as long as I can remember. She loved Nome news the most. Her eyes would light up and she would smile wide as she described inner goings-on that I knew nothing about. I smiled, too, at the way her eyes twinkled and at her conspiratorial whisper.
Working for her and being around her passion instilled a love for journalism in me. As I prepared to take off for the University of Oregon to study journalism, Nancy talked me through the importance of self defense and what to do if I was mugged.
She was fiercely protective. She once told a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor of mine that it would be a terrible idea to bring me on an embedded journalist mission to Iraq. I couldn’t be mad, even though I lost the opportunity due to her reference.
I got to experience her love and support, shown to me in different ways ever since birth. From dyeing Easter eggs, to making homemade candies, she took pleasure in educating me, giving me opportunities, and spending time with me.
Her passing leaves a strange absence. In all, though, knowing her made my life fuller. As my brother told her in her last hours, we both appreciate everything she taught us. He said he will raise his daughters to be as giving as her. I hope to pass on her values of the freedom of speech, education, and compassion one day as well.