Can you pronounce Kanankanak?
Wasilla Primrose resident Eleanor Oakley can. She should, seeing as it was her birthplace and the name of her first small schoolhouse.
Born and raised in Alaska, Eleanor can show you what downtown Anchorage looked like back in 1940. Of course, quite a bit has changed in the 70 years that have gone by, and her old school at 15th and E street is now where the Performing Arts center stands.
Eleanor loved to be outside as a child, actively skiing in the winter and climbing trees in the summer. The weather was never a problem, as she would play through the rain and snow.
When she wasn’t about in the woods outside Anchorage, Eleanor would occasionally go to 25 cent matinees at the movies, or spend a nickel for ice cream. Eleanor’s youth was a stout example of the Alaska child, her mother being from Bristol Bay and her father, originally a radio operator in Kanakanak became a solider at Fort Richardson when it opened.
Her father retired from the military when she was twelve, and the family moved to Seattle, then California. Eleanor attended high school there then went to Washington D.C to work for the Navy as a typist and clerk.
Her restless spirit raged on, and when she married her husband whom she had met at Salinas High school, they had two children.
Eleanor and her family decided to moved to Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga. She lived in the south pacific for a few years, as her husband worked for the world Health Organization in the studies of mosquitoes.
By 1999 Eleanor retired from 22 years of real estate, and far too much paper work. After a stay in the hospital, Eleanor was shown Primrose by her daughter who lives in Wasilla. Here she now resides as an avid resident who volunteers every night to help pick out movies for us to watch in the theater — we couldn’t be happier to have her as a part of our family.
by Maria Rodriguez
Life Enrichment Coordinator
To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!