Obituary: MYRA ARLENE SARBER
April 21, 1942 - April 14, 2023
June 8, 2023
Myra Arlene Sarber passed with her family by her side April 14th in Sunnyside Oregon. Myra was born the sixth child of seven in Spokane WA, to Thelma Irene and Faber Sebastian Wondzell. In 1951 her family moved by steamship to Wrangell in the Territory of Alaska. 1955 brought a consistent and loving stepfather, Albert Ronning. She married her lifelong love Homer Sarber in Petersburg AK, in 1962, and they settled down in Ketchikan to raise their family.
Myra and Homer lived in Ketchikan for 35 years during which time Myra worked many different jobs, in addition to those of homemaker and mother. She did at-home childcare, worked in the lunch program at Schoenbar, earned her CNA, was a Pharmacy Technician at Island Pharmacy and eventually retired from her position as Insurance Claims Processor with Tongass Timber Trust in 1999. She worked in the Pharmacy at Nugget Rexall in Juneau while she and Homer lived there for a few years in the 1980's. Homer & Myra spent ten years as dedicated Foster Parents to several children who Myra enjoyed taking under her wing and nurturing as her own. She loved retirement and thoroughly enjoyed living as a "snowbird", splitting time between her family's A-Frame cabin on Kupreanof Island and her beloved motorhome, "The Rose". Retirement allowed for travel and discovering new places with family and friends. A highlight of every year was leaving Arizona in the spring and enjoying a long trip north to Alaska, as they stopped in Washington and Oregon to spend time with family and friends. She was especially close with her siblings and their spouses, lovingly referred to as "the out-laws," with whom they shared adventures in the United States and abroad. In 2009 they bought a home and settled in Lake Havasu City Arizona for the winter months and continued to travel to summer in Alaska.
Myra was an energetic, magnetic force who, when faced with challenges, didn't back down. She was a spiritual and Christian woman who advocated tolerance and acceptance. Myra had a true, independent Alaskan spirit that she passed on to her children. She loved her family and time with them was precious to her. Myra cherished the independence she and Homer shared: theirs was a special life that made time for others around their first love - each other.
Myra had many hobbies and interests. She was especially known for being a treasure hunter and collector: digging bottles, collecting shells, and turning them into beautiful displays. She took classes to develop her interest and artistry in Alaska Native basketry and beadwork. She was an avid gardener in Alaska and Arizona. She cared deeply for the many special dogs who were central to her life and family. Myra and Homer loved exploring Southeast Alaska by boat, adventuring with friends and family, and especially with Homer's brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Maggie. Myra loved sharing "the good cabin life", first with her children and then her grandchildren.
Myra was a friend to many, who were drawn in by her curiosity and interest in life, her good humor, and the gleam in her eye that beckoned them to join her. She brought a special light and playful mischief into a room, and into the lives she touched. She didn't get "old" in the traditional sense, with a buzzing energy around her that never waned. She will be dearly missed by those who loved her.
Myra was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather; and siblings Bruce, Robert and Shirley (Ronning) Wondzell, Blair Wondzell. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Homer H. Sarber; Children Scott (Shelly) Sarber, Kevin Sarber and Sabrina Sarber; grandchildren, Megan Brown, Treven (Krisandra) Sarber, Jorah Barber, Micah Barber, Kysa Marie Barber and Darrah Barber; great-grandson, Taven Sarber; siblings, Joyce Kramer, Terry (Christine) Wondzell, Clara Ann (Edward) Ness and Georgina Ronning Skrinski; and many loving nieces and nephews.