Joyce Elaine Peterson Galleher

August 11, 1929 – March 26, 2019

Joyce Elaine Peterson Galleher, Bremerton Class of ’47, headed for “heaven’s blueberry patch” on March 29, 2019. She left this world a much better place.

AMAZING. Joyce radiated a zest for life and a love of adventure that took her from North Dakota to Nome, Alaska – with stops in Bremerton and later Poulsbo. A Scandinavian by blood, she often said she felt more Mexican or Irish. She celebrated all cultures and all people.

ADVENTUROUS. She moved from the North Dakota sod house to Washington state at a young age as her family escaped the destruction of farming during the dust bowl years. They first live in Ballard (Seattle) and later in Bremerton where she graduated with the Class of ’47 – a group she would stay connected to for life. A few years after graduation she met and married the love of her life, pilot Richard “Dick” Galleher in 1951. They celebrated their wedding at Our Saviors Lutheran in Bremerton. The adventure continued as they headed for Alaska – a honeymoon home in Bethel in 1952, then Dillingham, Red Devil, Anchorage, and finally Nome in 1958.

ACCOMPLISHED. In business she was a weather observer, an airline employee and then owner (Northern Consolidated, Alaska Airlines, Munz Northern Airlines), a corporation board director (Alascom, Pacific Telecom), a licensed real estate agent, and a Kitsap hospice volunteer. In 2014 Joyce was recognized as one of Alaska’s Living Aviation Legends.

As a mother she created a wonderful life for Gail, Brian, and Blaine. She treasured her Cub Scout group and participated in the Alaska Miners Association and the Alaska Visitors Association. She loved sharing Nome and her family with visitors from all over the world.

ADVENTURER. In retirement, she and Dick sailed on the “Joyce Elaine” out of Poulsbo, Washington; took road trips in their 1938 Darrin Packard with the OVAC car club, and spent time with family across the globe. She was an adventurer, whether it was walking the ditch lines in Nome, the tundra in Iceland, or the sidewalk in front of Sluys in Poulsbo. She loved to travel, including her twice yearly trips to Bremerton for the Class of ’47 luncheon and picnics organized by her classmates. In recent years she had been to over 26 European countries plus Iceland, Mexico, and Hawaii.

APPRECIATED. Joyce lived almost 90 years, but never acted her age – she was youthful in her enthusiasm, curiosity and openness to all. She took time to touch each person’s life along the way. She loved her friends across the globe and was known for her frequent personal beautifully handwritten letters – a lost art.

Joyce was preceded in death by husband Richard “Dick” Galleher, her sons Brian and Ross, her parents Alvin and Lola, and her sisters Jeanne Mitchell and Jerry Ann Peterson as well as many other cherished family and friends.

She is survived by her daughter Gail (Frank Flavin) and son Blaine (Kim), grandsons Brett Galleher (Kelsey) and Conner Merboth, nephew Greg Mitchell (Karen), nieces Jacque Mitchell Quello and Jennifer Galleher Vroom.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of Kitsap County or the Jewel Box Theatre in Poulsbo.

More information and photos can be found at: The Galleher family can be reached at PO Box 240944, Anchorage, AK 99524.

Joyce Elaine Peterson Galleher – Adventurous start, amazing finish!

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