Virginia Elizabeth Norstrom Coughlan

Virginia Elizabeth Norstrom Coughlan, 85, died September 13, 2008, at the Anchorage Pioneer Home after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Fort Richardson National Cemetery. Due to construction, access to Fort Richardson will be via the Boniface Gate at Elmendorf Air Force Base. It is recommended that guests allow extra travel time for this detour. The procession will form at 322 Boniface Parkway, Anchorage, AK at 1 p.m.
Born April 30, 1923, in Manitowish, Wisc., to the late Gustaf Jonas and Marie (Anderson) Norstrom, Virginia grew up in Wisconsin, Florida, and Flushing, N.Y. She served as a yeoman in the U.S. Navy during WWII. After her service, she travelled extensively through Europe and North Africa, working for two years in France. She attended Columbia University, graduating with honors in 1956 with a B.A. in Psychology. Later in 1956, Virginia moved to Alaska as an employee of the Federal Electric Company, supporting the White Alice Project. She established her home in a log cabin on the Hillside and saw Alaska become a state in 1959. Virginia retired from the State of Alaska in 1985, and spent her time gardening and caring for her dogs. Her GIBAR kennel proudly owned and showed the first Alaskan AKC champion Shih Tzu in the early 1980s.
She was a devoted, caring mother and a gracious understanding friend to all on her beloved Hillside, where her cabin was known for its beautiful garden.
Virginia is survived by her daughter, Barbara Kelly, son-in-law Mike, and grandson, Joshua, all of Coronado, Calif.
Anchorage Funeral Home & Crematory are handling the arrangements.