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A service to celebrate the life of Lilyan Esther Danyow, 98, of North Bend will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 400 Highland Ave., in Coos Bay, with pastor Christy Close Erskine, officiating. The American Legion Bay Area Post No. 34 will present full military honors earlier in the day at her graveside at Sunset Memorial Park in Coos Bay.
Lilyan was born Oct. 10, 1919, in Essex, Iowa to Carl and Vendla (Helstrom) Wyckman. She died March 9, 2018 in North Bend of age-related causes.
Lilyan recalled happy memories of growing up on a family farm in Essex, Iowa, along with three sisters. Man and beast worked hard, she would say, and there was satisfaction in the completion of a hard day’s work. The fields were plowed with a team of horses, water was pumped by hand, and the house lit by kerosene lamps, with electrical and phone lines not yet nearby. When she was 17, the family purchased a farm in Cataldo, Idaho. There, she lettered as a member of the Rose Lake High School girls basketball team, playing half-court ball because it was believed that girls were too delicate to play full-court basketball.
She spoke often and with pride of her Swedish heritage. Her spunky immigrant mother came, alone, to this country from Sweden as a young teenager, and Lilyan’s father was the son of Swedish immigrants. That country’s folk crafts became a Christmas tradition at Lilyan’s home, and now at her children’s homes.
After high school, she entered nurses training at St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane, Wash., and received her diploma as a registered nurse in April 1941. Lilyan went to work at a Spokane surgery practice, and in 1943, with World War ll underway, she enlisted as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, with the rank of ensign. Her first assignment was at the Farragut Naval Training Station at Sandpoint, Idaho, on Lake Pend Oreille. At the time, it was the second-largest U.S. naval training station.
She then was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, serving at Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital. A romance blossomed during a blind date with 1st Lt. Sidney Danyow, a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force. Their marriage soon followed, and for Lilyan, separation from the Navy in 1945, because the regulations of the time didn’t permit nurses to be married.
At war’s end, the couple resumed civilian life, and Sidney returned to school at the University of Michigan to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering. While there, they welcomed their first child, and Lilyan embarked on her chosen life’s work as a homemaker and mother.
Sidney’s career in aeronautical/aerospace engineering and marketing, and his recall to active duty with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, took them to Seattle, Wash., Ogden, Utah; Dayton and Fairborn, Ohio; Scottsdale and Chandler, Ariz.; and in retirement to Coos Bay. At each location Lilyan created a pleasant home for her family and devoted herself to their welfare.
The family began a new adventure with their move from Ohio to Arizona in 1957. They explored the wonders of that beautiful state on countless road trips in their various station wagons. Many of these outings were researched and instigated by Lilyan. They returned often to the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, a favorite destination.
Soon after their arrival in Arizona, Lilyan enrolled herself and her children in Western horseback riding school. In new Western attire, they learned proper horsemanship skills, the parts of the horse and tack, and participated in riding competitions.
Her grandchildren also benefited from her nurture while their mother earned a degree in education and embarked on her career; getting treats, transportation, and entertainment at her home across the street.
It was always worth the question “What’s for dinner?”, as she was an excellent cook. She could turn one of her daughter’s sketched dress designs into a completed garment, no matter how complicated. Church on Sunday was obligatory for all, and she taught Sunday school, too. The trained nurse was competent to treat almost any illness a child could present. She arose early and settled the house at night. Wise counsel could always be obtained in conversation with her, even at the very last. She will be remembered often and well.
Lilyan is survived by her daughters, Nancy Danyow of Prescott, Ariz., Wendy Taylor and her husband, Bruce, of San Antonio, Texas, and Janet Huggins and her husband, Bob, of Coos Bay; grandchildren, Joshua Taylor of Gilbert, Ariz., and Jordan Herbert of San Antonio, Texas; and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ark Project, 755 S. 7th St., Coos Bay, OR 97420.
Arrangements are under the direction of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
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