Gail and Denvy
Almost 50 Years and Counting
Year Six - 1975



The Red Van Adventure

     Because Denvy worked for the Federal government (USGS-WRD) in Alaska and was hired in the Lower 48, literally moments before he crossed the border into Canada, he was granted a paid trip to the Lower 48 every two years. In '75 Gail and Denvy bought a Ford van previously owned by a couple of college students who had carpeted the inside and made some built-in beds. They packed the three kids, aged 15 months, 21 months and 4 years, and some toys and headed south through the Klondike and down the inside passage on the Alaska ferry.
     One evening Gail and Denvy shared a nice dinner with even a glass of wine. The wine seemed a bit strong as walking became a challenge. Ah ha, they discovered the one small glass was only coindental to passing through the one place where the ferry is exposed to the open ocean.
     The drive took them along the coast through Washington and Oregon into northern California where they explored the huge trees. When they got tired they turned east and stopped in the Denver, toured the Black Hills and ended up with their parents in North Dakota.


     Denvy's work seem to lean more toward production and less toward administration and so he suggested to his supervisor that they hire an assistant for keypunching data and reduce his work load. This allowed him to work part time and become a part time stay home dad as Gail moved into a part time mother and nurse.
     One day in December Denvy was home with the kids and went to a meeting that evening after Gail got home. Taanya was playing with less energy and when Denvy returned home Gail said that Taanya had a fever and we should have her sleep in our bed to monitor her condition.
     In the morning, she still had a fever and so Denvy took her in the shower with him to help her feel fresh after an all night fever. She never seemed to even wake up, so they rushed her to the hospital. Denvy went to work just to say that he wasn't coming in that day. By the time he returned to the hospital Taanya had stopped breathing and Gail had to resuscitate her. After a day at her side they went home for some needed rest.
     At five the next morning, the hospital called asking them to come in. The explanation was that the lab tests verified that they had assumed the correct medication. Also they explained the possible damage that may have happened to her brain and the prognosis of her future. Moments later her heart stopped and the decision was to resuscitate or not.
     Taanya went to be with her creator the morning of December 19, 1975. She was dressed in the dress Gail had made for her celebration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On Christmas morning, Denvy unwrapped a gift from Taanya that had been placed there days earlier.
     Today Taanya would be 40 years old, but who's counting.

In Memory of Taanya Rhea Saxowsky

     Taanya was born a Tsimshian-Haida Indian in Ketchikan, Alaska, on August 25, 1973. She came to live with Gail and Denvy on September 21 of that year. Five months later she relinquished the status of youngest in the family to a brother born to Gail. They were much like twins.
     As infants they attended church with their parents including a structured child care lead by Gail and Denvy. About the time she was two years old, her personality blossomed, as she would come up from the classroom and greet members of the congregation exclaiming and explaining her newly created artwork. She had a exuberance for life and her brothers enjoyed her.
     The brothers were four and almost two years old when their sister died. Despite the lack of language, they dearly and fully grieved her departure. Today she remains the sister who doesn't come home for Christmas.

     In the summer of 2012, her brothers and parents, and even her nephews and some friends, placed her ashes in three streams in the Yellowstone Park that would lead to the northern Pacific Ocean, the southern Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean via the Gulf of Mexico. She is free to travel the world.