*Make a Donation in Honor of Kathleen "Katie" T. Melican*
Kathleen “Katie” Theresa Melican passed away peacefully on February 10, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.
Katie was born Kathleen Theresa Hart in Worcester, Massachusetts to Edward and Julia Hart. She graduated from St. Peters Central Catholic High School in 1959. Along with her best friend Mary and following in the footsteps of her sister Joyce, Katie attended St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing to earn her nursing diploma in 1962. She married her high school sweetheart George Patrick Melican on June 26, 1965. They had 4 children: Joe, Tim, Tom, and Kristen. George’s job as a college administrator took the family to Plymouth, Michigan in 1977.
While in Michigan, Katie earned a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Madonna College in Livonia, Michigan. She worked at the University of Michigan Medical School and remembers this as some of the most rewarding work of her life. In 1982, George’s job took the family to Anchorage, Alaska. Katie returned to school once again to earn a Master’s in Nursing from the University of Alaska Anchorage and became a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Katie’s career as a nurse included a variety of positions, ranging from the operating room to the city health department. Katie also spent several years as a faculty member at the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing. In 1996, Katie became the owner of Alaska Health Care Clinic. Katie was always willing to mentor students at her clinic, so generations of Nurse Practitioners honed their skills under Katie’s guidance and tutelage. Her clinic, located in the heart of Spenard, was known for seeing patients from all walks of life.
Katie was always willing to treat patients no matter their background or ability to pay. In 1991, during the height of Desert Storm, Katie, at the age of 49, joined the Navy Reserves. Based on her education and background, she was given the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She was honorably discharged a few years later.
Katie was a leader in the Nurse Practitioner community both locally and nationally. She was regional director for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and received the 1996 Nurse Practitioner of the Year award by the Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association. In 2014, Katie received the Preceptor Gold Star Award by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties due to her exceptional service as a preceptor, teacher, leader, and positive role model. She was also one of the earliest recipients of the Athena Award, which is a recognition given by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce to women who excel in business.
Katie married Don McKenzie in 1997. Katie and Don enjoyed traveling, dancing, and entertaining. They hosted many dinners at their home in Spenard. Katie retired and closed her clinic in 2016. Over the last few years, Katie and Don could be seen around town enjoying some snacks and beverages at some of their favorite spots like Reilly’s, Gwennies, Club Paris, and Saint Coyote, Katie will be remembered for her smile, her love of life, and her sparkling Irish eyes. She was an amazing mother, wife, nurse, and friend.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Joyce Raymond, her step-grandson Danny Joseph, and her first husband and father of her children George Melican. She is survived by her husband of 26 years Don McKenzie, her step-son Pete McKenzie, her step-daughter Cindy Johnson and her husband Mike, her sons Joe, Tim, and Tom Melican, her daughter Kristen Nevala, her son-in-law Matt Nevala, her step-grandson Justin Joseph, his wife Luck, and their daughter Kai, her granddaughters Maggie and Moira Nevala, and numerous other friends and family.
A celebration of life will occur March 31, 2023 at 6:00 at Saint Coyote Restaurant 135 West Dimond Blvd. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association scholarship fund to help support future Nurse Practitioners.