PUKANICH, Shirley Mae (nee Watson) Age 78, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at CapitalCare Lynnwood, mercifully released from the clutches of Alzheimer's. She was a self-taught pianist and artist, a 'green thumb' who loved the outdoors, a dedicated and loved teacher, and a generous contributor to many organizations including the Square Dancing community. She was born on a farm near Pickardville on January 2, 1939 to Charles and Ella Mae (Pollock) Watson, both active in the teaching community, and was the youngest of nine children. A music lover and driven learner, she taught herself to play the piano by ear and sing at a young age – a gift she shared freely with others her whole life. She attended, and then went on to teach, in a one- room schoolhouse. On July 4, 1959, she married Frank Pukanich in Fawcett, Alberta. After ten rewarding years of teaching, Shirley had three children and she devoted her time to being a mom. The family spent many hours in nature, and Shirley's ability to grow vibrant plants and find four-leafed-clovers was amazing! She had loving hands and enjoyed creating handicrafts and art, especially with children. Shirley proudly graduated from the University of Alberta in 1982 with her Bachelor of Education, and promptly resumed her elementary school teaching career, touching the lives of thousands of students by the time she retired. In 1971, Shirley and Frank were introduced to Square Dancing; Shirley's love of giving inspired service to that organization in various capacities for just under four decades. She will be remembered for her dedication to teaching and love of sharing her special qualities with everyone. Left to honour Shirley and hand down her loving energy and vitality are her loving husband of 57 years Frank Pukanich; her children Allison (Merle) McAssey, Kenneth (Dixie) Pukanich, and Michael (Louise) Pukanich; her grandchildren Shandro and Matero McAssey, Dayton and Kyra Pukanich, and Casey, Emily and Janelle Pukanich; her sister Kay Ruxton; and many nieces, nephews and other extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Harold and Ivan, and her sisters Helen, Alice, Dorothy, Sheila, and Sylvia.All are welcome at a Celebration of Shirley's Life with Lilley Glebe officiating at the Westlock Memorial Hall, 99 Avenue and 106 Street on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., followed by an afternoon reception. The family would like to extend our gratitude to the nurses and staff at CapitalCare Lynnwood in Edmonton for their attentiveness and tender care. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation on behalf of Shirley Pukanich to the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and NWT.