Manita Nery died June 28, 2002, in a hiking accident in Glacier National Park, Mont.
Ms. Nery was born in the Philippines, and at the age of 13 moved to Los Angeles. She graduated from California State University and began her teaching career in Southern California.
After giving birth to her first son, Rodi, she sought a more peaceful place to raise her family and found her dream house on Whidbey Island. Ms. Nery took a teaching position in the Edmonds School District and was blessed with two more children, Feliza and Lino.
Ms. Nery lived on Whidbey Island for over 25 years. She saw the island as her place of refuge, which gave her the strength to be an inspirational teacher, loving mother and devoted friend. She guided and shaped the minds and lives of students at Alderwood Middle School for 20 years. She taught home economics and had a knack for focusing on “problem children,” whom she chose to see as special with unique talents and gifts.
Ms. Nery had a zest for life that drove her to seek and conquer challenges. She ran her first marathon when she was 50 and spent her “golden years” learning to use an ice axe and summit Cascade mountain peaks with her climbing “mountain sisters.” Her family and friends will sorely miss her. She was and is an inspiration.
Ms. Nery is survived by her fiance Hiromi Nara; her children Rodi, Feliza and Lino; other family members and countless friends; and the owls that she loved to watch roost in the cherry tree outside her kitchen window.
Donations may be made to the Manita Nery Memorial Fund at Washington Mutual Bank. A portion of the proceeds will be used to further the establishment of a crisis management program in Glacier National Park.