December 7, 1941 — Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Phyllis "Phyl" Maurine Dana passed away very suddenly February 7, 2006, after just a couple of days of "not feeling good". Phyl was born in Evanston, Illinois, on April 8, 1917, to parents Jack and Eva Dana. At the time of her death she was residing very happily at Merrill Gardens, Marysville, Washington
She is survived by her brother, Newell (Shirley) Dana, of Snohomish, Washington; sister, Barbara (Bob) Friend, of Marysville; and nieces and nephews, Tom (Connie) Dana, Steve (Noreen) Dana, Melody Dana, Patty (Ty) Wernet, Cindy (Kal) Holler, Rick Dana, Heather Callan, and Shelly Dana.
Phyl lived an adventurous life, especially for a woman born during WWI. She never married and had a career that took her all over the world. Her travels began at an early age. She was three when she traveled with her Methodist missionary parents to the Belgian Congo, Africa. The family remained in the Congo for five years until her father contracted malaria. Upon returning to the U.S., the family settled in Lake Stevens, Washington.
Phyl graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1935, and Everett General Hospital, School of Nursing, in 1939. During her training, she was encouraged to join the Red Cross Nursing Program. It was explained that members could be called on in the event of a national disaster. In December 1940, a friend convinced Phyl to join her in Hawaii, with the promise of free fare to the Islands and travel. These two decisions would prove to be important life choices, since in the spring of 1941, Phyl received a letter advising her to report to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by April 15, 1941. It seems her membership in the Red Cross had translated to a commission as Ensign in the U.S. Navy. She was the youngest of the Navy Nurses at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941.
Following the war, Phyl continued to live and work in Hawaii and other mainland locations, plus Panama. In the '60's, Phyl returned to Washington to pursue a degree in Communications. She graduated from the U.W. in 1963, and then returned to her life of travel and her work as a registered nurse with a stint of National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Phyl retired in 1977 after 23 years with the Navy and subsequently the Veteran's Administration. Upon retirement, Phyl settled in Everett, to be close to her family. She continued to travel making several trips abroad with Elderhostel. An avid reader, when Phyl became interested in a subject or location, she read about it and then traveled there to investigate for herself.
At Phyl's request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Marysville Fire District Foundation, 1635 Grove Street, Marysville, WA 98270.
Phyl will be remembered by her family and friends as a strong, independent woman. She took the road less traveled eschewing marriage and family for career. She spoke her mind with passion and vigor. She loved anything in nature and her beloved Hawaii. She will be missed.