Nicholas Joseph Monroe, a lifelong resident of the Nenana area, died on Saturday, January 19, 2019, after a long, brave battle with cancer, at the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in Anchorage. With sincere love and gratitude the family would like to recognize and thank the staff at ANMC for their superior and dedicated care of Nick throughout the past year and most especially this last month.
Nick was born on September 26, 1949 at the family home in Nenana with the late Gladys Coghill attending his birth. He was the fifth-born of the seven children of the late William P. and Emily R. (Homier) Monroe. Nick attended Nenana Public Schools and graduated in 1967. The next year he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country from 1968 to 1973.
Nick was an accomplished carpenter and “jack of all trades” who could figure out how to build or fix just about anything. In 1982 Nick and his first wife Carol (Rutledge) Dana built and opened The Monderosa, a bar and restaurant at Mile 309 of the Parks Highway, just a few miles north of Nenana. The Monderosa quickly became known for serving “the best burger in Alaska”; as well as having the friendliest host and bartender around! Nick loved his work; he enjoyed entertaining others and customers always got a big smile and friendly visit, along with a joke or magic trick when they stopped in.
Nick was, perhaps above all else, a gifted and dedicated musician and a lifelong guitar player and singer in the Nenana Unlimited band. Nick and his older brothers Charles and Ted started their family band when they were all young teenagers with just two guitars and a set of drums. Before long they began playing in local pubs with their parents accompanying them because they were all underage. Nenana Unlimited changed and added band members over the years but Nick remained the constant leader of the band for more than five decades! Nenana Unlimited traveled from one end of Alaska to the other over the course of 50 years, becoming legendary for delivering the best dance music in the state.
Family was near and dear to Nick’s heart. He was predeceased by his parents; by his sister, Alice Marks; his brothers Charles Monroe and Ted Monroe; and his niece Sarah Monroe. And he leaves behind the love of his life Donna Mather; his daughters Ronica (Steve) Aldrich, Charly (Ben) Musielak, Nicole (Nick) Akers; sons Logan Monroe and Kynan Monroe; his sister, Maureen Monroe; brothers William (Wanda) Monroe and Edgar Monroe; grandchildren Parker Matherly, Camryn Aldrich, Darian Musielak, Jaydn Musielak and great-granddaughter Jonnee Halverson; and a crowd of nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Nick will be missed beyond measure and always remembered by family, friends, and acquaintances alike for his quick wit, ready smile, and fun-loving nature.
There will be a celebration of Nick's life on Monday, January 28, 2019, at the Civic Center in Nenana; beginning with a service at 1:00 pm, followed with a burial at the North Nenana Cemetery and then food, stories and, of course, MUSIC back at the Civic Center from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. (Musicians – please bring your instruments.)
Special Note: On Sunday, January 27, 2019 there will be a Rosary at 1:00 pm followed by a mass at 1:30 pm at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Nenana.