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ARMSTRONG, MERV Merv Armstrong, owner and operator of the Armstrong Hay Ranch on Dezadeash Lake, Y.T., died Feb. 7, 2011 of a stroke. Armstrong supplied many of the Chilkat Valley's small farms with hay, and was fond of Haines and its residents, according to his son, Jesse Armstrong. Armstrong was born March 4, 1937 in Toronto, Ontario. He moved his family to Dezadeash Lake in 1987 after visiting the Hay Ranch during a trip to the area. "He couldn't resist it," said Jesse. "He bought it right there." Armstrong is survived by his children Jesse, Gabriel, Merv Jr., Kelly and Shawn Armstrong and his grandchildren. A celebration of life is planned for Friday, Feb. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Haines Junction Convention Center. Remembrances may be sent to Jesse Armstrong at 200 Lobird Rd. #209, Whitehorse, Y.T. Y1A5V4.
Family, friends recall Bradley as gregarious

By Heather Lende
Friends and family said farewell at the Salvation Army Saturday to longtime church leader, Senior Soldier, and member of the Home League, Lolajean Bedilia Bradley, who died of cancer Jan. 25, 2010 at a health center in Sturgeon, Mo. where she'd been living since October. Bradley was born in Independence, Mo. Dec. 1, 1929 to John and "Little Mama" Smith, and raised on a farm. She was a homemaker who continued to farm in Missouri as well as grow a large garden in Haines for many years. Son Gary Bradley of Sturgeon was not sure how long his folks lived in Haines, but said his parents "went back and forth" between Alaska and Missouri for decades. They originally homesteaded on the Little Susitna River in the 1950s. After the 1964 earthquake, they returned to Missouri, but soon found their way north again. Gene Bradley died in their home here in 2001. Lola stayed on until health concerns sent her south this winter. This week friends recalled with fondness the small, friendly woman with a down-home Missouri twang who was a fixture at Salvation Army rummage sales and recognizable for her long, white pig tail. Bradley helped for years with the rummage sales, thrift store, and bazaars and enjoyed attending Salvation Army congresses where she made friends around Southeast Alaska. Mary Lou Hart was in the Salvation Army Home League with Bradley. Bradley knitted and crocheted for charitable causes and responded helpfully to friends in need, Hart said. Charlotte Olerud said Bradley often stopped by her store to share news of her large, far-flung brood. "She did like to talk. She was such a nice gal. She was very generous with her gifts for friends or family," Olerud said. Hart agreed that her friend never ran out of things to say. "She'd start talking in the store, and then when she got home she'd talk on the phone. She'd talk for two hours, then hang up, and call someone else." Grandson Jimmy Chilton of Anchorage said Bradley like to drive the plow on their family's Missouri farm. She was a dedicated canner and jam maker, adept at preserving produce, as well as salmon. In his memory she was either in church or at home cooking. "She put on the best Christmas spread you ever saw. She was definitely a spirit-filled little lady."

Bradley was buried at Jones Point following Saturday's service. Survivors include her four children, Donald, Susie, Ronnie, and Gary Bradley, as well as numerous grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.


Former resident Bromagen dies at 62

Originally published Thursday, Feb 17, 2011; Issue: 7
Former Haines resident Francis M. Bromagen, died unexpectedly Feb. 9, 2011 at his home in Union City, Ind. He was 62. Bromagen lived in Haines in the early 1980s. He drove trucks for Valley Fuel and White Pass Alaska, served with the Haines Volunteer Fire Department and was a member of the local Elks lodge.
Bromagen was born Feb. 16, 1948 to the Robert and Carrie Fogleman Bromagen. He graduated from Union City Community High School in 1966. He served with H Troop, 17th Cavalry, Americal Division in Vietnam, 1968-1969. He received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.
A mechanic and a truck driver in Haines, he worked as maintenance supervisor for White Pass of Alaska for several years. He worked the past 10 years as a mechanic at Aukerman's Service in Union City before retiring in May. According to family, he was known for his strong work ethic, his ability to fix just about anything and his willingness to help. He was steady and dependable. He loved his wife's family as his own, and they loved him in the same way. Survivors include Cynthia Aukerman, his wife of 36 years; sister Beverly Flatter of Union City, Ind.; mother-in-law Alberta Aukerman and numerous nieces and nephews. Dick Aukerman of Haines is uncle of Cynthia "Cindy" Aukerman, who was a volunteer at the Sheldon Museum and worked at the Haines Visitor's Center and the Chilkat Valley News. A funeral was held in Union City. Memorial contributions may be made to The Brethren Church Cemetery Fund, 120 E. Oak St., Union City, Ohio, 45390. Cindy Aukerman can be reached at 823 N. Columbia St., Union City, Ind., 47392.


Charlie Brouillette: Schoolteacher, fisherman dies at 86

Originally published Thursday, Aug 26, 2010; Issue: 34
By: Heather Lende
Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Hall for teacher, fisherman, and longtime resident Charles "Charlie" Brouillette. Brouillette, 86, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 21, 2010 at Evergreen Hospital hospice facility in Kirkland, Wash. Daughter Harriet Brouillette, along with her mother Harriet and sisters Judy and Mary, was at her father's bedside. "He was polite right to the very, very end. He was still saying 'thank you' and 'yes m'am,'" she said. Friends and family this week described Brouillette as polite, gentle, kind, and capable. Richard Buck, who, like Brouillette, worked as a school teacher and fisherman, said: "Charlie was one of nicest people I have ever known. It's not that he was all upbeat about things, but he didn't downgrade anyone." Brouillette taught fifth grade when Doris Ward arrived in Haines to teach English in 1965. "You didn't see men in elementary school then, except the principals. I was surprised to see 'Mr. B' and to learn he had been teaching for a while. The kids loved him. He had a way of looking you right in the eyes when you were talking to him, but his eyes were twinkling." A Facebook page this week included tributes by former students. Trudie Jones wrote, "I remember he read books to us and would appoint someone to be the class monitor…making sure everyone was minding their Ps and Qs." Jeannie Fairbanks called him a great teacher, and recalled 'Mr. B' showing her how to carve and weave. Kim Clifton said he was a "wonderful storyteller with a keen sense of humor." Brouillette was born in Haines on June 22, 1922. His father was Charles Brouillette, a French-Canadian horse trader who worked for Jack Dalton. His mother, Mary Campbell, was a Yendeistakye villager and direct descendant of legendary shaman Skondoo, family said. Brouillette graduated from Haines High School and lived much of his life at 3 Mile Haines Highway in his boyhood home that his father had floated to town from Pyramid Harbor. They moved it on iced skids from Jones Point, a few feet at a time, said daughter Harriet. "It was supposed to be in the meadow above where it now sits, but it took so long to get it where it is, they decided that's where it was going to sit." The house was adjacent to two large gardens where the family raised pigs, chickens, and horses. His father died when Brouillette was 17 and young Charlie went to work on the Alaska Highway to help support the family. He worked in Glenallen as a laborer and equipment operator. He told his children that it cost him most of the money he earned that summer to get back home. He joined the Army during World War II and was stationed in Panama were he became a fishing guide for officers. "He got the job because he was from Alaska and knew how to fish and run boats, so they made him a guide for the officers and mucky-mucks down there," Buck said. Brouillette told his family that he took a rowboat through the Panama Canal's Gatun Locks with a friend from Hoonah. Brouillette attended college on the G.I. Bill and graduated from St. Martin's University in Lacey, Wa. with a teaching degree in 1954. He taught briefly in Haines at the start of his career and also taught in Kake, Metlakatla, Tenakee, and in a village on the Alaska Peninsula near King Salmon. He spent the last years of his career teaching in Haines where he retired in 1978. In Tenakee, where Brouillette was principal-teacher, he also served as oil distributor and health aide. He spent five years teaching at the Lummi Indian Reservation Tribal College, moving his family back to Haines each summer, where he skippered a gillnetter. "He wanted us to experience America. Kids from small-town Alaska can have a hard time adjusting down there. He didn't want us to be freaked out by life in other parts of the country," daughter Harriet said. Brouillette met Harriet Jackson in the late 1950s, when he was a single dad teaching in Kake. She was a clerk at a Kake store when Charlie's four-year-old son Robert started charging popsicles to his father's account. "She had to figure out who Robert's father was. That's how she met Dad," Harriet said. They married in 1960 and raised his two boys Robert and Al, and had four more children together, Judy, Harry, Harriet, and Mary. After retiring from teaching, Brouillette continued fishing on his gillnet boat Clew and served as an officer of the American Legion. "That's pretty much were he spent his free time. He was pretty proud of being a vet," said Harriet, who was born on Veteran's Day and had childhood birthday parties at the hall. Charlie was an avid basketball fan, and once played on and coached the local school teams as well as city league teams. He watched grandson James Hart play on a state championship team two years ago. Brouillette, an Eagle from the Thunderbird House, is survived by wife Harriet M. Brouillette; children Robert of Barrow, Albert of Juneau, Judy Davis of Bothell, Wash., and Harriet Brouillette and Mary Gross of Haines; Alaska grandchildren Andee, Sarah, Adam, and Merri Davis; Theodore and James Hart; Charles and Robby Brouillette, and Zackary James. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by siblings Henry, James, and Rita Brouillette, and by son Harry. Donations in his name may be made to the Haines Volunteer Fire Department's ambulance service.

Our thanks to Frankie Perry from Haines, AK, for these contributions!

Friday, May 08, 2009, Haines teens die in canoe accident19-year-old survived, called for help after hiking to nearby town

Two teenagers died Wednesday after their canoe capsized north of Haines while traveling to Skagway. The bodies of Jared Todd Henderson, 19, and Alan Leroy Dennis, 17, both of Haines, were discovered on a beach on the east side of Lutak Inlet near the Ferry Terminal north of town around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The 16-foot canoe they were traveling in was found floating in the water. Henderson, Dennis and 19-year-old Harley George Whittington left for Skagway around 10:30 a.m., according to Alaska State Troopers. Skagway is about 14 miles by water from Haines."About two hours into their trip their boat capsized and only one of them was able to get to shore," Troopers' spokeswoman Megan Peters said.Once Whittington made it to shore he could not see Henderson or Dennis."The youth was able to make it to shore and walk down a long distance down the shoreline until he got to a house at the end of the road system and called 911," said Haines Harbormaster Christian Racich, who responded to the scene.He said the call first came in as a report of overdue boaters at about 6 p.m., just shortly before the 911 call was made by Whittington.State Troopers, Skagway Police Department, Haines Volunteer Fire Department, Skagway Fire Department, Temsco Helicopters and the United States Coast Guard also responded."As the information materialized that's when we kind of focused our search and found the two victims on the east side of Lutak Inlet," Racich said.There was a small-craft advisory for the area at the time because of high winds."It was blowing from the south yesterday pretty good ... probably blowing 20 knots or so, definitely not weather for a canoe let alone a small skiff," Racich said. "It was pretty bad weather. It's not really sheltered there.""At the time they went into the water all of them were wearing life jackets," Peters said.Haines has a population of about 2,400 people, according to the city's Web site."It's a small town and I'm sure there's a lot of grief (and) disbelief that there's such a senseless loss," Racich said.

FENN, HELEN Longtime Haines resident Helen Fenn, 98, died at the Sitka Pioneer Home following a stroke Jan. 24. She was the owner of Helen’s Shop, a jewelry, gift and watch repair store that was a Main Street institution for over 50 years until it closed in 2010.

Borough assembly member Debra Schnabel grew up with Helen’s Shop. “It seemed like the most exotic place in our town, especially for a girl,” she said. “All your presents came from there.”

Friend Doris Ward said Helen’s Shop was successful in part because for many years it was the only gift store in Haines and, “A lot of it was Helen’s personal touch. She was a very good salesperson.”

In a 2007 feature story about her titled “Frontier Salesmanship” in the Anchorage Daily News, Fenn said that when she learned a former employee had said she could “sell merchandise to a fencepost,” she took it as a compliment.

Daughter Sandra Martin noted, “If a kid came in to buy a gift for his mother and only had $1.50 and it cost eight dollars, she’d say, ‘okay’ and she’d make the kid sign a piece of paper for it, promising to pay her back. She said she never had one who didn’t.” Her mother made private loans as well, when she saw a need. “She helped a lot of people financially.”

Helen Rae Elkins was born Sept. 9, 1913, the sixth of eight children to Colorado homesteaders Anna Kelly and Louis Elkins. They lived three miles from the Clifford railroad station. Of her frontier childhood she recalled, “lots of tall grass and buffaloes.” After completing her freshman year of high school in a one-room schoolhouse, she became a nanny in Denver before marrying Clifford Fenn in 1934 in Lamar, Colorado. They returned home to work the family farm. The farm failed during the Depression. In May 1936 the Fenns traveled with her parents and little brother to join several of Helen’s siblings in the then-Norwegian-speaking Petersburg where they initially worked for a brother’s oyster business.

Helen harvested oysters and worked in a cannery and a jewelry store before opening the first Helen’s Shop there. During her 20 years in Petersburg, she reared two children, was a charter member of the first Emblem Club in Alaska, joined the Order of the Eastern Star and the American Legion Auxiliary and held leadership positions in all three. She enjoyed traveling around the region and the state on boats, planes, cars and trains.

Fenn was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was in her late thirties. For much of her life she relied on a cane but rarely, if ever, mentioned her condition. “Her legs would ache after a day in the shop and she took an occasional tumble, but she didn’t complain. I used to tell her doctors, ‘If she says she isn’t feeling well then she’s very sick,’” Martin said.

Fenn moved to Haines in 1954 when her husband took a job inspecting the Haines-to-Fairbanks pipeline. She opened a second store here and maintained both for several years before selling the Petersburg shop.

She told a Pioneer Home historian that compared to well-maintained Petersburg, Haines was a shock. “There wasn’t a bit of paint on any of the buildings - it looked like a ghost town. But I found there were a lot of nice people.”

Fenn served seven years on the Haines school board, organized a local chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club and was a charter member of the Haines Pioneer Igloo. In 1959 she was appointed to the first tourism advisory board in Alaska and served on it for about 10 years.

Her husband died in 1970 and in 1978 she sold the store to her daughter and moved to the Sitka Pioneer Home. “My mother was in and out of there at least four times since 1981,” mostly to travel to places like China, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and the Caribbean, Martin said.

Fenn also joined octogenarian Captain Lucy Harrell on her 32-foot Nordic Tug for two “Ancient Mariner” Inside Passage cruises with a handful of women aged 78 to 93. “Helen was a real party animal. She enjoyed people, good food, good conversation and something interesting to look at,” Harrell said. On a 10-day trip to Misty Fjords National Monument, Fenn was greeted by name in each port. “She knew everybody in Sitka, everybody in Petersburg and half the people in Juneau and Ketchikan,” Harrell said.

“My mother was active, she took care of herself, she ate well and always cooked from scratch. She was just a very, very strong-willed person who overcame formidable obstacles,” Sandra Martin said.

In addition to her daughter in Haines, Helen Fenn leaves a son, Kenneth, and his wife Danielle of Juneau, grandchildren Chad and Shane Martin and Kenneth Jr ., Christopher Fenn and Michelle Fenn Dye, as well as 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.

A memorial service was held in the Sitka Pioneer Home. She will be buried next to her husband in Juneau.

Donations in Helen Fenn’s memory may be made to the community service of your choice.

by Heather Lende, Chilkat Valley News, February 6, 2012

FLORY, CRAIG Friends honor Flory's memory

By Heather Lende
Friends and family members crowded the American Legion Hall Dec. 26 for a memorial service for Haines mechanic Craig Flory. Gene Kennedy and Greg Bigsby played music, Terry Pardee conducted the service and Mike Ward gave the eulogy. Father Jim Blaney of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Presbyterian Church associate pastor Crystal Badgley offered prayers. "There was lots of laughter, good feelings, and sharing of funny stories," said Flory's wife Lisa. Flory died Dec. 16, 2009 at Providence Extended Care in Anchorage after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 50. Flory owned Craig's Repair, a garage specializing in foreign cars. He and Lisa and their son Jack Flory also bred Labrador retrievers, whelping 35 purebred puppies. "He had an amazing way with animals," said mother-in-law Helen Streu. Craig V. Flory was born Aug. 15, 1959 to Charlie and Jackie Flory of Edna Bay. The third of four children, he was named after the town of Craig and grew up in logging camps until an injury sidelined Charlie, who became a maintenance supervisor in Sitka, Juneau, and Petersburg. Craig was a wrestler for Juneau and Petersburg high schools and twice won regional championships, family members said. Lifelong friend Mike Ward said back then Flory weighed "about 120 and benched 240 (pounds)." As an arm wrestler, Flory defeated men twice his size, Ward said, but he also understood how to make friends and keep them. "He had an amazing number of good friends from all over Southeast." Flory's honesty and know-how endeared him to customers. At least once he turned down pay for fixing a car after explaining to a customer that he wasn't sure he understood how he fixed it. Paul Wheeler said he relied on Flory to keep his 1992 Toyota pickup on the road. "He knew that truck forwards and backwards and could fix any kind of problem," Wheeler said. "(His pricing) was totally fair. Everything he did was for a reasonable price." After graduation from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1977, Flory apprenticed as a mechanic and plumber and worked for Madsen Construction. In 1988, he came to Haines to work for Ward in a seafood business. He was the engineer on the tender Mary Kay and met Lisa while she was deckhanding for Stan Laing on the Pacific Queen. They were married Jan. 19, 1990 in Juneau. Before establishing his auto shop he worked for Stickler Construction. Helen Streu said her son-in-law could figure things out. Dropped off at her remote homesite in Willow with a pile of logs and a box of log spikes, he built a beautiful cabin with no experience or blueprints, she said. While they didn't always see eye to eye, they agreed that the most important things in life are friends and family. Friends described Flory as a skilled outdoorsman who hunted moose, fished and crabbed. He and Lisa sailed the troller he retrofitted as a pleasure boat up from Vancouver Island to Haines. Sporting goods store manager Eric Ferrin said that Flory especially enjoyed duck hunting, and the two often went with Flory's labs Boomer and Chopper. "They'd look at us funny if we missed one, like 'What's the matter with you?'" Friend Gene Kennedy said Flory was the "consummate" Alaska man for his outdoors and mechanical skills. He noted that the hand-painted sign on Flory's shop summed him up best. It says: "We Fix: Anything. Hours: ? to ?" "He was very accepting of anyone that rolled into his yard with a problem. He was a generous and upright man," Kennedy said. Flory was preceded in death by his parents. In addition to wife Lisa and son Jack of Haines, he is survived by siblings Collie, Jan, and Frank Flory of Juneau, nieces Selina Sinner and Jordan Flory, and nephew Zach Owens. A beach barbecue remembrance is planned for June in Juneau.

Friday, May 08, 2009, Haines teens die in canoe accident. 19-year-old survived, called for help after hiking to nearby town

Two teenagers died Wednesday after their canoe capsized north of Haines while traveling to Skagway. The bodies of Jared Todd Henderson, 19, and Alan Leroy Dennis, 17, both of Haines, were discovered on a beach on the east side of Lutak Inlet near the Ferry Terminal north of town around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The 16-foot canoe they were traveling in was found floating in the water. Henderson, Dennis and 19-year-old Harley George Whittington left for Skagway around 10:30 a.m., according to Alaska State Troopers. Skagway is about 14 miles by water from Haines."About two hours into their trip their boat capsized and only one of them was able to get to shore," Troopers' spokeswoman Megan Peters said.Once Whittington made it to shore he could not see Henderson or Dennis."The youth was able to make it to shore and walk down a long distance down the shoreline until he got to a house at the end of the road system and called 911," said Haines Harbormaster Christian Racich, who responded to the scene.He said the call first came in as a report of overdue boaters at about 6 p.m., just shortly before the 911 call was made by Whittington.State Troopers, Skagway Police Department, Haines Volunteer Fire Department, Skagway Fire Department, Temsco Helicopters and the United States Coast Guard also responded."As the information materialized that's when we kind of focused our search and found the two victims on the east side of Lutak Inlet," Racich said.There was a small-craft advisory for the area at the time because of high winds."It was blowing from the south yesterday pretty good ... probably blowing 20 knots or so, definitely not weather for a canoe let alone a small skiff," Racich said. "It was pretty bad weather. It's not really sheltered there.""At the time they went into the water all of them were wearing life jackets," Peters said.Haines has a population of about 2,400 people, according to the city's Web site."It's a small town and I'm sure there's a lot of grief (and) disbelief that there's such a senseless loss," Racich said.

HOWARD, DARRY Howard led stevedores during logging boom

By Heather Lende
Former resident and West Coast Stevedoring CEO Darry Howard died of cancer Feb. 18, 2010 in Denver. He had been living in Granby, Colo. the past two years with his son Derrick. Darry Howard was born in 1942, and came to Haines from Texas with his father Chester and brother Bill in 1953. "They loved Alaska," especially the hunting and fishing, said ex-wife Nannette Howard. Howard attended school here, and his father built several Haines landmarks, including the Elks Lodge and the ground floor of the L.A.B. Flying Service building. Howard later owned R&H Construction, and built and operated a commercial gillnetter before becoming a leader in regional longshoring and stevedoring. After leaving Alaska about 15 years ago, he partnered with son Jim at Evergreen Manufacturing, a ship rigging importer in Vancouver, Wash. They also operated a 25-acre golf learning center in Woodland, Wash. Local friends and co-workers remembered Howard as a talented and hardworking longshoreman. He managed Lutak Stevedoring before heading up West Coast, a subsidiary of Klukwan, Inc. Klukwan, Inc. board member John Katzeek worked with Darry Howard for many years and said he was an asset to the local Native village corporation during the heyday of its logging operations. "He was good at negotiating with the Japanese on sales, and having the right people in the right place to get the job done." Katzeek said he kept the corporation's best interests in mind and worked well with shareholder employees. "He was one of the best stevedoring supervisors to ever come out of Haines," said Southeast Roadbuilders president Roger Schnabel, who worked with Howard when Schnabel's business, Northern Timber, was still primarily a logging contractor. "He was very astute when it came to the transfer of logs and lumber from land to ship," Schnabel said. "He was a smart guy. He helped me estimate a few projects and some of the methods he taught me I still use today." Howard built the home where electrician Erwin Hertz lives. Hertz said his stocky, broad-shouldered friend was a chain-smoking "go-getter" who was generous and good at bringing out the best in people. "He was a real administrator," Hertz said."He built his own fishing boat, but I don't believe he ever did drive it. He had someone else do that." His father Chester, brother Bill, and mother Edith Tyra preceded Howard in death. Survivors include ex-wives Marilyn Williams of Monterey, Calif. and Nannette Howard of Kremmling, Colo.; daughters Kimm Case of Alamo, Calif. and Lisa Hannon of Granby; sons Jim of Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Derrick of Granby. He had seven grandchildren. Hertz said that in his retirement, Howard gave up drinking and tried to quit smoking. He had been attending church in Colorado. His ex-wife Nannette Howard said that he had "lived his faith quietly and simply." She said family had gathered near Darry in his last months, and were glad "to be with him and have some time together before he left this world to enter a far more glorious one."

KEELING, NORA CLARE Keeling led local Girl Scout group

Originally published Thursday, Jan 06, 2011; Issue: 1
Former resident Nora Clare Keeling died Dec. 13, 2010 in Mount Vernon, Wash. She was 74 and suffered from complications of diabetes.Nora was born in Reno, Nev. on Nov. 26, 1936. Her father was a farmer and her mother, a housewife. While she was still an infant, her family moved to Yakima, Wash. She graduated from Yakima High School, where she played clarinet in band.Nora met husband James while in high school and they got married after her graduation and before he entered the Air Force during the Korean conflict. He served 20 years as a mechanic."He kept everything rolling," said daughter Cecilia Reed, including their family, which moved nearly annually between Lower 48 air bases, as well as ones in Japan and in the Philippines.The family was living in Great Falls, Mont., when James Keeling retired in 1973 and asked the family where they wanted to go. "We all said, 'Haines.' It was an out-of-the-way place to move to, but we loved it."Two of Nora's siblings already were living and working in Haines and James quickly found work as a sawyer at the Schnabel Lumber Co. Cecilia was 16 and sisters Emma and Judy were about 10 years younger at the time of the move.Nora took to life in Haines and enjoyed family outings. "She loved going out to Chilkoot Lake and picnicking there and in the Kelsall. We just enjoyed the whole territory."Nora served about 15 years as a Girl Scout leader and also was active in the American Legion Auxiliary, which she served several years as president. She was a member of the Port Chilkoot Bible Church. Haines was as much a hometown as Nora and her family ever had, Cecilia said. "I still think of Haines as home because it was the first one I had after moving for 20 years."The family moved to Mount Vernon in 1991, partly to be closer to medical facilities. Nora also was able to care for her aging parents, who lived in nearby Sedro Woolley. A highlight in recent years was traveling back to Arkansas, where James was born.Reed said her mother enjoyed reading romance novels and quilting, and took great joy in being a mother and wife. She also maintained a positive attitude."She was cheerful and upbeat and would help you in any way she could. If you needed comfort, she was always there with a home-baked pie. And she was always looking for that next good cookbook," Reed said.Keeling is survived by daughters Cecilia Reed of Mount Vernon, Emma Sampson of Klawock, and Judy Kley of Anchorage, by five siblings in Washington state and Alaska, and by one grand-daughter, Nicole Sampson, of Klawock.A private, family service was held Dec. 23. Keeling was buried beside her husband in Mount Vernon. Cards in remembrance may be sent care of Cecilia Reed, 1705 E. Section St., Mount Vernon, Wash. 98274.

Kelly remembered for good will, humor

Originally published Thursday, Oct 14, 2010; Issue: 41
By: Heather Lende
Dan Kelly says his wife Barbara never lost her kindness and humor despite being ill and nearly housebound many years. "She was pretty fun loving, real gentle and a generous woman," he said. She died of respiratory failure Sept. 25, 2010 at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka. The couple moved to Haines from Juneau about 10 years ago after spending years in mining camps in Idaho, Montana and Alaska. "Barbara liked Alaska and she loved Haines," Kelly said. She enjoyed puzzles and watching movies, especially romantic comedies. Once a week she went to the Bamboo Room for coffee with her Eagle's Nest neighbor Cindy Swearingen and take a drive through town. "She liked to go to the ocean and sit by the water and watch the waves and the people boating, " Swearingen said this week. "She had a wicked sense of humor and she loved Dan, she loved him like crazy. He'd always remind her to take her pills and she called him her mother hen." Before she was too ill to work, Kelly was a housekeeper at the Captain's Choice Motel. Manager Cheryl Katzeek said the short brunette with a raspy voice made everyone laugh when she came up to the motel front desk counter, which was as tall as she was. "She'd tuck her hands under her chin and rest her head on it like she was sleeping when she was done for the day," Katzeek said. "Barbara was happy when she was here." Kelly was born Sept. 4, 1945 to Grace and Harry Jacobsen, a trucker and housewife, in Park Rapids, Minn. She grew up there and after graduating from high school went to work as a waitress and cook. "That's about all she ever did, and she cooked in a lot of mining camps after we got married," Dan Kelly said. She met Kelly after coming to Juneau in the 1960s and they married there November 22, 1969. She worked at the old Imperial Café before Dan embarked on a series of mining jobs around the West. They had two sons. "Barbara raised the boys and got along with everybody in some tough places. She did it all, " Kelly said. They retired to Haines, but her health kept activities and socializing to a minimum, he said. "She was sick for years and there were times when she couldn't go out at all." Cindy Swearingen admired her friend's good will in the face of adversity. "She loved my grandbaby. She couldn't hold him, but she loved to see him laugh and jump." In addition to Dan and sons Patrick of Boise and Benny of Manchester, New Hampshire, and one granddaughter, Barbara Kelly leaves her chocolate lab Poncho. "He's exuberant, but when she wasn't feeling well he'd sense it, and be calm," Swearingen said. Kelly's ashes were scattered over Lynn Canal.


Fishing fiend and friendly face Rod Keup loved living in Haines

Rod Keup’s family said that his death on Wednesday, Jan. 25, was a “huge shock.” Keup, 58, had just returned from a two-week Mexican vacation with his wife, Randi, and was in his truck helping to pull a friend’s rig out of the snow when he suffered an apparent embolism and died instantly. Randi said that while Rod had a few serious medical issues in the past, last December he received a positive check-up.

Tall and thin with dark hair and an easy smile, Keup (pronounced Kipe) was a friendly face behind the counters of first the Haines Quick Shop and for the last five years at Doug Olerud’s Alaska Sports Shop, which was a bit of a dream job.

“Rod loved fishing. He loved talking about fishing and he loved helping other people go fishing,” Olerud said. “He’d spend 45 minutes with a person new to town and get them set up - rod, reel, line, the swivel and the hook - right down to what knot to tie and which part of the river to fish in.” Olerud said Keup fished just about every day. “He’d come in at ten and he’d already have been out fishing for three hours.”

Keup first saw Haines in 1996 while visiting his wife’s relatives. He loved it and kept returning. “It got to the point where Rod said, ‘I don’t want to leave here,’ so in 1998 we moved for good,” Randi said.

Rodney L. Keup was born in South Dakota on Oct. 16, 1953, and reared by his parents Al and Phyllis (Olsen) Keup in Portland, Oregon, where he was a track star at Marshall High School and broke a school record at the state championships, Randi said. “He was such a big guy they wanted him to go out for basketball, but he loved track. He was a runner.”

After graduation he enlisted in the Navy and served during the Vietnam War. He returned to Portland and drove semi trucks on the West Coast most of his life. A fly fisherman and a spin caster, he always took his rods with him and frequently returned with fish. He met redhead Randi Povey in 1985 playing pool. “He was color blind and thought my hair was purple,” she said. They built a home in Beaver Creek, Oregon in 1993 and were married there.

For several years Keup played in the pool league with Klukwan elders Smitty and Char Katzeek. Char said he was always happy to see them. “He was real talkative and had a great sense of humor. He was a good guy. I’ll miss him.” Lately the husband, father and grandfather spent a lot of time enjoying opera sensation Il Devo, thanks to a CD given to him by a granddaughter. “The music made him very happy and he listened to it as loud as he could,” Randi said.

Doug Olerud still can’t quite believe his friend and dedicated employee is gone. “This is just another reminder to us that we need to make the most of every day,” he said.

Keup’s father, Al, preceded him in death. He is survived by his mother, Phyllis, of Gresham, OR, and siblings Karon of Gresham, Joanne of Portland and Arlen of Beaverton; wife, Randi, and sons Bobby Miller of Portland and Craig Miller of Haines; and grandchildren Cassie, Brittany, Nick, McKenzie, Gabi and Aliza Miller. Keup was close to Randi’s sister Teri Povey of Haines and her sons Kris and Ben Miller and Ira Henry.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for 4:30 today (Thursday) at the ANB Hall.

by Heather Lende, Chilkat Valley News, February 2, 2012


May 4, 2010. ANCHORAGE - A 37-year-old Haines man is dead after becoming pinned beneath his overturned snowmachine.Alaska State troopers say Rick Markee was snowmachining Saturday night near the Porcupine Trail about 20 miles north of Haines when he lost control of the machine.He became stuck beneath the snowmachine and suffocated.Riding companions performed CPR until medics arrived but he was pronounced dead.The body is being transferred to Anchorage for an autopsy.

Fisherman, carpenter Markee dead at 37, 2010

Friends and family will celebrate Rick 'Slick' Markee's life 5 p.m. Saturday with a potluck at his cabin across the steel bridge. The 37-year-old carpenter and Elfin Cove fisherman died in a snowmachine accident Saturday.
"For a lot of us out there, he was kind of the center of the community," said friend Charles Peep. "We'd never call, just show up at his house, and there'd be three or four more people there. He got along with everybody out the road. A lot of people are devastated right now."
Markee bought land in Haines 11 years ago and was part of a tight group of Elfin Cove trollers who spend winters in the valley recreating and summers away fishing. For the last three years he'd been building his own place and working for contractor Ira Henry.
"He was a great guy, a hell of a worker. He had tons of energy. A lot of people drag their feet. He never moped across a jobsite. It will be hard to replace him." Henry said Markee was especially good-natured. "I can't think of anyone he ever pissed off, or even had an argument with."
Markee was born in a snowstorm in Minot, N. D., Dec. 15, 1972 to Chuck and Betty Markee. He was raised in Aloha, Ore. "Rick ran before he could walk and followed his brother Mike around, copying everything he did. But once the training wheels were off his bike, we could not slow him down," Betty Markee said.
Once a motorcycle racer, Markee was a familiar sight in his competition helmet and body armor, off-roading in the Porcupine area.
With his dark beard, warm ways, and slight lisp, he had a decidedly un-slick demeanor. His nickname came from a neighbor child years ago who saw young Markee dressed in his moto-cross racing gear and said, "You look slick, Rick."
Markee graduated from high school in Bend in 1992, landing in Elfin Cove in 1994. He and brother Mike fished the Sea Otter and later he owned the Kipling, a well-known double-ender. Peep said Markee was tireless. "He was on the back deck all day long, 18 hours at a time. He'd eat his lunch there. He was always on the best-producing boats in the fleet."
His mother said Markee enjoyed western history, frontier living, and telling people about Alaska. On a recent visit to his parents' Minnesota home he invited Jehovah's Witness missionaries inside."When we got back, they said, 'Thank goodness you are home, he's been talking for an hour and a half about fishing.' They thought they'd never get out of the house."
Charles Peep will miss his friend's good humor and hospitality. "He wasn't a rich guy, but when you came to his house he'd get out the best he had for company, a deer heart or king salmon," Peep said.
Ryland Bell said he'd remember the good parts of their last day together, snowboarding and snowmachining. "He was saying, 'Right on, that's so great,' and having a good time. It was high fives all the way around."
In addition to his parents and brother, all of Dilworth, Minn., Rick Markee is survived by his partner of 11 years, Allison Mertz, grandparents Rita Beyer, Guy Dorcheus and Lucy Dorcheus, and by his dog, Granite.
The Markee family can be reached at P.O. Box 476, Dilworth, Minn. 56529.

MILES, DENNIS Entrepreneur Miles remembered for energy, humor

Originally published Thursday, Jan 27, 2011; Issue: 4
By: Heather Lende
Dennis Miles, a colorful and energetic businessman who made friends of customers at his Main Street furniture store, died Sunday, 23 January, 2011 of an apparent heart attack while skiing on Mosquito Lake. He was 63.Former banker Dick Flegel said the town wouldn't be the same. "Our community has a personality. When we lose somebody like Dennis, we lose a part of what makes us who we are."
Larry Wilkins filled his home with furniture from Miles' store. "He was one of those guys who you got the feeling right away that he was treating you fair about stuff."He said Miles was a natural salesman.
After going into furniture sales, Miles added appliances, then - as they came on the market - flat-screen televisions and digital cameras. He bought a box of antique doorknobs for a building project, then fashioned leftover ones into coat racks and wine stoppers he sold in his store, along with paperbacks he'd read. Miles cultivated a wide range of interests and his self-effacing sense of humor drew people to him.
Jerry Lapp, whose wife Kathi owns 33 Mile Roadhouse, said Miles liked to ride his snowmachine fast but was prone to humorous mishaps. "We'd look forward to him throwing his sled in a hole or rolling it down the hill. He'd bend the skis so they looked like Leprechaun feet." In sports, Miles held the distinction of winning both the Alcan 200 snowmachine race and the 10K race in the Buckwheat Ski Classic. "He was one of the few, maybe the only person, to enter both," said skier Chip Lende. "Dennis was not only a top competitor, but he got along with everyone." Miles entered local running races, triathlons and cycling events, competing in Lycra tights with an eye-catching, blue-jean pattern. He also raced dirt bikes at a vacation home he owned in the California desert. Lapp said that when the original roadhouse burned, Miles secured the money to re-build. "Dennis co-signed the loan, and he worked on it the whole time with us." He also served as an Elks Club member, and a member of the boards of KHNS and his fire service district. Miles enjoyed skiing on community trails created and maintained with his own equipment, sometimes spray-painting funny ads for his store on the snow. He also groomed trails for the nearby Covenant Life Center. "He'd come over to the farm a couple days a week and set two trails several miles long each. He did this for years," Tim Maust said. Miles was born Dec. 4, 1947 in Philadelphia to Thomas Miles and Sophia Harmatek. The family moved to Ohio, then to Sunnyvale, Calif. where Miles graduated from high school in 1965. Miles told friends he didn't have time for sports because he cleaned his father's bar, "The Foxy Lady," before school and, after school, helped in his father's upholstery business. By the time he was 19, Miles was married, with a child. While working at his father's upholstery business, he tired of California. "He said he was stuck in traffic one day when he realized 'I need to do something else,'" said Mary Miles, his wife since 2001. He left for Alaska in 1973, in a dune buggy he built. On arriving, he played drums in local bands and found upholstery work. He settled into a highway cabin with friends and turned an old van into a rolling shop. "He'd drive that van into town and work long hours every day and drive back out the road, saving his nickels for the next step," said Gene Kennedy. Five years ago, Miles turned over his store to his wife and took up building log homes full-time, based on experience he'd gained erecting his own log home at 25 Mile, a place where he kept a garden, chicken and pigs. He built a family cabin on Mosquito Lake and the Eagle View Lodge along the Klehini River.
Miles met Mary at the Hotel Halsingland bar in 1989. They married in Las Vegas in 2001. "Dennis was so nervous our friends gave him a beer. The magistrate said, 'I now pronounce you best friends for life' and we were," Mary said. Miles was a vocal proponent of shopping locally, Mary said. "Dennis hated box stores like Home Depot. I couldn't tell you where Costco is in Juneau. We have never been there."
Miles also gave generously to area organizations, recently donating air miles for a Scout trip to Ecuador.
Dick Flegel recalled that years ago he asked then-upholsterer Miles to sew a case for an electric meter. Miles stitched a dollar sign on it. "He put it there because I was the banker, and thought it was funny. He said if I didn't like it he would make another one. I still have that padded case." Other upholstery work ranged from seats on Skagway train cars to custom barstools for regulars at the Pioneer Bar.
Miles is survived by wife Mary of Haines, mother Sophia Graham of Ohio, son Thomas of Santa Cruz, Calif., sister Melinda Vennard of White Sulfur Springs, Mont., grandchildren Katie and Ryan Miles, and a nephew, Josh McConnell. Donations may be made to the Haines or Klehini Valley fire departments. There will be a party celebrating Miles' life at Eagle View Lodge in May. Cards may be sent to Mary Miles at P.O. Box 513.

Engineer Morgan taught, volunteered

By Heather Lende
A memorial service was held for former resident Paul Morgan, in Corvallis, Ore. on Wednesday, March 24.
Morgan, 78, died March 7, 2010 after collapsing near his home there. Morgan spent about six years in Haines as a teacher and caretaker at the former Chilkat Valley Baha'i School. He was a semi-retired aeronautical engineer when he came to town in 1995. He left to work on a renewable energy project in Oregon. The tall, athletic, white-haired gentleman with dark-rimmed glasses and satchel of books was a familiar sight walking from his cottage at the school on Mud Bay Road to town. "He was in the library all the time," librarian Barb Blood said. "He volunteered to keep the topographical maps in order. They haven't been the same since he left." Morgan was active in the Friends of the Library campaign to build the new library and lent his expertise to the building design. He was especially concerned about high winds, major earthquakes, and snow. "He did a lot of calculations about snow loads on the roof," Blood said. Morgan taught courses at the Baha'i center, mostly for out of town students, with titles like "Science and Religion: Complementary Paths of Understanding." Baha'i leader Georgia Haisler said Morgan was gifted at presenting scriptural material. "Paul was one of the most educated people I have ever met, but he didn't push his education. He was comfortable and sociable with all manners of people." In a 1999 CVN interview, Morgan said he worked for Aerojet, the NASA contractor that built the engine that lifted the Apollo command module off the moon. He also worked on a hydrogen-fueled supersonic ramjet, earned a degree in thermoscience from Stanford University and interpreted aerial reconnaissance photos during Air Force service in Japan. In 1971 he took a job with the Atomic Regulatory Commission, but quit nine months later because of serious concerns. "Three Mile Island hadn't happened yet, but I could see it coming," he said in 1999. He had also become discouraged that the aerospace field had shifted its emphasis from exploration to weapons systems. That hiatus from his career led to Morgan's religious conversion. "I would have probably wound up in the nuthouse if I hadn't discovered the Baha'i faith," he said. Deb Kemp heard Morgan lecture in Haines when she was home-schooling her ten-year-old son, Chandler, and was so impressed by his scientific knowledge, gentle ways, and spiritual depth, that she asked if he would be his science teacher. "He jumped at the chance," she said. Twice a week for about a year, Morgan and Chandler Kemp studied the physics of renewable energy. Their classroom was mostly outdoors. They measured wind velocity in different locations and elevations and charted solar energy across seasons. Now, the Haines High valedictorian is a sophomore at Cornell University majoring in physics with an emphasis on renewable energy. Deb Kemp credits Morgan's inspiration. "I think the only schoolwork Chandler's ever saved is the notebook he made with Paul. He still has it."

MORRIS, CAROL ANN Carol Ann Morris, Longtime Juneau and Haines resident Carol Ann Morris peacefully passed away on June 21, 2010 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage after a long illness. She was 59.

Paddock was tugboat operator, Native advocate

Originally published Thursday, May 13, 2010; Issue: 19
By: Heather Lende
Charles 'Snuffy' Paddock, a tugboat captain and Native elder, died of cancer Friday, May 7, 2010 in Juneau. He was 73. Friends and family members described him as a hard worker, wise leader and family man. Paddock was born July 18, 1936 in Juneau to Joe and Liz Paddock. When he was two the family moved to Pelican, where his father worked a pile driver on the boardwalk. His father dubbed him 'Snuffy' for a black, wide-brimmed hat he wore similar to that of cartoon character Snuffy Smith. Paddock attended school in Pelican and graduated from Sitka's Sheldon Jackson High School in 1955. As a youth he worked for Pelican Cold Storage. Family members said he once set a record by moving 200 blocks of ice through a grinder in one day.With his father and grandfather Jake Cropley, Paddock drove piles on docks from Craig to Skagway, communicating with hand signals over the din. In 1957, he married high school sweetheart Mary Helen Clayton and they started a family that grew to five children. After the 1964 earthquake and a house fire that followed it, the family moved to Haines to be nearer to family members. In Haines, Paddock joined Art Murphy in the tugboat business. For the next 53 years Paddock was a regional tug captain, often working with his wife and family aboard "Tugboat Mary," "Gei Sun," "North Star," "Fearless," and his favorite, "Lutak Pride." He also captained private yachts and delivered pleasure boats here from Washington state. Ed Lapeyri was managing a sawmill at Jones Point when Paddock drove the mill tug, hauling logs from Letnikof. The mill tug was small and noisy, with a shallow draft and little freeboard. It could be operated only at high tide. Lapeyri said Paddock twice sank the tug. "He lets the line (on the log raft) loose, and he's running right at me full speed. He hit the bank, stopped and then stepped off the bow onto the beach and the tug just sank right there. I said, 'Next time you sink it, you better do it in 50 fathoms. Quit sinking it in the river where we have to retrieve it,'" Laperyi said. He blamed the sinkings on the unseaworthy rig and poor towing conditions, not the tug's operator. "Snuffy was great to work with, and he was a very funny guy." Paddock advocated for Native heritage programs and Native rights. He was among a delegation of leaders honored at the White House, where he met President Bill Clinton. Paddock sought compensation for "landless" tribes, said friend David Berry. "He was constant in letting everyone know they had to be reverent and respectful. I can't tell you how many meetings I was in where he kindly reminded youngsters you can't listen with your mouth moving." Paddock also served on the board of Lynn Canal Medical Corporation, which turned local health care services over to SEARHC. Fellow board member Chip Lende said, "He was a worker, because he had better things to do than sit in meetings. He came up with solutions and got things done… When things got emotional or people were upset, he kept a level head, just like a good tugboat captain." Paddock enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with family in the Chilkat Valley and Yukon Territory. He and Mary "Chickie" Paddock were married for 49 years when she died. Paddock's Tlingit name was "Shaagaa" and family members said he was named house leader of the Big Box house, Kóok Hít Sheetka Kaagwaantaan, at the 2004 ku.éex' in Sitka. He was a child of the Lukaax.ádi or Raven Sockeye people. In addition to his parents and wife, son Charles Paddock Jr. and sister Vivian Max preceded him in death. He is survived by sister Caroline O'Dell of Pelican and brother William of Juneau; sons Joe of Juneau and Alden of Haines; daughters Jessie Grant of Haines and Midge McClellan of Juneau, and 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. A dessert memorial will be 1 p.m. Sunday at the ANB Hall. Condolences may be sent to Jessie Grant, P.O. Box 42, Haines, AK 99827.


Ramey remembered as independent, caring

Originally published Thursday, Nov 18, 2010; Issue: 46
By: Heather Lende
Holly Jackson Ramey last visited her hometown in July, for the Haines High class of 1981 reunion and a memorial service for her uncle, Tom Jackson. Ramey, 47, died Sunday, November 14, 2010 at her home in Nevada City, Calif., of complications of breast cancer. A posthumous birthday party celebrating her life will be held Monday in Nevada City. Ramey's ashes will be scattered in Haines. Holly Ramey was born in the Haines clinic Nov. 22, 1962 to Dick and Nancy Tew Jackson. Her father was a machinist and hunting guide who worked as fireman for the city. Ramey fished in the Chilkoot River with her brothers, rode on her father's fire trucks, and drove her uncle's snowmachines. In school she played trumpet in the band and competed on volleyball, basketball and track teams. "She was real outgoing, funny and smart," classmate Timi Katzeek said. "When kids got together to study, Holly would be helping somebody." She also broke with tradition, brother Randy Jackson said. "She was the first girl to take small engine repair. The girls were required to take home (economics) then, but she took the boys' class, too. I had an Indian motorcycle, and she went out and bought one herself because I was kind of possessive of it, and then took the class so she could fix it." Ramey attended the University of Idaho where she met husband Todd Ramey, whom she was paired with as part of a dorm orientation game. "She was a beautiful girl, with dark auburn curly hair and a great smile," her husband said. She left school and worked as nurse's aide, but vowed to become a nurse someday. They married in Hope, Idaho, in 1984. When they built their house, Holly put more work into it than he did, Todd said. "Her dad taught her a lot about how to build and fix things." Holly's mother moved in with them, and her father and stepmother Audrey Jackson settled next door. Holly used the extra family help to earn her nursing degree. She graduated with a nursing degree from Chico State in 1997 and spent a dozen years working as a labor and delivery nurse. "She loved delivering and taking care of babies and the new moms, and she was really good at it," sister Robbin Riker said. Ramey played second and first base on a co-ed softball team with her husband, and in a women's volleyball league. She was committed to her children's music education and was a booster for school music programs. She liked to travel to Kauai, where she and her husband were avid whale watchers. "She loved to snorkel with the green sea turtles," Todd said, and insisted on sharing that experience through photos and e-mails. "She tried to get various friends to come over with us, probably five or six different ones came, plus our kids and family." Robbin Riker says her sister's favorite place in Haines was the family picnic spot on the Mud Bay beach. Although she never lived here as an adult, she maintained lifelong local friendships. Phyllis Viche traveled to see her one last time last week and is struggling with the loss. "I don't know how to explain it, but when you were with Holly, she was with you totally. She was present." Riker said her sister had a lot of "best friends" and that she cultivated relationships. "Holly called, she e-mailed, she got on Facebook and connected with school friends. I talked with her every day myself, and I live in Texas." Ramey was preceded in death by father Dick Jackson of Haines, and brother Fred of Haines. She is survived by husband Todd Ramey and children Alex and Rachel Ramey, mother Nancy Heacock, and step-mother Audrey Jackson all of Nevada City; brother Randy Jackson of Haines and sister Robbin Riker of Georgetown, Texas, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.
Cards may be sent to 13680 Altair Dr., Nevada City, Calif. 95959. Donations may be sent to Hospice of the Foothills, 12399 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley, Calif., 95945.

RAMSEY, NEIL PHILLIP "DOC" Ramsey relocated here after university career

By Heather Lende
Friends of Neil Phillip "Doc" Ramsey are invited to a potluck picnic on the Chilkat beach near Pyramid Island 6 p.m. Saturday to celebrate his life. Ramsey died April 12, 2010 in Seattle of complications from surgery and diabetes. He was 74. The white-bearded professor enjoyed his retirement in Haines, and lived the life of a contented hobbit, said Scott Ramsey, his son. "You know, second breakfast, living in a little place, sitting on the front porch watching birds, reading, napping, drinking tea. He was happy." Ramsey's friends included many of his son's river guide colleagues. He volunteered to ride in the rafts for the pre-season Chilkat Guides training "check-off" runs. "I would say that most definitely he took more boats with new guides than anyone. He loved it," his son said. Doc Ramsey retired to Haines in 2005 to join family. Daughter-in-law Mandy Ramsey said, "Alaska was his dream, and he fell in love with the place." Alex Juren did chores for Ramsey, and liked his house full of books with opera playing on the stereo and its easygoing owner. "I broke a shovel once, but he wasn't bothered. He was a sweet, unassuming gentleman." Ramsey held master's degrees from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and the University of Denver and received a doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at colleges and universities before joining Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk in 1974. He was chairman of the sociology department for most of his 32-year tenure and was honored with the college's Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award. He taught classes on ethical issues, behavioral science, sociological theory and social psychology. Ramsey was so popular that when Virginia Wesleyan won their first Dixie Conference basketball championship in 1979 he was invited by the players to help cut down the net. When he retired he told the college paper, "What I will miss most about Virginia Wesleyan is, of course, teaching, as it has been my life and joy for so long." He said he looked forward to a simpler life in Alaska. "You can even drink from the rivers."Mandy Ramsey said her father-in-law had a deeply spiritual side. He left behind journals that she treasures, and a small statue of St. Francis he kept in his garden is now in hers. "He had a quest for spiritual matters, and understood many different points of view," she said. He was an ordained American Baptist minister, converted to Catholicism, attended Presbyterian services in Haines, and participated in a vision quest while studying Huichal Shaman People of Mexico. He was married to Betty Doleshek for 41 years. He met the young widow over Thanksgiving weekend in Denver where he was earning a master's degree and teaching. They were married a month later and he adopted her son, Richard. She died in 1997. He officiated at Scott and Mandy's wedding, writing the service himself. "It was exactly what we wanted. I love that he left out the word 'obey.' He said, 'Mandy, I didn't think that would work for you,'" Mandy said.Dozens of his intricate carvings of birds won ribbons at the state fair and he was sorry when failing eyesight prevented him from making more. Doc Ramsey was born and raised in Middleton, Ohio. His father, Neil L. Ramsey died at age 103. His mother, Freda Ramsey, recently turned 99. Son Richard Doleshek of Salt Lake also survives him, as do grandsons Thomas and Curtis Doleshek.The Dr. Neil P. Ramsey Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at Virginia Wesleyan. Contributions can be mailed to: Office of College Advancement, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, Va. 23502-5599.


Rudd had zeal for adventure

John Rudd, a retiree who lived in Haines a decade, died Feb. 2, 2010 in a Seward assisted living home. He was 88 and had been suffering congestive heart failure and leukemia. Rudd was a World War II veteran, private pilot and businessman whose Los Angeles childhood included caddying for Jimmie Stewart, delivering groceries for Stan Laurel and meeting Walt Disney, said daughter Carrie Kinison. Six years ago, to celebrate his 60th wedding anniversary, Rudd and wife Maxine took a tour on four-wheelers, Kinison said. "They had an amazing time." Rudd was born in Chicago, the oldest of seven children of Jack and Emily Rudd. The family moved to Englewood, Calif. when Rudd - and Hollywood - were infants. Working odd jobs, Rudd met show business legends. "Stan (Laurel) would always ask the maid to invite (Rudd and a friend) in and give them snacks and let them swim in his pool," Kinison said. Rudd met Disney while pushing broom at Disney's studios and swam in water shows featuring Esther Williams and Rosalind Russell, she said. Rudd later taught all his children how to swim and water ski at an early age. Rudd joined the Army in 1941 and worked in the Persian Gulf, transporting personnel on raider boats. He met his wife Maxine, who was then in the Women's Marines, over a beer on his 21st birthday. They married in 1944 and raised five children. Both were private pilots. After the war, Rudd worked in a machine shop and later built jets, eventually retiring from McDonnell-Douglas. He owned and operated a shipping company for five years, then operated a restaurant and hotel in New Mexico before retiring for good in 1983. He and Maxine toured the Lower 48 by motor home, settling in Haines in 1998. Rudd enjoyed ice fishing, eulachon fishing, gold-panning and traveling through Southeast. He was also active in the Presbyterian and Salvation Army churches. "He tried to experience as much of Haines as he could, and did pretty well, too," said Kinison. "He always had to drive on top of Flower Mountain at least twice a year." Rudd hoped to move into Haines Assisted Living but needed a higher level of care and moved in July 2008. "Dad made good friends in Haines. Many of them have passed on, too, but were very special to him in the time he was here," Kinison said. For Rudd's last birthday, son Taylor bought him a Ford Model A with a rumble seat, a car identical to the first one he owned. Rudd is survived by wife Maxine June Rudd of Seward; son Taylor Rudd of California; daughters Carrie Kinison of Haines, Robin Peterson of Washington, Linda Teague of New Mexico; by brother Edwin Rudd; by sisters Mary Rudd and Margie Crum of Oregon and by sister Jean Landis of Washington. He also is survived by nephews, nieces, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. His ashes will be scattered here at a memorial to be scheduled.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Story last updated at 6/23/2010 - 6:24 pm
Second death in suspected shellfish poisonings
By Mary Pemberton | The Associated Press ANCHORAGE - A second person from Alaska has died from a suspected case of paralytic shellfish poisoning in less than a week.

John Michael Saunders, 57, of Haines, died Tuesday at his home, one day after being released from Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.Saunders was flown Saturday to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with paralytic shellfish poisoning after developing symptoms, including tingling of the lips, numbness in his body, weakness and poor coordination. The crab he ate Friday was reportedly caught in front of Jenkins Rock near the Chilkat Inlet of Lynn Canal in Haines. No one else who ate the crab suffered symptoms.If tests confirm that Saunders died from eating the crab, it would be the second death from paralytic shellfish poisoning in less than a week. Dottie Lindoff, 57, of Juneau, died Thursday after eating clams harvested in Auke Bay near Juneau.Warning signs about the danger of paralytic shellfish poisoning are being posted at both locations, said Weld Royal, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.Greg Wilkinson, spokesman for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, said Saunders' body is being sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.There have been five reported cases of suspected paralytic shellfish poisoning in the past two weeks. Three people were sickened earlier this month after eating clams dug at Chiniack Beach on Kodiak Island. The higher number of suspected cases could be due to several very low tides that brought out recreational and subsistence clammers and crabbers.DEC will conduct tests on crabs harvested from the area where Saunders got his. The crab was expected to arrive aboard a commercial airline Tuesday afternoon and will be taken to the state Environmental Health Lab in Anchorage. Test results should be ready by noon Wednesday, Royal said.PSP is not normally found in crab meat but in the guts. Shellfish that are sold commercially in Alaska are routinely tested for the toxin and are considered safe to eat.Wilkinson said the last time someone died in Alaska of paralytic shellfish poisoning was in 1997 on Kodiak Island. A Karluk man ate butter clams, developed symptoms and died while waiting for a plane to take him to a nearby village for medical treatment. Tests on the clams found a high level of toxin.This year's five suspected cases are being reviewed to try and determine if they are true cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning, Wilkinson said. Urine samples from the two people who died are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to look for the toxin.The state health agency is recommending that people do not dig clams or harvest crab from the suspected areas."We probably have cases every year that go unreported because there can be such a broad spectrum of symptoms," Wilkinson said. "Some people just get tingly lips and don't report it."


Laughter and selflessness defined Smalley's life

Francis Lourdes Smalley, 53, died of organ failure on Jan. 7 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, surrounded by her loved ones. Dr. Patrick Smalley said he plans to have a local memorial service sometime in the next few weeks at the Port Chilkoot Bible Church for his wife and dental manager.

She was born Francis Lourdes Garcia in Santiago in the Dominican Republic on March 9, 1958. “She had two birthdays,” her husband said. “There was some confusion about her actual birthday and the day it was recorded on the birth certificate, which was March 14.” Her father Rafael Garcia was a physician. When Francis was 17 she was in a car accident that killed her mother, Nurys Virginia Blanco. Francis raised her younger siblings Rafael and Jeanette (an older sister Alba had already left home) but continued her education in Santo Domingo and graduated from law school. Dr. Smalley said she was a licensed attorney in the Dominican Republic.

She met her first husband on a trip to the United States. He was in the military and they were stationed in Anchorage when they divorced. She became a dental hygienist and met dentist Patrick Smalley while working with him. They moved to Haines in 2000 to take over the Main Street dental office and were married by the magistrate here on Sept. 22, 2000 and had a family wedding in the Dominican Republic.

“Francis was very elegant in her dress and appearance, and she was a very busy woman. She did not sit around a whole lot; she was always doing something,” Dr. Smalley said. She spent most of her time at the office or with her children. “Although she did read a lot in both Spanish and English, predominately religious themed,” he said.

Daughter Amanda Smalley said her mother was selfless, especially when it came to her and her brother. Smalley sent her daughter to college in Anchorage with the family’s new car, and kept the small, older sedan her daughter had been using for herself. “If she was sick, and Ryan or I were sick, she’d just get over it and take care of us,” Amanda said.

Smalley attended the Port Chilkoot Bible Church as well as the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Retired Bible Church Pastor Gary Lidholm said he’ll miss her, and that Smalley was “a spiritual seeker,” who found comfort in her faith.

Bernadette Maust met Smalley when they worked together at the dental office. She said she was generous, offering on occasion to do check-ups and cleanings for half-off for uninsured people, and that she bought quality toys for the waiting room, only to give them away to little children. “She held patients’ hands when they were afraid. She even held my hand when I had a root canal,” Maust said. “The customers adored her.”

Regular patient Don Poling, Ph.D., said, “I’m going to miss her because she was the only person in Haines who actually addressed me as Dr. Poling. She was from the old school of showing respect for academia, and there’s not too many of those left.”

Friends and family say Smalley suffered from chronic pain since her teenage accident and several other surgeries, but rarely let it show. “She laughed a lot and was so spontaneous,” Maust said. She said Smalley often took spur-of-the-moment adventures. On a two-car road trip to Whitehorse, Smalley, who had her share of fender benders locally, drove ahead so fast that she lost Maust, who only caught up after Smalley blew a tire. “She was an excitable person, a very high energy kind of person, but in a way that made you feel she could handle the world. At the same time, she couldn’t always. She was quite a lady, quite a mom to her children. In her book they were number one. She gave them everything.”

Francis Smalley is survived by her children, Ryan and Amanda Smalley, and husband Patrick Smalley of Haines, brother Rafael Garcia of Anchorage, two sisters, Alba and Jeanette in the Dominican Republic, and a large extended family.

by Heather Lende, Chilkat Valley News, January 19, 2012

STEVENS, GEORGE "TIGER" Stevens: Tiger hard to forget

By Tom Morphet
George "Tiger" Stevens died Sunday, January 3, 2010 at his home in Klukwan at age 60.
Family members said Stevens was in deteriorating health. An official determination of the cause of death is pending. George Taku Stevens Jr. was born at a Taku Inlet fish camp to George and Margaret Stevens on May 25, 1949. He grew up in Klukwan, worked as a commercial gillnetter and skippered Galty, one of the Haines Packing cannery boats. "He could land a boat or pull up to a tender in rough weather and bad seas. It didn't matter," said his brother, Jim Stevens. Stevens said he didn't know the origin of his brother's nickname, but he was known by it his entire life. Tiger Stevens was a skilled Native dancer who collected Tlingit carvings and memorabilia like historic flags, his brother said. He also served as manager of the Klukwan ANB basketball team. "He was a quiet and unassuming type. He never really attracted attention. He was a very giving person" recognized by the village for volunteering snowplowing several years when the community had no money for hired service, Jim Stevens said. Tiger's time outside the village included a few years in Juneau and a two-year hitch aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer during the Vietnam conflict.
Johnnie Gamble, who worked as a deckhand for Stevens, remembered his kindness and offbeat sense of humor. Stevens adopted a stray dog he named "dog" and took in a stranger passing through town on the Fourth of July. "He felt bad anyone was alone on the Fourth of July… He was a character. If you met him, you remembered him, and not in a bad way." Stevens took pride in his fishing boat, Gamble said. "He had the original motor in it. When everyone was breaking down, his would run. It wasn't the fastest thing in the world, but it got him where he needed to go." Dan Katzeek, a cousin who returned to Klukwan three years ago after many years away, remembered sledding down Klukwan hill with Tiger two years ago. "We were talking about it, and we all went out and did it for old times' sake. Tiger was yahooing all the way down." Stevens was an Eagle and member of the Thunderbird clan. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is survived by his mother Margaret and brothers Jim Stevens Sr., Tom Stevens and Mark Stevens, all residing in Klukwan. A service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Klukwan ANS Hall. Burial will be at the Klukwan cemetery.
STICKLER, HARRIET LOUISE Stickler, mother of 9, remembered for positive outlook

By Heather Lende
Less than three months after the death of her husband of 67 years, Harriet Louise Stickler joined him. She died Dec. 18, 2009 suffering from cancer and lung disease. She was 84. The mother of nine, grandmother of 21 and great-grandmother of 29 was a small, energetic woman, with a big heart and quick laugh. Friends and family said she was outspoken, generous, and feisty enough to keep her strong-willed brood in line. Barb Blood was Stickler's neighbor about 20 years. The Bloods bought the Sticklers' house after they built a new one. "It was immaculate, inside and out. She loved to garden and was an incredible housekeeper," Blood said. "She probably washed the walls every month." The Bloods had been living in a camper with two small children, waiting for their house loan to go through. "Harriet allowed us to move in rent-free for a month, and Bob made sure we had firewood. I'll never forget that," Blood said. Stickler was born Oct. 22, 1925 in Duluth, Minn. to Arthur Stockman, a shipyard welder, and his wife Anna, a housewife. She met Robert Stickler, Sr. while in high school and they married before he shipped out with the Navy during World War II. After the war, Bob owned a machine shop in Big Falls, Minn. while Harriet operated a truck stop restaurant across the street. She also worked digging sugar beets in North Dakota and cutting Christmas trees in Minnesota. Bob worked in Alaska beginning in 1968 and Harriet and the family moved up in 1975. They settled in Haines where he found work as a millwright and Harriett kept house. She also was a short-order cook at the Bamboo Room and a housekeeper at local motels. In more recent years, she worked at Chilkoot Gardens nursery and gift shop. Owner Marilyn Josephson said Stickler volunteered to help her in the new venture. "I think she wanted to get out of the house." Stickler was a good gardener, but neither knew much about hot-house blooms, Josephson said. "We had a lot of laughs learning how to arrange flowers." Josephson said Stickler was a hard worker who liked all kinds of people and was rarely down. "She was always so happy." Whenever she went across the street to the bank she'd pinch Dick Flegel. "She used to say she was the only one beside his wife who could pinch her favorite banker in the butt. She did it all the time." Stickler was close to all of her grown children and their families and her home was the center of family gatherings. Son Dave Stickler said his mother was a tough and determined provider. "We ate a lot of deer meat. Then, when we moved to Alaska, we ate a lot of moose meat. She did anything she had to, to make it work. She'd sacrifice anything for her family." Stickler said he was lucky to have his parents. "If we had complications in life, anything physical or mechanical, we could take it to dad. Anything emotional or spiritual, we could always ask mom. She had a way with compassion and always listened. No matter what it was." Blood said it won't be the same without the Sticklers in their neighborhood. Her children and generations of others grew up knowing that Stickler would buy fundraising cookies or raffle tickets. "They always went to Harriet first. Anything to do with kids she'd support." Businessman Dennis Miles said Stickler would brighten his day with her visits and jokes. "Harriet and Bob were icons of Haines. They'll be missed." In addition to her husband, Harriet was preceded in death by her brother, Perry Stockman, and infant son Patrick. Survivors include sister Elizabeth Walsh of Michigan, children Robert Jr., David, and Jim of Haines; Larry of Phoenix; Karen Cody of Bozeman, Mont., Elton of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Mike of St. Hilaire, Minn., and Debra of Duluth. Larry Stickler said his mother did not want a memorial service. She wished "to pass as quietly as she lived her life and her wishes will be honored." Stickler requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Haines Volunteer Fire Department or Hospice of Haines.
WAFER, EILEEN JUNEAU - Investigators are looking for clues in the 1982 murder of a Haines girl.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation's Cold Case Unit has reopened the case of Eileen Wafer, who was 14 when she disappeared from her home in 1982, according to Elizabeth Ipsen of the Department of Public Safety.The girl was baby-sitting her young brothers. When her mother came home, the two boys were in bed but the girl was gone. Her body was found four days later by her older brother and her boyfriend along the beach front at Portage Cove several hundred feet from her home.Investigators believe the girl may have been coaxed from her home by someone who knew her.Eileen's murder is another one of the cases getting another look by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation's Cold Case Unit. Investigator Tim Hunyor said the effort could shed new light on a case that is almost three decades old."Sometimes a new fresh set of eyes looks at the case and something pops out," Hunyor said. "Sometimes people will recall some information that they thought they had told someone before or something they may have heard over the years."Investigative methods also have changed since the girl's death. For example, investigators now ask broader questions instead of focusing on one theory.There is also the addition of DNA testing. The Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, is the national repository for the DNA profiles from casework and offender samples from all 50 states.So far, CODIS has not found a match for DNA from Eileen's case.Meanwhile, investigators continue to comb through evidence from the crime scene and track down people who knew Eileen, or may have seen something that seemed odd or heard something."People may not have thought something was strange at the time, but over the years, maybe something sticks out as not being quite right," Hunyor said. "It may be a person they've often wondered about, someone they just had a weird feeling about, or just something that developed when talking to a friend about Eileen's murder."

WALTON, RUSS Russ Walton, 52, was craftsman, gillnetter

By Heather Lende
Friends this week grieved the death of commercial fisherman and construction worker Russ Edward "Bubba" Walton, whom they remembered as hardworking, capable, colorful and opinionated. Services were held Wednesday at the American Legion for Walton, 52, who was found dead at his Chilkat Trail Road home Feb. 5, 2010 of an apparent ruptured pancreas. Walton operated the F/V Selah since 1984, cut and sold firewood with the late Tom Ward, and worked as a concrete finisher, builder, and equipment operator for Northern Construction. Owner John Floreske said Walton worked for him for 15 years and was a "very talented craftsman," especially when it came to carpentry. "Russ was a close friend and this is a sad time," Floreske said. Friend Lee Taylor gillnetted alongside Walton for decades. "He worked hard, ran the same boat, and was a good skipper," Taylor said. "He had his views. He was from Texas, we're from Alaska, so we kidded some, but he sure was a lot of fun." Walton was born April 19, 1957 in Kilgore, Texas to O.B. and Hontice Matkin Walton and raised in Liberty City, where he graduated from high school. He attended Kilgore College for two years and studied machine technologies, said wife Darlene Walton. He took a short-lived job on the North Slope in 1980 and came through Haines on the way home to visit a friend from East Texas. He liked it so much he moved here a year later and never left. Stuart DeWitt fished for halibut with Walton and said that the nickname "Bubba" suited him. "He was a good guy to joke with. He dished it out but he took it well." DeWitt said Walton ate mayonnaise with everything and often served Frito chili pie on his boat. "Every time we ate it he was surprised that anyone in Alaska had ever had it before." Survivors include his mother Hontice Walton, brother Tom Walton, sister Kathryn Letsinger, wife Darlene Walton, daughters Sarah Anne and Jenna Kay Walton, stepson Jimi Wyatt, grandson Kristopher Hotch and grandaughter Mahri Lewis. He was preceded in death by his father and brother Clay.


Barbara Woods was high-spirited, outgoing

There will be a potluck celebration of Barbara Woods’ life at 5 p.m. today (Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012) at the Elks Lodge. “It will be very casual. She wouldn’t have it any other way,” granddaughter Jamie Sykes said. Woods, 66, died the morning of Feb. 11 in Juneau’s Bartlett Regional Hospital of a brain bleed, Sykes said. Woods’ sister, Marge Conzatti, said that her health had been failing, especially the last six months.

Woods arrived in Haines in 1989 and embraced the rustic rural lifestyle at 26 Mile where she kept a large vegetable garden, raised chickens for eggs and meat, and canned and preserved much of her own food. Jamie Sykes said the family’s subsistence-fishing site at 14 Mile was a special place. “Grandma loved fish camp. It was her favorite time of the year, She taught all her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids fishing and crafty things like making baskets or finding driftwood that looked like animals,” she said.

Woods was a member of the Haines Pioneer Igloo where she baked rolls or made the main dish for many of the meetings. “She cooked meals for nearly every one since 2000,” Jim Shook said.

She was an active Emblem and Elks club member as well. Emblem club past president Michelle Stigen said the high-spirited, outgoing Woods would be missed at club social and community service events. “Barbara made our Easter Bunny costumes and Santa suits and donated her homemade, canned, smoked, weaved or baked items and specialties to our fundraisers over the years.”

Barbara Ellen Estep was born May 2, 1945 to Wes and Beulah (Mitchell) Estep of Yakima, Wash., and raised in the Yakima Valley area. “We had a rather migrant life. We worked in the fields quite a lot growing up,” Marge Conzatti said.

After graduating from Tahoma Valley High School, she married a neighbor in the trailer park where the family lived, Cecil Chapman. They moved to Texas, where her husband was a carpenter and she reared three daughters and worked for a Houston-area phone company.

They moved to back to Washington in the late 1960s. Woods followed the family north to the Yukon and Alaska after her children were grown and her marriage ended in divorce. She settled in Haines to be closer to sister Marge and Dave Conzatti. In 1992 she married Richard Woods at Dalton City in what her granddaughter Jamie Sykes called a fun, “shot-gun wedding” themed ceremony at the Klondike, featuring can-can girls, guests packing firearms, and period costumes. Woods’ adult daughters followed her here, and as the family expanded, her home became its hub.

Woods was also an accomplished painter, specializing in cowboy portraits and she loved to sing, especially around a bonfire. “Her greatest pleasure, when she was well, was taking her daughters, grandkids, and great-grandkids fishing or swimming and that always called for gathering around a campfire,” Marge Conzatti said.

Woods leaves husband Richard Woods of Haines; daughters Kim Rosado of Arizona, Chris Lee of Missouri, and Sheri Wallers of Haines; siblings Marge Conzatti of Yakima, Sharon Hallman of Wasilla, George Estep of New Mexico, Jack Estep of Yakima, and Larry Estep of Arlington, Wash.; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A great-granddaughter preceded her in death as did both her parents and first husband Cecil Chapman.

“We all think it is nice that Grandma is helping four other families out with her organ and tissue donations,” Jamie Sykes said.

By Heather Lende, Chilkat Valley News, February 16, 2012


Woods grew up here, died in Oregon at 87

Originally published Thursday, Feb 17, 2011; Issue: 7
Former resident Rosalyn Francis Woods, remembered as a talented cook and pastel artist, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 15, 2011 in Waldport, Ore. She was 87."Rose" Woods was an identical twin. Born Jan. 13, 1924, at St. Ann's Hospital in Juneau, she and sister Jacque D. Ketterman were the oldest of eight children born to John Bailer Ward and Francis Morris Ward. The family operated Ward and Sons, a hardware, lumber and grocery store, at several locations in downtown Haines.Woods worked in her family's store and also served as the local postmistress before marrying Jack Woods, an electronics technician who was in town putting up a navigational beacon for the Civilian Aeronautics Administration.After marrying in 1948, the couple moved to Portage for five years, where Jack maintained an aviation beacon there, then spent two years in Nome. Jack was later transferred to Juneau and retired from the FAA in Anchorage in 1976.They moved to Corvallis, Ore. before settling in Waldport and were involved in the real estate business there before permanent retirement, son Richard Woods said. He said she is best remembered as a giving person. "She was wonderful."Rosalyn Woods enjoyed art. Though her work included scenery and wildlife, her specialty was portraits.
"She was very good at people's faces and Native faces," Ketterman said. "She did really beautiful ones of old folks, and of kids, too, which is really hard to do in pastel… Some people bought them who just had to have them, but mostly she just gave them away."Woods was talented in all kinds of cooking and was known for her delicious breads and cakes, her sister said. "Right through to the end, she was a marvelous cook. Her rum cake was gorgeous."
A member of the Alaska Pioneers since 1955, Woods also volunteered for various charitable groups. She and her husband volunteered at the Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center in nearby Newport, Ore.
Woods and her twin sister reunited when Ketterman's family relocated to Waldport in 1989. "We've been thick ever since, thank goodness," Ketterman said. They lived 10 minutes apart, were members of the same knitting club, and often shared lunch. "We had a wonderful time together. I sure miss her."
Woods was a member of the Unitarian Fellowship. She and husband Jack visited Haines two years ago to mark their 60th wedding anniversary.A celebration of her life will be held in about a month in Waldport. The family is putting together a cookbook of her recipes, including ones in her handwriting, and photos of her life, for distribution at the memorial.Rosalyn Woods is survived by husband Jack S. Woods of Waldport; son Richard Woods of Haines; daughter Nancy F. Woods of Juneau; sisters Jacque D. Ketterman of Waldport, Ore., Jeannie Sturrock of Juneau, and Judy Weir of Haines; brothers David C. Ward of Haines and Morrris F. Ward of Lake Charles, La., and by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She is preceded in death by brother Tom Ward Sr. and sister Bonnie Koenig.

ZIMBRICH, GENE Tradesman Zimbrich worked around state
Gene Zimbrich, a sheet-metal fabricator and mechanical contractor with business in Haines and Skagway, died early Monday at his home near 2 Mile Haines Highway. He was 61. Wife Emily Zimbrich said the cause of her husband's death was undetermined, but that he had suffered from heart problems and sleep apnea. "He went to bed and didn't wake up. He just stopped breathing." Born in Madison, Wis. on Nov. 18, 1948, Eugene Thaddeus Zimbrich was the third of five children born to Bernard Franklin Zimbrich, a farmer and foundry worker, and wife Helen Marie Klubertanz. Gene grew up doing chores on the family farm in nearby Sun Prairie, attended Catholic grade school and graduated from Sun Prairie High School in 1966. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and spent most of his service at Subic Bay, Philippines, learning to work aircraft sheet metal and fixing U.S. bombers flying sorties over Vietnam. Completing military duty, he returned to Wisconsin in 1969 and lived in Green Bay before coming to Alaska in the early 1970s to join his brother, a lineman for the Alaska Railroad, then living in Wasilla.
"He was tired of bartending and he couldn't get into the union down there," Emily said. She met him through a friend in January 1974, at an airline party in Big Lake when she was working for Western Airlines. "She told me he was a plumber who had two snowmachines and houses in Wasilla and Anchorage. Well, the snowmachines belonged to his brother, and so did the house in Wasilla. He was a sheet metal apprentice making $9 an hour, living in an apartment in Anchorage," she said. They married in April. "I told him I wouldn't marry him if he wasn't a Christian. He said, 'What do I do?' He gave his heart to the Lord and didn't look back." As a journeyman sheetmetal worker, Zimbrich fabricated and installed ductwork in Anchorage buildings including University Center mall, Sheraton Hotel and the Alaska Native Medical Center. He eventually secured state licenses as a mechanical administrator and contractor. In 1980, the couple moved to Haines, next door to Emily's mother, Hazel Englund. "We wanted our kids to know one set of grandparents and have a small school to go to." Zimbrich worked jobs in Haines and around the state before taking over the Skagway Inn in 1989. He and Emily restored the place and sold it two years later. "By then, people in Skagway were in love with Gene and his work. Ninety percent of his work started being in Skagway." Besides construction and furnace work, Zimbrich kept busy winterizing commercial and residential buildings there each fall and opening them back up in the spring. "Gene was never going to retire. He may have changed what he was doing, but he was never going to retire," Emily said. Zimbrich's hobbies were hunting, fishing, camping and riding four-wheelers. "He loved hunting. That's what he planned for all year. He was so excited when he turned 60 and got his free hunting and fishing licenses," Emily said. Roy Lawrence, a career ironworker, was a good friend and fishing buddy of Zimbrich's. He said Zimbrich came to his aid when he was broke, after his first wife died of cancer, by getting him work at journeyman union wages. "He helped me in so many ways, it was unimaginable. If you want a friend, that's the kind to have." Electrician Sonny Myers worked with Zimbrich on various jobs and described him as a quiet tradesman who came through for others. "He was one of a kind. For 30 years he kept all the burners going around here. It'll take a while, but he'll be missed." When Myers' family had to rush out of town on a medical emergency, Emily and Gene came over and took care of his house, including butchering the chickens and shampooing the carpet. "He was a super guy. I was glad to be one of his friends." Zimbrich is survived by wife Emily, daughters Valerie of Haines and Cari and Kolin O'Daniel of Fairbank, brother Tim Zimbrich of Wasilla, sisters Peggy and Jerry Kirby of Brookfield, Wis., Geralyn and Dave Marcum of McFarland, Wis., and Eileen and Mike Schey of Rio, Wis., by grandchildren Krystin and Connor O'Daniel and nieces and nephews. Zimbrich was preceded in death by parents Bernard and Helen Zimbrich, father-in-law Niles Englund and two sisters who died as infants.
A funeral service was scheduled for 2 p.m. March 25 at the Haines Presbyterian Church, with a reception to follow at the American Legion Hall. Burial will be at Jones Point Cemetery.
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