Miscellaneous Matanuska-Susitna County, AK Obituaries


Palmer resident, Marcus J. Sternhagen, 74, died June 6,1999, at Our House Care Home in Palmer, after a lengthy illness. Visitation and Rosary was June 10, 1999, at St. Michaels Catholic Church in Palmer. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated by Father Luke Steiner at 2 p.m., June 11, 1999, at St. Mlchaels Catholic Church. Interment will be at Glasgow Highland Cemetery, Glasgow, Mont.
Sternhagen was born Aug. 13, 1924, in Opheim Valley, Mont., to Joseph P. and Mary C. (Carignan) Sternhagen. He was a U.S. Marine Raider from 1942-1945. He attended Princeton University and later graduated from the University of Montana, in Missoula, Mont.
He moved to Alaska in 1979 to be closer to his brother, Dr. Charles Sternhagen. He spent most of his life training dogs and hunting. As a professional dog trainer he won many American Kennel Club Field Trials with those dogs. Recently, he had been a Eucharistic Minister for St. Michaels Catholic Church in Palmer and active in the prison ministries. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus and involved with the local Senior Centers.
According to his family, "Marc was a beloved father, grandfather and friend. Marc always was more concerned with others health and well being than his own. He was a very proud 15-year member of Alcoholics Anonymous."
Sternhagen is survived by his two daughters, Alexandra, of Salida, Colo. and Kelsey Ann, of Palmer; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother, William G. Sternhagen, of Helena, Mont.; and sisters Mary Farrell, of Spokane, Wash. and Rita Frey, of Aberdeen, Wash. and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by four sons and two brothers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be sent to St. Michaels Catholic Church, 432 E. Fireweed Avenue, Palmer, Alaska 99645.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehl's Palmer Mortuary.

Wasilla resident, Maud Dean "Sunny" Cowan, 69, died at home, June 14, with her family by her side. A memorial service will be 3:30 p.m. June 19, at the Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 8100 Arctic Blvd., Anchorage. 
She was born on May 2, 1930, in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, Okla., to John Hawkins Johnson and Maude Frances (Ussery) Johnson. She graduated from University High School in West Los Angeles, Calif. in 1948
She moved from California to Alaska in 1952. She married in 1955. After raising six children, she started her career as a sales associate with J. C. Penney, Co. in 1962 and retired in 1992, In 1989 she and her husband moved to Wasilla. She was a member of the Spenard Pioneers and the Women of the Moose Chapter No. 139.
She was twice presented the Eagle Award for outstanding sales leadership. She won many awards for her art work and her poetry. She loved to paint, draw and write. She enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, photographing the Alaska outdoors and traveling with her husband throughout Alaska to visit friends. She enjoyed collecting elephants, dolls and recently started a collection of angels.
According to her family, "Maud was nicknamed "Sunny" in high school for her outgoing, cheerful and bright personality. Everyone whose life she touched felt blessed to call Sunny their friend. She loved her husband and children unconditionally. Holidays and summer camp outs were special because it was a time for all the family to be together. She loved watching the Northern Lights and going to the Performing Arts Center for special events. Growing up during the Great Depression taught her to appreciate and treasure the simple things in life and the beauty God created. This was the most important thing she taught her children. She was grateful for everything and everyone. She treasured and saved all cards, letters, drawings and gifts. She loved all children, especially her grandchildren. She was well known for her original jokes and puns. She will be remembered for her inner strength and beauty and her kind and giving heart. Sunny's strong belief in our Lord and her faith never wavered. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends."
She is survived by her husband, Jack Cowan; daughters and sons-in-law, Laura and Ron Sands, Kathi and John Green, Kelly and Steve Baxter, Kari and Randy Dupree; son Kap Cowan; grandchildren Tina, Josh, Cody, and Rhys Sands; Shane and Kellsie Green; Craig and Matthew Baxter; Jarett, Madeleine and Marshall Dupree, all of Alaska; brothers, Jack Johnson, of California, Lee Chronister, of Arkansas; sisters, Marjorie Hafeman and Betty Fogle, of California; and many other relatives and adopted family. She was preceded in death by her son, Kevin Cowan, her parents and her brothers, Carl and Damon Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Brother Frances Shelter, 1021 E. Third Avenue, Anchorage, AK 39501.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehl's Palmer Mortuary.

Florence D. Rice, 89, died June 12, died quietly, peacefully in her bed in Palmer's Pioneer Home. A long time sufferer of Alzheimer's Disease, she died with her daughter, Carol, and her grandson, Peter, and his wife, Cona, the Home's nurse and aides by her side.
Daughter of Meta and Harry Horton, she was born on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1910, in DeMoines, Iowa. The Horton family ultimately established a lifetime residence in Trenton, N.J., where Rice grew up. Her delicate beauty and unusual poise set her apart and soon landed her a job in the fashion world as a model in New York City and a brief stint as a showgirl in the Zeigfield Follies on Broadway. 
At age 19, a gypsy fortune teller reading her palm predicted she would marry a tall dark, handsome man and live to be 91. A few years later she did indeed marry the tall, dark and handsome man, Jack Rice, and bore him two children. Divorced in 1941, she never remarried. Her devotion to her family and invaluable contributions and staunch support of her children over the years is perhaps the quality for which she'll be mostly remembered. 
Arriving in Alaska in 1985 at the invitation of her children and their families in the Mat-Su Valley, she spent the last years of her life getting to know and enjoy her burgeoning offspring, many of whom she'd never met. Those who knew and loved her unanimously agree that Florence Rice was "one classy lady."
Rice is survived by longtime residents of Alaska, son, Dick Rice and his wife, Laura, their nine children and 20 grandchildren; daughter, Carol Rice, her four children and seven grandchildren; and brother, Russell Horton and his wife Jean, their three children and respective families living in the Lower 48.
At her request Rice was cremated and memorial services were held June 16 at Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla. The family requests any condolences be sent to P.O. Box 874226, Wasilla, AK 99687.

Houston resident Melges A. "Shorty" Chapman, 64, died of a massive heart attack June 2, at Valley Hospital in Palmer.
No services will be held per his request, At a later date friends will be contacted for a "Shorty Cookout." His remains will be scattered near the Denali Highway where he hunted.
Chapman was born July 19, 1934 in Battle Creek, Mich. He completed high school, received oil field technical training and had served in the U.S. Air Force. He came to Alaska in 1973, had resided in Houston the last four years and was a former resident of Girdwood.
He had been employed as a toolpusher and driller in oil fields in New Mexico, Texas, California, Wyoming and Alaska. He worked for Parker Drilling at Prudhoe Bay from 1973 to 1977, in Kuwait from 1979 to 1980, and in Saudi Arabia from 1980 to 1983 and was employed by Alaska United Drilling from 1987 to 1993. He was also a drilling instructor from 1983 to 1987 at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell, N.M.
He was a member of the Baptist Church and be enjoyed hunting, camping and cooking.
His friends Bobby Allison and Sharyl Newberry wrote, "During Shorty's 64 years he touched a lot of lives, especially those of his close friends the last few years. He was always nearby with a helping hand and a smile on his face. His hunting trips were well known for 'good and plenty food' in a very well outfitted camp. His jolly, robust and generous nature will be missed by all who knew him."
Survivors are his sisters, Muriel Rogers, of Rosweil, N.M. and Frankie Sanders, of Indianapolis, Ind.; brothers, Gary Chapman, of Arlington, Texas and Covan Chapman, of Odessa, Texas; and his companion, Bobby Allison, of Houston. He was preceded in death by a sister, Vatis Bell, on February 18, 1999.
Donations in memory of Shorty Chapman may be made to an organization of one's choosing.
Arrangements were by Valley Funeral Home and Crematory of Wasilla.

Wasilla resident Thomas Wesley Young, 82, died June 11, at home. A private family Memorial Service was held June 13, at Valley Funeral Home, with Robert LaRue, of Valdez, officiating. The final resting place of his remains will be scattered in the Wrangell Mountains.
Young was born March 12, 1917, in Lincoln, Neb. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1935 and he attended the University of Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
He came to Alaska in 1963, and resided in Glennallen from 1963 -1966, in Juneau from 1966 -1969, in Valdez from 1969 -1977 and in Wasilla since 1977. He had been a professional civil engineer in Nebraska and Illinois and in Alaska, working for the Alaska Department of Highways from 1963 -1974, for Mechanics Research, Inc. from 1974 -1977 and as a consultant for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough from 1979 - 1987. He retired from the State of Alaska Department of Highways in 1974.
His family wrote, "Grandpa Tom Young was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His favorite holiday was Thanksgiving, a time when the family gathered at the Young home to celebrate. A sports enthusiast, Tom was an avid football fan of the University of Nebraska. He never missed a Cornhuskers game on TV. After retirement, he enjoyed woodworking and he shared his creations with family members. Tom and Mildred spent many hours working in their yard and garden. He also kept up with the times, learning to use a computer and the Internet after age 75. He kept his sense of humor throughout his life never giving up on anything or anyone. He loved a good joke and a good game of pinochle. Our family has been blessed with his never ending support and encouragement throughout our lives. We miss him dearly."
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Mildred; daughters and sons-in-law, Millie and Merle Alberts, and Marcell and Cliff Martin; son and daughter-in-law, Thomas A. and Laurel Young; grandchildren, Thomas Alberts and Teri Morales, of California, Brian, Aaron and Alison Young, of Anchorage, Ronelle Martin, of Fairbanks and Tina Martin, of Anchorage; and great-grandchildren, Jessica and Brittney Alberts, and Marc, John and Cecelia Morales, of California.
Arrangements were by Valley Funeral Home and Crematory of Wasilla.

Wasilla resident, Sharon L. Spry, 59, died June 28 at Valley Hospital of apparent heart failure.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m., July 8, at VFW Post No. 9365, 301 E. Lakeview Ave., just off Knik-Goose Bay Road.
Spry was born Sept. 24, 1939, in Lincoln, Neb. to Herbert Franklin and Lillie Agatha (Esau) Kennedy. 
She came to Wasilla in 1962 where she worked as a homemaker and mom to many residents of the Valley. She also had worked at the Senior Resource Center in Wasilla. She was well known in other areas of the state, including Fairbanks, where her late husband had been employed by Wagner Trucking Company.
Surviving are her son, David Spry, of Wasilla; daughters, Kitty Hoy, of Post Falls, Idaho and DeAnna Jones, of Izmir, Turkey; and grandchildren, Candice and Amanda Frisby, of Palmer, and Zackary and Avery Jones, of Izmir, Turkey.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home and Crematory of Wasilla.

Wasilla resident, Ruth Exinna Sellers, 77, died June 27 of a heart attack following surgery for colon cancer, at the Third Medical Group Hospital at Elmendorf Air Force Base.
Visitation is scheduled for noon-1 p.m. July 7 at Evangelical Covenant Church, 1145 C Street, Anchorage. Officiating will be Pastor Dave Dahms of Mat-Su Covenant Church. Burial will be 3:30 p.m. at Fort Richardson National Cemetery followed by a potluck reception at the church. Pallbearers will include Thomas L. Beltz Jr., Thomas C. Beltz, Robert Sellers, Tom Hooten, Waylan Olson and Joe Curran. Honorary pallbearers are Gerald Beltz, Howard Adams, John Toothacre, Doug Scott, Jon Ferrall and Jack Belz.
Sellers was born June 6, 1922, at Cape Denbigh. Her father owned the store at Solomon where she learned to cook at age 11 and cooked for the lodgers at the store. 
She married Tom Belz in 1947 in Nome and following their divorce worked two jobs to keep her family of five children together. In 1956, she married Charles Chuck Sellers and lived in Pennsylvania, Alaska, Nevada and Texas during his military career. She worked as a cook in various cafes and coffee shops and owned and operated cafes in Dallas and Big Springs, Texas.
In 1968, when her husband retired from the Air Force, they moved back to Anchorage and opened Ruths Cafe in Mountain View and operated it until 1973. In 1982 she and her husband moved to Deer Park, Wash. but returned to Alaska to stay in 1988, residing in Wasilla.
Her family said, Mom loved to cook and especially loved preparing traditional Native foods. 
She enjoyed berry picking, mutchoonak, gathering surah and squirreling. She looked forward every year to trapping ground squirrels and picking blueberries along the Denali Highway. 
She said the country there reminded her of her home, Solomon. Her passing has left a big hole in our lives. 
Sellers was an accomplished skin sewer, making booties for all of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and children of family friends. 
She made seal skin slippers for sale to gift shops in Anchorage until her rheumatoid arthritis made it too difficult for her to sew. She also loved to crochet.
She is survived by her loving husband of 42 years, Chuck, of Wasilla; sister, Maggie Olson, of Golovin; son, Gerald Beltz and his companion, Marianne Millis, of Kenai; sons and daughters-in-law, Thomas L. and Alice Beltz and Robert and Vicky Sellers, all of Wasilla; daughters and sons-in-law, Pauline and Torn Hooten, of Wasilla and Ruth and Jack Chambliss, of Oregon; daughter, Kathy McCune, of Adak; stepsons, Keith Sellers, of California and Rick Sellers, of Anchorage; grandchildren, Thomas C., Tina and Jack Belz, Paula and Cheryl Hunt, Terry Imbach, Jon Ferrall, Dona Chouhosky and Hannah and Kayleigh Sellers; seven great- grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Pauline and Pete Curran; brother, Pete Curran Jr.; and sisters, Clara Curran, Eva Seymore, Aida Matthews, Lena Anagick and Minnie Fagerstrom. 
Arrangements were made by Evergreen M.

Gerald Sidney Richmond passed away Jan. 10, 2000, in Anchorage. Born in Brainard, Minn., to Bertha (Newman) and Norman Richmond on June 14, 1931, Mr. Richmond was raised and educated in the northern Minnesota towns of Federal Dam and Boy River. 
He enjoyed basketball, football and track in school, and hunted, fished and trapped whenever he could. He worked as a heavy equipment operator while still a teenager, and accepted positions that took him to North Africa and Alaska before settling in Easton, Wash., in 1955. Mr. Richmond raised mink there for 17 years. A self-taught geneticist, he developed a strain of black mink that became known throughout the world. Mr. Richmonds other business interests included raising cattle on Sitkalidak Island in Alaska, developing several new colors of ranch-raised foxes, and importing and selling Asian herbal medicines. Mr. Richmond traveled throughout the world. He was able to find something in common with everyone he met. 
His family said he was always dreaming and scheming about his next adventure, of which there were many. He was generous and trusting, seldom bothering with such minor details as contracts or formal agreements. He made and lost a fortune several times over, as well as enabling dozens of his friends to catch the vision and cash in on his ideas.
Mr. Richmond is survived by his parents and two brothers, Stuart Richmond, of Cle Elum, Wash., and Dennis, of Minnesota. His sister, Norma, preceded him in death in November 1999. His children, of whom he was very proud, include Judi Davidson and Russell Richmond, of Wasilla; Jim Richmond, of Yakima, Wash.; David and Adam Richmond, both of Seattle; and Forest, Roy and Charles Richomond, of Honolulu, Hawaii. He had nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at the Morning Star Building in Wasilla at 2850 Broadview Ave., behind the Mat-Su Cinema.

Palmer resident John Paul King, 81, died at his home Jan. 17, 2000. A memorial Mass for Mr. King will be held 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, at St. Michaels Catholic Church, 432 E. Fireweed, Palmer. The Rev. Leo Desso will officiate. 
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary. 

Palmer resident Lester James Hawkins, 79, died Jan. 9, 2000, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. A one-hour visitation will be held at noon today at Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 737 E. Street, Anchorage.
Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. with Chaplain Don McCullough officiating. Honorary pallbearers will include Dr. Harold South, Clyde Peterson, Ben Courtney, Wesley Carr, Tom Elam, and Jerry Albright. 
A celebration of life will be held from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at Palmer Senior Center.
Mr. Hawkins was born June 12, 1920, in Bolivar, Mo. After he graduated from high school he served honorably in the United States Army.
He worked in maintenance and as a groundsman for the Ventura County School District in California before his retirement in 1982.
He moved to Alaska in 1988.
His family said he enjoyed playing music with The Rascals to entertain shut-ins and seniors. He also liked fishing.
Mr. Hawkins is survived by his son, James Luther of Blythe, Calif.; granddaughter, Tammy Chainberlain of Bakersfield, Calif.; brother, Harold R. Hawkins of Anchorage; nephews, Jerry Hawkins and Ronnie Hawkins of Ardmore, Okla., Roy Hawkins of Wasilla and Rod Hawkins of Palmer; nieces, Patty McGuire of Ventura, Calif. and Nadine Dunehew of Ardmore, Okla.; two great-grandsons and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.
Funeral arrangements were made by Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 737 E St., Anchorage.

Wasilla resident Jack Adams Vaughn, 71, died Jan. 16, 2000, at Valley Hospital in Palmer.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Settlers Bay golf clubhouse. A remembrance gathering will be directly following the service. In the spring his ashes will be scattered on the 18th hole.
Mr. Vaughn was born March 6, 1928, in Sweetwater, Texas, where he attended and graduated from school. At the age of 18 he enlisted and served in the U.S. Air Corps.
He came to Alaska on Sept. 19, 1971, residing in Anchorage from 1971 to 1977, and in Wasilla since 1977.
He worked for Cook Inlet Pipeline, Mobil Oil from 1973 to 1987, and had also worked as a radio announcer. He retired from Mobil Oil Co. on March 5, 1987, but continued working with his wife at Fantasia Travel, which they opened in 1984 and sold in 1989.
His hobbies and special interests were golfing, cooking chili, providing family and friends with his famous barbecue sauce, fishing, and hunting. 
He enjoyed a wide variety of music and he was a private pilot.
His family said: He was a loving husband and father whose lifelong dedication was to provide the very best life possible for his family. His love for adventure and the vast wilderness is what drew him to bring his family to Alaska. He enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren how to hunt and fish, to play golf, and marksmanship. He will be missed but never forgotten by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Margie L. Vaughn; children, Jacqueline Vaughn, Carrie Weinstein and her husband, Micah, and Jeff Vaughn, all of Wasilla; grandchildren, Ashley Adams, Noah Jess Gershmel, Micah David and Jacob Weinstein, and Rickie J. T. Vaughn Richardson, all of Wasilla, and Jarred and Zachary Adams, of Everett, Wash.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Lung Association, 1057 W. Fireweed Lane, No. 201, Anchorage AK 99503.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Longtime Bodenburg Butte resident Mary Ann Ryder, 54, died at Valley Hospital in Palmer on Jan. 16, 2000, after a longtime illness. At her request, no services will be held. Burial will be at Palmer Pioneer Cemetery.
Ms. Ryder was born Nov. 14, 1945, in Minden, Nev., to Lewis Addison and Katherine Elizabeth (Beck) Ryder. She attended schools in New York. She also attended the University of Alaska Anchorage.
She came to Alaska in 1974. She was a retired licensed practical nurse who worked at Valley Hospital in Palmer. She was involved with the Salvation Army Senior Center Home League.
Ms. Ryder is survived by her daughters, Michele A. Mullady, of Richmond, Va., and Ronda C. Ryder of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada; longtime friend, John Dolchok of Palmer, and many friends.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Longtime Valley resident John R. Jack O'Malley, 89, died at his residence Jan. 17, 2000. 
A Catholic prayer service for Mr. OMalley will be held at 1 p.m. today at Kehls Palmer Mortuary Chapel, 209 S. Alaska St., Palmer. A visitation was held Thursday, Jan. 20, at the chapel and another will be held one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Palmer Pioneer Cemetery immediately following the service. 
The Rev. Leo Desso of St. Michaels Catholic Church in Palmer will officiate. Pallbearers will be Dave Kloep, Chuck Shaver, Ben Hermon, Jim Hermon, Don Chambers and Mike ONeill.
Mr. OMalley was born in Williamsport, Pa., on June 1, 1910, to Joseph and Sara (Stone) OMalley. He received his education in Williamsport. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946 during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines and Aleutian Islands. He was a member of the Catholic Church.
Mr. OMalley came to Alaska in 1934 and immediately became involved with plotting the land. He surveyed the original Palmer town site in the mid-1930s, a government job. 
According to him, That survey was never accepted because the farmers wanted everything right-angled. That experience soured OMalley on working for Uncle Sam. He continued to survey as an independent surveyor and civil engineer and did work for the Alaska Road Commission. 
It is likely that he had a part in surveying the roads in the Valley that we drive on today. In the winter of 1935, he did steel work on the first Knik River Bridge because surveying closed down during the winter. He also surveyed local coal mines, gold mines and hard rock mines including Independence Mine. He said, You have to establish bearing outside and walk it in, because a compass is no good in there.
According to his friends, Jack OMalley was cantankerous and curmudgeonly, and one of the more interesting people one could hope to meet in the Valley. He could often be found sipping coffee at the Valley Hotel in Palmer. He enjoyed helping out young folks attending college. He was much loved and respected by all who knew him and he will be greatly missed.
There are no known survivors except all his friends.

Wasilla resident Rose Marie Ryherd, 52, died Jan. 17, 2000, at her home, of natural causes.
A memorial service was held Jan. 21 at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church.
Mrs. Ryherd was born Oct. 7, 1947, in Salt Lake City to Leno and Margaret Mary (Defa) Galassi. She graduated from Groveland High School in Groveland, Fla., in 1966. She moved to Alaska in 1996 and resided in Wasilla.
From 1992 to 1996 she worked as a shift supervisor for Wendys Restaurant in Clermont, Fla., and from 1997 to 1999 she worked at the Perfect Cup in Wasilla.
She attended Assembly of God churches, and her hobbies and special interests were quilting, crocheting, fishing and reading.
Her family wrote: Rose Marie was a quiet, strong individual who raised her children on her own until she met the love of her life six years ago. She enjoyed sitting and talking for hours about life. Her joy was raising her son, Jeff, with the help of her husband, James Michael. She enjoyed crafts and arts, walking in the beauty that is Alaska, and being wife, mother and friend to all who knew her. She served her savior Jesus Christ with quiet devotion. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Survivors are her husband, James Michael Ryherd; son, Jeffrey Alan Moore, of Wasilla; daughter, Jenna R. Moore, of Tennessee; mother, Margaret Mary Galassi; sister and brother-in-law, Renae and Ron Varnadol; brother and sister-in-law, Dennis and Maxine Galassi; grandsons, Colby and Zachary Smartt, and many loving in-laws and extended family.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Alaska pioneer John Provolt King, 81, died Jan. 17, 2000, at his home in Palmer. 
A memorial Mass was held for John at Saint Michaels Catholic Church, 423 East Fireweed, Palmer, on Jan. 24. The Rev. Leo Desso officiated.
John was born in Brainerd, Minn., on Aug. 5, 1918, to Kent and Clara (Provolt) King.
He came to Alaska with his parents and sister in 1932, and homesteaded first in an area now known as Kings Lake and later in Hope. After the death of his father in 1939, John returned to Seattle to be with his mother. 
John married Lucille Vinecore on Sept. 11, 1945; three days later they were on a steamship headed for Alaska. John and Lucille lived in Seward briefly before moving to Palmer. 
In 1946 John and his late cousin, Clyde King, began Palmer Concrete Products, which they operated until 1949. John and his late mother, Clara King, owned and operated Claras Variety from 1948 until 1955. 
In 1951 John and Lucille moved to the Butte area, where they made their home for the next 49 years. John was a hardworking, resourceful and inventive man. Over the years he farmed, raised horses, delivered milk for the Alaska Dairy, did carpentry and worked as pilebuck. 
He retired from the Piledrivers Local 2520 in 1981. John and Lucille started Mammas Wood Yard in 1964, which they operated for 30 years. John designed and built a wood machine that pulled the logs into the machine, cut and split the wood to size and loaded it into the truck. That machine did everything but stack the wood and deliver it. 
John and Lucille were active members of the Saint Michaels Parish in Palmer and enjoyed church activities.
After retiring John and Lucille traveled to Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark, and cruised to the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Mexico. They traveled to several areas of the United States, including several trips to Hawaii, and enjoyed short visits to Arizona during the winter months.
His family said: Since John was 18 years old, he wanted children. Family was important to him; there wasnt another family that possessed more love. John will be greatly missed.
John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lucille; children, Sandi Allen, of Palmer, Susan and Terry Beal, of Eagle River, Evelyn and Greg Ochoa, of Wasilla, Ellen and Melton Jones, of Palmer, Kathy and Rick Harrington, of Palmer, Kent and Anne King, of Wasilla and Laura and Tom Shones, of Palmer. John had 18 eighteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild; his sister and brother-in-law, Louise and Lyle Saxton, of Yuma, Ariz.; cousin, June Liebing, of Palmer, and several nieces and nephews in Washington, Oregon and California also survive him.
Arrangements were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Wasilla resident Caroline Bell, 49, died at her home Jan. 17, 2000. A funeral service will be held today at Kehls Palmer Mortuary Chapel, 209 S. Alaska St., Palmer. A visitation was held Jan. 24. Pastor Jerry Pinkerton, of the Big Lake Baptist Church, will officiate at the funeral.
Ms. Bell was born Dec. 23, 1950, in San Mateo, Calif., to James L. and Crosby French. She graduated from high school in San Bruno, Calif. After moving to Alaska she attended Mat-Su Community College.
She moved to Alaska in 1971, to be near her mother. Later she met and married Elmo Bell. They had two children, Shawna and ShoShannon.
According to her family: Caroline was very outgoing and loved music and enjoyed singing her favorite songs with her youngest daughter. She was fascinated with Native American culture. Both of her daughters are part Indian and she would encourage them to learn about their culture and be proud of their heritage. Those who love her will always remember her, and their memories will keep her alive long after she is gone.
Ms. Bell is survived by her daughter, Shawna Bell and fianc, Jeremiah J. Degeer Jr., of Anchorage; daughter ShoShannon Bell, of the Matanuska Valley; mother, Cosby Hopkinson, of Big Lake; father, James L. French, of Arizona, and her brothers, Frederick and James L. French Jr., of Wyoming. She is also survived by her former husband, Elmo Bell, and his children, Maryann Garcia and Dakota Bell, all of Alaska. In addition she is survived by Garret Osborn, whom she considered a son, Richard Price, Frank Jones and many others.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary. 

Wasilla resident Clinton Calvin Cal Center, 74, died Jan. 22, 2000, at Valley Hospital in Palmer, following a lengthy illness.
An informal gathering of friends will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Palmer Elks Lodge on Bogard Road. Those attending are asked to bring a story to share. Mr. Centers ashes will be scattered over Crosswinds Lake this summer.
Mr. Center was born Oct. 9, 1925, in Deadwood, S.D., the son of Clinton Chester and Mary Jane Center. He attended schools in Puyallup, Wash., and received his GED while in the military. He continued his education by taking many college classes throughout his life.
Cal served in the Navy as a radio operator, and in the Army as a medic. He was stationed in Munich, Germany, when he met and married Eva Maiwald in 1954.
He came to Alaska in 1958, and retired to the Wasilla area in 1988 after living and working in numerous places in Alaska. He was a railroad worker, salesman, fisherman, fish spotter, generator operator in Cape Lisbourne, guide and outfitter, founder of Crosswinds STOL, bush pilot, and innovator of many aircraft designs. He received a governors commendation for his role in Alaska aviation.
His hobbies and special interests were art, being an animal lover, a mechanical tinkerer, and a lightweight boxer in the military.
His family said: He wasnt perfect, but he had a heart as big as Alaska. If anyone needed help all they had to do was ask. He loved challenges and had many in his life. He loved to spend time with his grandkids and enjoyed his Sunday morning breakfasts and cribbage games.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Oran, Roy, Bill, and Kenny; and sisters, Jackie and Marylynn.
Survivors are his family, Charles Center and Cheryl Weare, Kay and Mary Omer, Rod and Margaret Hanson, and John and Nina Shaw; grandchildren, Shanna, Jud, and Shane Omer, Kristen and Ricky Hanson, Sierra and Lily Shaw; brothers, Bud of California and Clinton Joseph of Anchorage; sister, Darlene Christensen of Washington; and numerous friends throughout Alaska.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Salvation Army, 209 W. Evergreen Ave., Palmer, AK 99645; Wasilla Senior Center, 1301 Century Circle, Wasilla, AK 99654, or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Longtime Anchorage resident Helen V. Siewert, 76, died Jan. 24, 2000, of heart failure at the home of her son in Wasilla. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 31, 2000, at St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3230 Lake Otis Parkway, in Anchorage. 
A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. A celebration of life will take place immediately after the service at the VFW Post 9981, 9191 Old Seward Highway.
Mrs. Siewert was born to John and Alma (Bjorni) Mehtala on Oct. 31, 1923, in Oulu, Wis. She grew up around Oulu and Waino, later moving to Superior, Wis. She married Neil M. Lavin of Iron River, Wis., in 1942. In January 1952, Helen, her husband, brother-in-law, and two children drove the Alcan Highway to Anchorage.
In 1968 she married Warren O. Siewert. She worked at the Fourth Avenue branch of Alaska Cleaners through the 1960s and 1970s before transferring to their office and retiring after 30 years of service.
She was past president and honorary life member of the American Legion, Spenard Post 23, a member of the Women of the Moose and a member of the VFW Post 9981. She enjoyed visiting with her friends, children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed crocheting, crossword puzzles and reading.
According to her family, Helen left a legacy of pride in family, of staying in close contact and sharing burdens. She is leaving a major hole in the lives of all of her friends and family. Those of us who talked to her every day will miss her dearly.
Mrs. Siewert is survived by her husband, Warren O. Siewert, of Anchorage; daughter and son-in-law, Ginny and Rusty Robson, of Trapper Creek; sons and daughters-in-law, Ned and Julia Lavin, of Wasilla and Mike and Susan Lavin, of Anchorage; grandchildren, Kati and Kerry Sanders, Todd and Elanor Carpenter, of Wasilla, Rachel Faralan, of Eagle River, Tracy Lavin, of Arizona, Samantha Lavin, of New Mexico, Julie Lavin, of Anchorage, and Waylon Olsen, Renaye and Trevor Lavin, of Wasilla. 
She is also survived by her brothers, Raymond Mehtala, of Superior, Wis. and John Mehtala, of Sun Prairie, Wis., and sister, Irene McEvilly, of Madison, Wis. In addition, she is survived by two great-grandchildren. 
Her parents, two brothers, two sisters and one grandchild preceded her in death.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Wasilla resident Emmetta Marie Corbin, 61, died Jan. 25, 2000, at home, from cancer.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1201 Bogard Road, in Wasilla, with Chaplain Harleen Pino, of Providence Alaska Medical Center, officiating. A graveside service will follow at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery, conducted by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. Pallbearers will be Richard Caywood, Louis Caywood, Bud Corbin, Tod Corbin, Mark Corbin and Robert Hausser.
Mrs. Corbin was born May 4, 1938, in Saratoga, Wyo. She came to Alaska in 1951 and graduated from Palmer High School in 1956. She had resided in Wasilla since 1974.
She was a homemaker, employed in banking and at the Wasilla Senior Center. She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla, a 25-year VFW Ladies Auxiliary member, and a member of Wasilla Amvets. Her special interests were family first, then creating stained-glass work, reading and community service.
Her family said: To Emmetta (Mom) family always came first, closely followed by her love and concern for others. Over the years she completed many hours of volunteer service with the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Wasilla Senior Center, Wasilla Veterans Center, and the Amvets.
Survivors are her loving husband of 42 years and primary care giver, Gene A. Corbin; children and spouses, Lelani and Dean Roy, Gene V. Bud and Susan Corbin, Theresa and Kevin Bohlmann, Tod Corbin, Mark and Julie Corbin; brothers and spouses, Richard and Kathy Caywood and Louis and Roberta Caywood, and Chesley McGriff; 13 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives, including special care givers Roberta Caywood, nieces Janice Kraft, Joan Johnson, Dee Dee Custer, and friend, Zane Jones.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Mat-Su, 3051 East Palmer-Wasilla Highway, Wasilla, AK 99654.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Longtime Valley resident Geraldine May Granath, 69, died at Valley Hospital in Palmer on Jan. 25, 2000. A memorial service for Ms. Granath will be held Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Michaels Catholic Church, 432 E. Fireweed, Palmer. The Rev. Leo Desso will officiate.
Ms. Granath was born on Nov. 2, 1930, in Blackwell, Wis., to Frank and Evelyn (Glinsky) Johnson.
She came to Alaska in 1952 to stay with her sister, Myrtle Bouwens. She began working at Wrights Soda Fountain. From 1960-1976 she worked as a teller for Matanuska Valley Bank. She then worked at the Matanuska Valley Credit Union until 1993. In 1993, she started working for First National Bank of Anchorage in Palmer and stayed there until her retirement in 1997.
She volunteered at the Palmer Pioneers Home on Tuesdays for bingo. She enjoyed crossword and jigsaw puzzles.
According to her family, The oldest of 12 brothers and sisters, Geraldine learned how to laugh, enjoy life and be a giving person. She had a spark of adventure. Before moving to Alaska she took flying lessons, but changed her mind when it came to soloing. After moving to Alaska she met and married Walter Granath, known as Cowboy. They had two children, Bill and Phil. For a few years they homesteaded 80 acres at the end of Fishhook, where they built their own log home. Being from Wisconsin, she loved to entertain and cook for everyone. She also loved to travel. She had been to Hong Kong, Ireland, England and Scotland. She adored her grandchildren.
Ms. Granath is survived by her sons, Bill and Phil Granath; grandchildren, Duane, Tracy and Derrick, all of Palmer; brothers and sisters, Kenneth, Eunice, Eileen, Frank, Beverly, Rita, Susan, Darlene, Sharon, Laverne, and Robert, all of Wisconsin, and brother and sister-in-law, Gene and Billie Granath, of Kenai. She is also survived by her close friends, Chris and Jay Holmberg, of Palmer, and many nieces and nephews and friends.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Longtime Matanuska Valley resident Richard Edward DuBois peacefully passed away Jan. 3, 2000, following a battle with cancer. At the time of his death Richard was visiting family in Austin, Texas. 
Always on some adventure, Richard was currently on a journey to see cousins, his sister and each of his children.
Born Nov. 3, 1937, in St. Paul, Minn., Richard grew up in Rock Elm, Wis., moving to California in 1950 and later graduating from Redondo Union High School. Early career experiences ranged from drafting engineer to building race cars to cosmetology to commercial painting.
In 1973, love for adventure brought him to Alaska. He fell in love with the character of the land as well as the people. He had mostly lived in the Palmer, Butte and Knik River Road areas.
In Alaska Richard had belonged to Painters Union Local #1140. Working throughout the state, he was able to visit several remote villages, the North Slope and Aleutian Chain, and had many stories to share. 
Richard owned and operated the Glass Factory, located for a number of years in Palmers Valley Hotel, where he created stained glass art. Additional entrepreneur experiences included air boat tours, cabin rentals and other tourism-based businesses. Richard loved sharing the feeling of Alaska with others.
His family said: Richard had a great sense of humor, a vast sense of adventure and enormous distaste for sitting still. Adventures included flying a glider, riding in a stunt plane, driving race cars, Harley and dirt bikes, river rafting and air boating. During his visit in Austin, Richard mentioned he wanted to go hang-gliding. Heaven must be full of adventure, otherwise Richard would still be with us.
Richard was also a compassionate and caring person, never hesitating to share money, time, hugs or a joke with a friend in need. Many longtime friends share memories to smile about.
Richard was preceded in death by his mother, Katheryn; stepfather, Howard Caldwell, and brother Pat Kelly.
Richard is survived by his sister, Patsy Stillwagon and nephew, Curtis, of San Clemente, Calif.; daughter, Ren DuBois, of Castaic, Calif.; son, Chris DuBois, and grandchildren, Cody and Tara, of Canyon Creek, Calif.; daughter, Brigette Cricket DuBois and grandchildren, Shawna and Adam, of Lake of the Woods, Calif.; daughter Dawson Simone Carroll, son-in-law, Jeff, and grandson, Jacob, of Austin, Texas; his very close friend Christina Anthony, of Anchorage, as well as many others who will miss him greatly.
A potluck celebration of life will be held in Richards honor at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at Delrois Bar, Mile 39.5 Old Glenn Hwy., in the Butte. All those who knew him are invited to bring photos, stories and memories to share.
Please send memorial cards in care of Dawson Simone Carroll, 7212 Sir Gawain, Austin, Texas 78745.

Longtime Talkeetna resident Delena Mae Goodwin, 79, died peacefully Jan. 25, 2000, at her home. Her oldest son and daughter were present. A funeral service was held Jan. 31 at the Montana Creek Baptist Church in Willow. Interment at Kashwitna Cemetery was scheduled to follow the service, with Pastor Gerry Etherton officiating.
Mrs. Goodwin was born July 1, 1920, in Baxter, Mo., to Samuel and Clara Maude (Jackson) Cron.
She moved to Alaska in 1967 with her husband and eight children. They settled in Talkeetna. She was a founding member of Montana Creek Baptist Church and active with senior citizens activities, Talkeetna Historical Society, the Homemakers Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
According to her family, She was known for her humor, sewing and love for her friends and family. She was committed to her community and served it in many ways. She made her family members lives beautiful wherever they were and in whatever circumstances they were. She was like a wild rose, she bloomed wherever she was planted.
Mrs. Goodwin is survived by her sons, Gene of Palmer, Wayne of Weiser, Idaho, Larry of Portland, Ore., Jack of Willow, Mark of Talkeetna and William of McGrath; daughters, Ruth Youngblood of Reeds Springs, Mo., Judy Oliver of Twin Falls, Idaho, Juanita Tedrick of Columbia Falls, Mont., and DeLena Johnson of Palmer. She is also survived by 36 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Albert, and sons, Delwin and Samuel.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Peters Creek resident William Edward Tilley, 68, died of natural causes Jan. 30, 2000, at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Services were at 1 p.m. Feb. 3, at the chapel of Valley Funeral Home & Crematory, 151 E. Herning Avenue, in Wasilla, with family members officiating. Burial followed at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery.
Mr. Tilley was born March 26, 1931, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Loren E. and Myrtle L. (Harrold) Tilley. In 1952 he received a degree in theology from St. Paul Bible Institute, and in 1959 a bachelor of arts degree from Seattle Pacific College.
He had been an Alaska resident for the past 22 years, living in Anchorage for 12 years and in Peters Creek for the past 10 years. He had been employed in equipment maintenance at the Anchorage airport.
He was a member of the Bahai Faith, and in earlier years enjoyed mountaineering.
His family said: Being an adventurer, Dad is now on his greatest adventure ever.
Survivors are his children, Charlotte McClelland and Sonja McGeary of Hawaii, Gwen Gerard of Alaska, Gale Koch and David Tilley of Iowa, and John Tilley of England; grandchildren, Candy, Kendall and Jenabe Ford, Donald Gerard, and Jessie and Bleu McGeary, all of Hawaii, James Riveira, Keoni and Erik Koch, and Kelsey and Brent Tilley, all of Iowa; Melanie Riveira of California, Miguel Riveira of Guam, Philippa Tilley of England, and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Mark Tilley, and his twin sister, Joan Young.

Palmer resident Delores Ann Dunn, 62, died at her home Jan. 28, 2000. There will be a graveside service in Riverton, Wyo., in the spring.
Mrs. Dunn was born in Caney, Kan., on March 3, 1937, to Roy and Clara (Long) Cassity. She graduated in 1955 from Riverton High School in Riverton, Wyo.
She and her family moved to Alaska in 1965 from Wyoming. She worked as registrar at Anchorage Community College from 1965 to 1972. In 1984 she and her husband left Alaska to become snow birds and travel. She returned in December 1998 to be with family while she was being treated for cancer. She enjoyed reading, spending time with family and friends and fishing.
According to her family, Delores was a beautiful, strong woman with a joy for life that touched everyone she met. She really enjoyed spending her last year with her children and grandchildren.
Mrs. Dunn is survived by her daughters, Lynn Aro and Stacey Sargent; grandchildren, Blake, Carrie, Sara, Sean and Abby; mother, Clara Cassity, and siblings, Joyce Jones, Jim Cassity and Gary Cassity. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and oodles and oodles of friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Jack Cassity, and her beloved husband, Philip Dunn.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Hospice of Mat-Su, 3051 E. Palmer-Wasilla Hwy., Wasilla, AK 99654.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Longtime Kenai resident, Ms. Ethel Eadie Henderson, died Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 73 years old.
Funeral services were held Feb. 1, at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Father Macarius Targonsky officiated at the ceremony. A visitation was held one hour prior to the service. Interment was at the Kenai Cemetery. Following interment a gathering was held at the Eagles Lodge.
Eadie Henderson was born April 18, 1926, in Youngstown, Ohio. She came to Alaska as a young woman who independently homesteaded on the Kenai. Eadie is well-known for one of the first businesses on the North Road, The Last Frontier Dine & Dance, which began in the early 1950s and is now known as Eadies Pawn, Hotel & Liquor Store. She loved dance, entertaining, storytelling and most importantly, was always willing to help anyone in need. 
Ms. Henderson was a member of the Eagles, Pioneers of Alaska, and has her history in the book Once Upon the Kenai and articles in We Alaskans, as well as many out-of-state newspaper articles. Ms. Henderson was also known for the dancing performances she gave in the Valley.She contributed to many charities and was fondly known as Unforgettable Eadie. According to the family, Her generosity will be remembered in the hearts of the many who knew her.
Eadie is survived by her brother, Alex Chenlikas of Youngstown, Ohio; son, Zane Lee Kummert; daughter-in-law Vicki Lynn Hart; grandchildren, Janeece Lee Pearl Kummert, Joseph Joey Shane Kummert, Jeremy Hart, Jared Hart, Jessica Hart-Spurgeon and spouse Jamie Spurgeon, and Kala Jean Anderson, all of Kenai, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Eadie Henderson Dance Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 85, Kenai, AK 99611. Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

Search this massive database of obituaries, cemeteries, and death records: