Miscellaneous Matanuska-Susitna County, AK Obituaries


Wasilla resident Kerry Thomas Brookman, 53, died Feb. 1, 2000, at Providence Alaska Medical Center, from injuries suffered in an avalanche accident near Bird Flats on the Seward Highway.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 6, at Valley Funeral Home, 151 E. Herning Ave., in Wasilla, followed by a celebration of life at the Best Western Lake Lucille Inn, 1300 West Lake Lucille Dr., in Wasilla.
Mr. Brookman was born July 24, 1946, in Flint, Mich. He graduated in 1963 from El Cajon Valley High School in California. He served three years in the U.S. Army, and came to Alaska in 1977, residing in Anchorage from 1977 to 1983, and in Wasilla since 1983.
He had worked at various construction jobs and for the Alaska Railroad from April 16, 1979, until his death.
Family and friends wrote: Kerry was a kind man and beloved father. His caring and his witty personality were staples in the lives of those close to him. He always found time to make others happy, no matter the personal inconvenience. Always willing to lend a hand, share a smile or his wisdom with even the furthest stranger, Kerry had a certain charisma that few have. Those who knew Kerry were most certainly touched by his character and will always have fond memories of him. Kerry worked as a senior heavy equipment operator for the Alaska Railroad for over 21 years. He spent many summers and long winters away from home taking care of the railroad between Seward and Fairbanks. Whether he was building new track, unloading thousands of ties, clearing ditches or cleaning snowslides, Kerry was always ready to dedicate himself to his work. Kerry was loved by his family and by his friends at the Alaska Railroad, and he will be very sorely missed.
He is survived by Loretta K. Brookman and son, Joseph A. Brookman, of Wasilla; daughter, Tonya Brookman-Link, and sons, Tom and Jon Brookman, and daughter-in-law, Deb, all of Michigan; sister, Sandy Lum and brother-in-law, Kai (Ray), of Michigan; sister, Barbara Brookman, of Texas; brother, Mike Brookman and sister-in-law, Susan, of Virginia; and grandchildren, Robert, Shawna, Kaylee, Alisha, Allie Jo, and Kayla.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Lyle Brookman, and his sister, Carol Cobb.

Big Lake resident Eddie Leroy Moose Bone Eddie Patton, 42, died Jan. 8, 2000, at home.
A memorial service was held at 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 6, at the chapel of Valley Funeral Home & Crematory, 151 East Herning Ave., in Wasilla.
Mr. Patton was born July 7, 1957, in Cottage Grove, Ore. He completed his GED and worked as an artist and carpenter. He came to Alaska in 1976, and had lived in Anchorage, Sheep Creek, Houston and Big Lake.
His hobbies and special interests were hunting, fishing, art and music. His family said, He loved to do his carvings. He will be remembered for his kind heart and through his artwork. He loved to fish and hunt.
He was preceded in death by his father, Cecil Edward Patton.
Survivors are his mother, Patricia Carlton Patton; his fiance of five years, Susan Norberg; stepchildren, Thomas, Jeremy and Shannon Thomason, and Amanda and Sierra Norberg; brother, Chris Patton; sister, Deane Marquardt; half-brothers, Jeff and Jerry Burns; half-sister, Judy Peck; stepsister, Annette Rozalski, and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Big Lake resident Stephen Carl Queen, 61, died Jan. 27, 2000, of heart failure, at home.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial marker will be set at Fort Richardson National Cemetery.
Mr. Queen was born Aug. 19, 1938, in Kansas City, Kan., to Perry O. and Callie F. (Bissell) Queen.
He was a retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, and a decorated Vietnam veteran. He served in the Navy from September 1957 to January 1984. He came to Alaska in 1987, and resided in the Big Lake area.
A nephew said: All who really knew him will surely miss him.
Survivors are brothers, Leo, of Oregon and Gary, of Idaho; sisters, Lois Duffield, of California, Lola Perkins, of Montana, and Frances Meadows, of California; son, Steve; daughters, Lynn and Beyona, and several grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Longtime Valley resident Sylvia Nash, 75, died Feb. 8, 2000, at Heidis Place Assisted Living Home in Palmer, from complications following a stroke. 
A memorial service for Mrs. Nash will be held Saturday, Feb. 19, 2000, at 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 440 E. Elmwood, Palmer. The Rev. Jonathan Rockey will officiate.
Mrs. Nash was born Feb. 5, 1925, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Alfred and Lena (Aslakson) Juveland. 
She graduated from Lake Mills High School and attended Coe Teachers College, both in Iowa, and taught two years of country school before moving to Alaska. 
She also volunteered for the Navy Nurses Training Corps and was a student at Iowa University Medical School from 1944-1945 before she met and married John Nash in 1946.
She and her husband came to Alaska from Iowa in the spring of 1948, pioneered a 240-acre parcel of raw land in the Lazy Mountain area, and developed a working farm where they have resided for more than 50 years.
During her life, Mrs. Nash was actively involved at St. John Lutheran Church as an organist at the old Colony church and as a Sunday School teacher. She was also a member of the Lazy Mountain Homemakers Club and in years past, was a judge of flowers and knitting at the Alaska State Fair.
According to her family, She had a great love of music and enjoyed hobbies such as gardening, sewing, knitting and baking, especially bread and Lefse.
Mrs. Nash is survived by her husband, John Nash; her daughters and spouses, Carol and Stan Reed, Barbara and Matt Stephl, Diane and Fred Williams; son and spouse, John and Diane Nash, and six grandchildren, all of Alaska. 
She is also survived by her brothers, Omar Juveland, of Chicago and Allan Juveland, of Los Alamos, N.M., and her sister, Gilma Henthorne, of Eugene, Ore., and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents.
In lieu of flowers the family requests gifts and donations be made to the St. John Lutheran Church Music Fund, P.O. Box 774, Palmer, AK 99645.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.
A memorial service for Sylvia Nash, who died Feb. 8, will be held Friday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 440 Elmwood, Palmer.

Palmer resident Shawn Cameron Reisner, 34, died Feb. 6, 2000, at home, from cancer.
A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. today, Feb. 11, at Valley Baptist Tabernacle, Mile 5 Palmer-Wasilla Hwy. A memorial gathering, at the family residence across from the church, will follow the burial at the Palmer Pioneer Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jon Reisner, Bob Reisner Sr., Bob Reisner Jr., David White, Solan Fenner and Lonny Elliott.
Mr. Reisner was born May 27, 1965, in Anchorage. He attended West High School. He lived in Anchorage for 19 years, and in Palmer for 15 years. He was a self-employed tiler who installed until 1997, and was involved in management with Artistic Tile from 1997 to 1999.
He was a member of Valley Baptist Tabernacle, and enjoyed biblical studies, cars, camping and snowmachining.
His wife wrote: We will miss him very much. He was a wonderful husband and dad, and my very best friend. I know he has gone on to a better place to be with our Heavenly Father. The family will carry on with the help of our Lord. Shawns favorite verse was Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. He is loved by many.
Surviving are his wife, Eve C. Reisner; children, Shawna, Jon, Jeannine, Mikel, David and Megan; parents, Ronald and Rose Reisner; brother, Bob Reisner Jr., and sister, Colleen B. Reisner.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Anchorage resident Mary Glen Palmer, 90, died Feb. 6, 2000, at Alaska Regional Hospital from a heart attack.
Viewing and visitation will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, at Valley Funeral Home, 151 E. Herning Ave., in Wasilla, followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m. at the Big Lake Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses, Mile 51 of the Parks Highway. 
Kyle Forbush will officiate at the service. Burial will be in the spring at Valley Memorial Park in Palmer.
Mrs. Palmer was born April 13, 1909, in Cleveland, Kan. She came to Alaska in 1970, and had lived in Eagle River, Houston, Wasilla and Anchorage. She was a retiree of Security Pacific Bank, now Bank of America.
Her special interests were sewing, knitting and gardening. Her family said: She moved to Alaska to be near her children upon her retirement 30 years ago. She was an active member of the Jehovahs Witnesses. She was a loving mother and grandmother.
Survivors are her daughter, Joanne Lund, of Houston; son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Sharon Palmer, of Eagle River; brother, Everett Bray, of Los Angeles; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by a son, Jimmy, who passed away at age 5.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Wasilla resident Mark Larry Huff Jr., 22, died Feb. 3, 2000, at home.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7, at Valley Funeral Home, 151 E. Herning Ave., in Wasilla. Mr. Huffs ashes will be spread over Mount McKinley at a later date.
Mr. Huff was born April 8, 1977, in Bandon, Ore. He was home schooled and received his GED. 
He came to Alaska in 1996, and lived in Ketchikan from 1996 to 1997, in Eagle River from 1998 to 1999, and in Wasilla since 1999. He had been employed by VECO since March 1998.
He enjoyed outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing and cycling. 
His family said: He was a hard worker and always to work on time. He had a good sense of direction and never got lost. He is loved by his family and friends. He had a good heart, and a kind hand, and was understanding. He was always there to help and lend a helping hand to anyone in need. We love you always and forever. You keep right on looking after your girls.
Survivors are his father and stepmother, Mark Sr. and Helen Huff; mother, Judy Blake; sisters, Trish Huff and Theresa Huff-Gatewood; grandfather, Fred F. Huff; grandmother, Salena Huff; nieces, Karlee Denny and Chloe Gatewood, and cousins, Carrie L. Souch and Steve Huff.
Memorial donations may be made to a trust fund for his nieces, Karlee Denny and Chloe Gatewood, at Credit Union 1 in Eagle River.

Eagle River resident Donna Lou Purdey, 53, died at her home Feb. 5, 2000.
A memorial service was held Feb. 12 at the VFW Post 9785, in Eagle River, with the ladies auxiliary and the Rev. Thomas Evans officiating. Her ashes will be spread in the Chugach Mountains.
Mrs. Purdey was born Aug. 5, 1945, in Napa, Idaho. She completed the 10th grade of education.
She taught cake decorating in Coeur dAlene, Idaho, and worked as a nurses aide for three years in Idaho.
She came to Alaska in 1997. 
She was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, Post 9785 in Eagle River. Her special interests were cooking, reading and watching old movies.
Her family said: She was a lady who always put her family first and was always there when you needed her. She will be missed deeply.
Survivors are her husband, Daniel Purdey, of Eagle River; daughters, Debora Nelson, of Eagle River, and Darla Walton, of Spokane, Wash.; sons, Daniel Loomis and Dennis Loomis, both of Spokane, Wash.; nine grandchildren, and Ralph, her 110-pound basset hound, which she referred to as our baby brother.
Flowers may be sent to 19010 Babrof Drive, Eagle River, AK 99577.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Longtime Alaska resident Donald Wesley French died Thursday, Feb. 10, 2000, of cancer at his residence in Homer. He was 66 years old.
Funeral services were held Feb. 15 at the Glacier View Baptist Church in Homer. The service was officiated by Pastor Richard Wise. A visitation was held one hour prior to the service. Interment followed at the Hickerson Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers included Aaron Lindquist, Chester Godin, Garrett Buol, Matthew Ortega, Leighton and Jared Guisinger. Honorary pallbearers included Frank Wise, Monte Sowers and Don Barkman.
Mr. French was born Oct. 5, 1933, in Gooding, Idaho, where he was raised and educated. On Aug. 3, 1952, Donald married his wife of 47 years, Lois. They moved to Madras, Ore., where they resided until moving to Homer in 1976. Shortly thereafter he started the Homer Drywall Company. Mr. French enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and construction. According to his family, He loved and served God, which was reflected in all of his relationships and business affairs.
Mr. French is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lois, of Homer; daughters, Lela Lindquist, of Palmer, Dawn Guisinger, of Wasilla, and Joy Buol, of Salem, Ore.; 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by Homer Funeral Home.

Wasilla resident Darlene Ellen Robinson, 75, died peacefully last Friday night, Feb. 11, 2000, in her home.
A memorial service was held Feb. 16 at the LDS Stake Center, Wasilla. A viewing was held just prior to the service. Burial will take place in Utah.
Her family wrote: She was a greatly respected woman who respected others deeply. She was first a wife of 54 years to her beloved Bruce, then a mother to all seven of her devoted children who adored her desperately. She had 22 precious grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Darlene was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where she served in many capacities over the years. Darlene and her husband, Bruce, homesteaded to Alaska in 1948. They lived in Chugiak and retired to Wasilla where they lived happily ever after. Momma, you are loved.
Darlene was preceded in death by her husband, Bruce E. Robinson.
She is survived by her rich legacy of her seven children, Kathy and Lamar Eskelson, of Utah, Linda and Richard Later, of California, David and Koreen Robinson, of Wasilla, Carol Robinson, of Utah, Marygail and Earl Talbot, of Wasilla, Shelli and Ken Myers, of Utah, and Judy and Brady Field, also of Utah; 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Anchorage resident Gladys Helen (Reed) Brass, 98, died Feb. 5, 2000, at Alaska Regional Hospital.
A memorial service will be held this summer at Hope Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Her cremains will be placed in the Crystal Lake Cemetery.
Mrs. Brass was born Aug. 1, 1901, in Hibbing, Minn. She lived her life in Minnesota until May 1999, when she moved to Big Lake with her daughter and son-in-law. In October 1999 she moved into an assisted living apartment in Anchorage.
In earlier years she had been employed as a telephone operator.
She was a member of Hope Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
Her family said: Gladys showed her love of people, especially children, through her joy in gift giving and kind and caring ways. She shared her love of flowers with her family and many friends. She was dearly loved by everyone whose life she touched.
Survivors are her son, William Brass, and his wife, Darlene; daughter, Gloria Lilja and her husband, Nels; grandchildren, Darrell Lilja, Jim Brass and his wife, Marna, Sharon Lilja, Nancy Mattison and her husband, Tom, Corinne Theis and her husband, Mitch; and great-grandchildren, Erin, Dan, Mark, Jeffrey, Steven, Garrett, Alycia, Lynessa, and Maggie.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Marion Frances Merrill, 78, died Jan. 17, 2000, in Mesa, Ariz.
She was born Feb. 23, 1921, in Decker, Ind.
Ms. Merrill came to Alaska in the mid-50s from Wyoming with her husband, Robert L. Merrill. The family homesteaded on Hatcher Pass Road north of Willow. In 1966, they moved into Anchorage. 
Ms. Merrill, a nursing college graduate, worked for the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services in accounting.
Her family recalled: Marion was a compulsive reader, brilliant English historian and often stated that in her love for books she had traveled all over the world, had met the most interesting people and lived through them.
(She was an) Alaska pioneer who helped build two log homes with conveniences and later became an Arizona snowbird.
(She and her husband) were married 36 years before she declared her independence after all her children were raised.
She gave so much of herself to the hearts of others, especially her family, and will be so greatly missed. (She) taught us joy, truth, and love. Mother: A woman of peace, a woman of thought, a woman of books, she wont be forgotten.
The family added that they love her and are thankful to her and to God for making possible their experience with her.
They wrote that she is now with God.
She was preceded in death by her former husband, Robert Merrill, in 1993.
She is survived by her children, Steven Merrill, of California, Garth Merrill and family, of Nevada, Mark Merrill, of Willow, Robin Merrill and family, of Arizona, and Francie Merrill, of Anchorage; grandchildren, Nicholas, Lisette, Angelica, Llewellyn, Dharma, Maleia, Macie, Teressa and Michael; 11 great-grandchildren; brothers, Bruce Lane and family of Georgia and Daniel Lane and family, of Indiana; cousin, Betty McCormick, of Indiana, and the familys 96-year-old matriarch, Gladys Ready Burkhard, of Decker, Ind.
Her family asked that memorial gifts be sent to the American Lung Association.

Former Valley resident Walter Chappel, 78, passed away to his heavenly home on Feb. 6, 2000, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, with his family surrounding him, after a courageous seven-month battle with cancer.
Mr. Chappel was born June 5, 1921 in Kalispell, Mont., to Walter and Frances (Sugden) Chappel. His family moved to Yakima, Wash., where he graduated from Yakima High in 1939. He joined the Navy in 1939 and served for six years, including service on the battleship New Mexico. He later graduated from aerographer school and finished his Navy career on Guadalcanal as an aerographer first class. Upon completion of his naval career, Mr. Chappel and his family lived in the San Francisco Bay area for 20 years.
Mr. Chappel brought his family home to Yakima in 1964 and had several jobs before serving as treasurer for the city of Yakima from 1967 to 1978. He and his wife, Lois, moved to Wasilla in 1978, where he served as comptroller for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough until his retirement in 1984.
Upon his retirement, Walt and Lois Chappel spent one year on a trip around the world visiting friends, family and missionaries. They continued to travel throughout his retirement. The couple wintered for the last 14 years in Kona, Hawaii, and summered in Yakima, Wash.
Mr. Chappel loved the Lord, people, music, and the beauty of nature and was an avid follower of current events. He felt a deep commitment to missions around the world and his local church.
His family submitted the following psalm: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23:6.
He is survived by his wife of 55-1/2 years, Lois Chappel; son, David and his wife, Sandy Chappel, of Wasilla; daughters, Denise Chappel, of Talkeetna, Danielle and her husband, Mustafa Surkatty, of Jakarta, Indonesia, and Dawn and her husband Jim Van Horn, and his sister, Dorothy Emmert, all three of Yakima, Wash. 
Mr. Chappel was preceded in death by his daughter, Debbie Chappel, in 1996 and his brothers, Donald and Deane Chappel, of Yakima.
Walts grandchildren include Eric and Sarah, of Talkeetna, Robin, of Richland, Dennelle, Chris, Laurie and Lesley, of Wasilla, Omar, Osman and Sorayah, of Jakarta and Jacob and Jessica, of Yakima; three great- grandchildren in Alaska and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were held at the Kona Baptist Church in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Feb. 8. Memorial services will also be held in Yakima on March 4.
Condolences may be sent to David Chappel, 3065 Naomi Drive, Wasilla, AK 99654.

Palmer resident Dale Edward Stetler, 43, died Feb. 18, 2000, in an accident in Anchorage.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Wasilla Bible Church, with Pastor David Strickland of Wasilla First Presbyterian Church officiating. Cremation will follow services.
Pallbearers will be Kirk Gibbs, Neil Shanahan, Leo Kuch, Buddy Eveland, Tom Proge and Greg LaCoy. A gathering of family and friends will follow the services at the AMVETS building on Wasilla-Fishhook Road.
Mr. Stetler was born March 2, 1956, in Chico County, Calif. He completed high school, and became an Alaska resident in 1980. He lived in Anchorage prior to moving to Palmer 15 years ago.
He worked from 1998 to 1999 for Nabors Drilling and from 1991 to the present for Alaska Pollution Control Inc.
He was a member of the National Barrel Horse Association and his great passion was Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Family members said: Dale had a childlike innocence, wonder and appreciation for all that was good in life. He was never negative. He had the ability to make new acquaintances feel comfortable and at ease. He never met a stranger. He was always supportive and encouraging. Dale was a wonderful husband, stepfather and friend. Dale had a sense of humor and supportive nature about him that could lift anyones heart.
Survivors are his wife, Carrie Stetler; stepchildren, Jeremy Cotton, P.J. OConnor and Letty Ingram; sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Trent Galart; brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Cindy Stetler; sister-in-law, Cheryl Jacobson; stepfather, Gene Mortenson; nephews, Matthew and Stephen Stetler, Cory and Jay Stetler, and Troy and Garrett Galart.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward Stetler; mother, Marjorie Mortenson, and brother, Michael Stetler.
Memorial contributions may be made to account #2101871823, at any branch of National Bank of Alaska.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Palmer resident Robert Wesley Rowland, 71, succumbed to melanoma cancer at his home on Feb. 20, 2000. A memorial service was held at Feb. 24, at the United Protestant Presbyterian (U.P.) Church. The Rev. Tim Carrick and Leisa Carrick will officiate. A private graveside service will be held at Palmer Pioneer Cemetery.
Mr. Rowland was born June 8, 1928, in Spokane, Wash., to James and Minnie (Williamson) Rowland. His childhood was spent in Spokane, where he also graduated from high school. He followed that with four years at Washington State College at Pullman, Wash. While there, he met and married Gayle Eckert of Palmer, his ticket to Alaska and the adventure of a lifetime.
He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War aboard the repair ship, Ajax, finishing his tour of duty at Adak. He was discharged in Alaska and finally able to join Gayle in Palmer in 1955.
Mr. Rowland worked for the Matanuska Cooperative for 10 years and later for Charles Brown Services. He finished his active working career at Palmer Machinery as a machinist and welder. In retirement he enjoyed his own shop, R and R Services.
His interests were as varied as Alaska. They included several boats, annual hunting camps and the comradery that goes with the late-night campfires. He was involved in youth baseball as well as in an adult softball league. 
He enjoyed singing, and the choir at the United Protestant Presbyterian Church was a special part of his life, as were the youth of the church for many years. His membership in the Alaska Outdoor Council in later years was important to him. The family recreation cabin at John Lake provided a variety of outdoor adventures. At home, one of his hobbies was the nourishing of unusual trees and shrubs on the acreage surrounding their home.
He is loved and missed by his spouse of 48 years, Gayle; sons and daughters-in-law, James and Marla and Steve and Debbie, all of Palmer, Lee, of Santa Barbara and Dale and Jenny, of Fairbanks, and his daughter and son-in-law, Ann and Kip Norris, of Valdez. 
He is also survived by his brother, Ken Rowland, of Palmer. In addition he is survived by 12 grandchildren, all of whom live in Alaska.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the United Protestant Presbyterian Choir Robe fund, 713 S. Denali, Palmer, AK 99645, or the Alaska Outdoor Council, P.O. Box 73902, Fairbanks, AK 99707.
Arrangements for the family were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Austin Fredrick Meekin Jr., 77, passed away Feb. 18, 2000, after a battle with cancer, in Henderson, Nev.
A gathering of family and friends, to honor and remember him, will be at Mike and Diane Meekins residence (off Moore Road, across from the fairgrounds) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27. Call Mike at 745-6159 or Pamella Troutman at 745-1457 for directions. A memorial service will also be held June 14 at Sheep Mountain.
Mr. Meekin was born in Fond du Lac, Wis., on June 14, 1923. After graduation he served three years as an infantryman during World War II. 
In 1946 he and his bride, Dorothy, traveled to Alaska and settled in the Sheep Mountain area. There they built and operated Meekins Lodge, home base for his game-guiding business and their six children. 
Dorothy died in 1963. Mr. Meekin sold Meekins Lodge in 1969 and moved the operation to Mile 155 Glenn Hwy. As Alaska Wilderness Safaris, he continued to guide hunters and sightseers until 1999, when his health failed.
His family said: Austin was a larger-than-life sourdough, a passing breed in Alaska. His frontier stories held anyone within earshot spellbound, and left them looking forward to the next encounter. Every stranger was a friend, every friend precious to the patriotic outdoorsman. His family remembers a deeply caring man who enriched their lives beyond bounds.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, in August 1963 and his oldest son, Austin F. (Ricky) Meekin III, in December 1968.
He leaves his companion of 15 years, Margaret (Peggy) Woods, of Henderson, Nev.; brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Joan Meekin, of Maryland; children and their spouses, Pamella Troutman, of Palmer, Mike and Diane Meekin, of Palmer, Steve and Beth Meekin, of Henderson, Nev., Jackie and Herb Simon, of Nelchina, and Mark and Donna Meekin, of Sheep Mountain. 
He is also survived by his grandchildren: Michel and Sean Woods, of Anchorage; Kristopher and Erin Troutman, of Palmer; Samantha, Paisley, Meagan and Haley Meekin, of Sheep Mountain; and Lisa Scott, of Illinois; four great-grandchildren, and former wife, Marilyn Meekin, of Sheep Mountain.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be given to a charity of your choice.

Hoyt Dudley Bonner, 43, died at his home in Wasilla on April 13, 2000.
A memorial service and celebration of his life was held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 17, at Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla.
Mr. Bonner was born March 22, 1957, in Arlington, Calif., the son of Hoyt Bonner and Betty Louise Manes. He moved to Alaska in 1984 and spent most of his life employed in the logging industry.
Mr. Bonner was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Louise Manes.
Survivors are his children, Jeremi, Deserie and Heather; father, Hoyt Bonner Jr.; sister Si Savage; brother, Joe Bonner; nieces, Christie Savage and Amber Bonner; nephews, Joshua Savage, James Savage and Brian Bonner; and best friend, Elaine Smith.

Former Palmer resident Edith Margaret Stinson, 87, died of natural causes, April 12, 2000, at The Source, an assisted-living facility for Alzheimers patients in Peters Creek.
No services are planned. Private family burial was on April 17 at Wasilla Aurora Cemetery.
Mrs. Stinson was born Dec. 1, 1912, in Nyhill, Mont., to Calvin and Julia Jewell. She graduated from high school in Libby, Mont. She was married to Glenn Stinson in 1953. He preceded her in death in June of 1992.
Mrs. Stinson came to Alaska in 1954 and resided in Anchorage until 1958. From 1958 to 1966 she homesteaded with her husband, Glenn, in Willow. She lived in Kailua, Kona, Hawaii from 1966 to 1969, in Eugene, Ore. from 1969 to 1978, in Dillon, Mont. from 1978 to 1986, in Palmer from 1986 to 1993, and since 1993 at The Source.
She had been employed by Federal Electric in Anchorage and for the Atomic Energy Commission in Hawaii. She was a homemaker from 1968 on, until afflicted with Alzheimers in approximately 1988.
Her family said: Edith was a very devoted and loving wife and mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease prior to the birth of her two granddaughters and unfortunately was not able to experience the love and joy of Logan and Meghanne. 
Despite Ediths disability, both girls loved their grandmother unconditionally. They want their Grandma Edith to know they love her very much and will miss her.
Survivors are her son, Bruce Stinson, of Palmer; daughter, Sandra Peterson, of Spokane, Wash.; and granddaughters, Julia Logan Stinson and Meghanne Colleen Stinson, of Palmer.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Wasilla resident Eric Michael McGehee, 28, died April 12, 2000, in Talkeetna.
A private family service will be held at the McGehee home in Wasilla later this month.
Mr. McGehee was born Dec. 16, 1971, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was a graduate of Wasilla High School, and had been a resident of Alaska since June 1980.
He had worked as a cook at various restaurants in Wasilla, Palmer, and Talkeetna. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla.
He enjoyed fishing and music, and was an artist.
According to his family: Eric was a sensitive son. He had a good heart and loved his family and friends. Eric was a diverse, and wonderful cook, making family get-togethers a true culinary experience. 
Eric was a loving father to his young daughter! He loved to go camping and fishing with his dad and family in Alaskas Great Outdoors.
He is survived by his parents, sisters, nieces, and daughter, Chloe, whom he loved dearly.
Arrangements were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Wasilla resident and longtime Alaskan Charles Dale Karella, 71, died April 17, 2000, at Alaska Regional Hospital after a three-month battle to overcome Guillain-Barr syndrome.
The funeral will be held at 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla. Charlies wish is that this service be a joyous occasion.
Born Jan. 24, 1929, he was the son of Ambrose J. Rusty and Delora L. (Holt) Karella. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Norfolk. Neb. He attended Norfolk Junior College and earned a civil engineering degree.
Charlies first experience in Alaska was with the Air Force, where he served at Ladd Field from 1946 to 1948. He returned to Fairbanks with his family in 1959. 
He was employed as an engineer by the Bureau of Public Roads and later with the Alaska Department of Transportation. He supervised the design section until he moved to Juneau in 1974. His most personally satisfying work was administration of the Local Service Roads and Trails program. He retired in 1986.
Charlie married Pat Borden in Juneau in 1988 and fulfilled a lifelong dream in 1993 by earning his private pilots license.
He is survived by his mother, of Norfolk, Neb.; his wife, Pat, of Wasilla; his mother-in-law, Mary Lou Borden, of Wasilla; his ex-wife, Charlene, of Kenai; five sons, and their wives, Don and Cheryl, of Fairbanks, Kenneth and Rita, of Sequim, Wash., Roger and Denise, Lawrence and Richard, of Kenai; daughter and her husband, BarBara and Mitch Sayegh, of Grass Valley, Calif., three sisters and their husbands, Florence and Roy Larson, of Norfolk, Marcella and Alvin Frauendorfer and Mildred and Frederick Ridder, all of Madison, Neb.; brother and his wife, Jerome Pete and Betty, of Spring Hill Fla.; 13 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and many close friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, father-in -law Theron F. Ted Borden, and brothers, Ambrose, of Fairbanks, and Lloyd, of Norfolk.
His family said, Charlies family will remember him for his strong faith in God and the Blessed Virgin and the love for his large extended family and many close friends. 
His wonderful sense of humor will remain with us always and we will never play a game of cards or see a small airplane without thinking of him. He loved Alaska and all that it entails hunting, fishing, flying his Cessna 172, watching sunsets from the porch of his Lake Louise cabin and Finger Lake home. He never lost his sense of joy in living here.
The family requests that no flowers be sent. Memorials may be directed to Sacred Heart Church (choir fund) or to a favorite charity.

Lawrence W. Hershman Jr., 65, of Morgantown, W.V., died April 19, 2000, at Ruby Memorial Hospital.
He was born Nov. 13, 1934, in Mountain Lake Park, Md., a son of the late Lawrence W. and Josephine Swerigen Hershman Sr.
He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict on the U.S.S. Quincy, and was a member of Westover VFW Post #9916 and a Baptist by faith. He was a glass blower for Davis & Lynch and a retired custodian at WVU.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia L. Phillips Hershman; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Lawrence W. and Alice Hershman III, and Terry Hershman, all of Palmer; one brother, Ronald E. Hershman, of Morgantown; one sister, Beverly Ann Schaffer, of Morgantown; six grandchildren, Lisa Hershman, of Columbia, Md., Lawrence W. Hershman IV, Tammy Faye Webb, Rachael Lynn Hershman, Rebekah Alice Hershman, and Darren Hershman, all of Palmer; four great-grandchildren, Lawrence W. Hershman V, Haley Mae Hershman, Boen Webb, and Kaley Lou Webb, all of Palmer.
Services were held April 22, with the Rev. Dr. Stacy L. Groscup officiating at the ceremony. Burial followed at the Beverly Hills Cemetery.

Don Emerson Fridley, 90, died March 25, 2000, at his home in Anchorage. Services were held April 22, at the first United Methodist Church in Anchorage. 
The Rev. Richard Gilbert and the Venerable Norman H. V. Elliott officiated. A celebration of life was held at the First United Methodist Church Multiple Activity Center following the service. Burial was at Angelus Memorial Park Cemetery.
Born Jan. 20, 1910, in Nesbro Rapids, Kan., Mr. Fridley was raised on a Kansas farm, moving later to southern Idaho. He was the only child of parents who were educators and farmers. He was proud of his roots and all that he learned from that experience. It served him well all through life.
He began his college studies at Idaho State University, studying education and playing basketball and football. He loved those sports and followed them all his life. He continued his studies at the University of Idaho and graduated in 1933 with a bachelors degree in education. He immediately began work on his masters, which was completed in 1935.
He began his career in Orofino, Idaho, as a high school principal, teacher and coach in 1934 and continued until 1941 when he became the president of the Idaho Education Association and moved to Boise. He returned to Orofino in 1943 as the Clearwater County superintendent of schools.
In 1953 he packed up the family and drove the Alcan to Anchorage, where he began his work as the associate superintendent of schools in charge of business, finance and transportation. During his tenure, he was the project manager for building 22 schools in the Anchorage area. He retired from the school district in July 1, 1972. In 1965 he began teaching school administration, school law and school finance at AMU, then UAA, and for several years traveled in the Interior to bring those studies to a number of Alaska villages. His courses were required for the masters education program for school administration. He retired from UAA in 1990.
Mr. Fridley held many civic responsibilities. He was first involved in the Territory and then State of Alaska Civil Defense program, working closely with military leaders for the Civil Defense of Anchorage. He was a traffic commissioner for three terms during the 1960s, and was a member of the Alaska Education Association and the Boy Scouts of America.
He was a life member of the Lions Club International. He served in every office and task and achieved the most prestigious honor in Lions, the Melvin Jones Fellowship award. The Lions Club was his extended family. He was also a life member of the Elks Club and Phi Delta Kappa International.
Mr. Fridley enjoyed his cabin on the lake.
His family said, He was a lifelong educator. He had a special way of encouraging and drawing out the best qualities and performance of those around him. He was especially revered, respected and beloved by his family. The meaning of life to him was caring for others at home, within the community and throughout the world. 
He was a life member of the Lions Club, service for the betterment of humanity. It is that attribute that was at the very heart of this man. His legacy will live on.
Mr. Fridley is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara and Don Knapp, of Eagle, Idaho, Janice and Chris Blanchard, of Anchorage; son and daughter in-law, David and Joan Paal Fridley, of Big Lake, and Duane Fridley and his companion, Diane Ingle, of Anchorage; grandchildren, Lise Longwell and husband, Jay, of Eagle, Idaho, Chris Blanchard, of Anchorage, Randy Blanchard, of Anchorage, Ren Akre and husband, Brian, of Ann Arbor, Mich., Frank Knapp and wife, Vivian, of Ketchikan, Meghan Fridley, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Vanessa Fridley, of Big Lake; great-grandchildren, Erika Longwell, of Eagle, Idaho, Jesse Hugli Blanchard, of Wasilla, Don Knapp III, of Ketchikan, Kaitlan Knapp, of Ketchikan, and Hailey Nicole Akre, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Mr. Fridleys companion, Bettye McCarney, of Anchorage. 
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Glodie Ione Fleiger Fridley, and his second wife, Mary Patton Fridley.
The family requests memorial donations be sent to District 49A Lions Foundation, P.O. Box 212062, Anchorage, AK 99521; or to the charity of the donors choice.
Arrangements were made by Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 737 E. Street, Anchorage.

Martha Jane Bradstreet, 59, of Sutton, a resident homemaker for 21 years, died of cancer on April 14, 2000, at Alaska Regional Hospital.
She was born in Presque Isle, Maine, on Aug. 23, 1940. She married her high school sweetheart, Arlo, in 1959. They started their family in Maine on a potato farm, lived in Michigan for a little while, then in 1974 packed up and moved to Alaska.
They were married for 41 years. 
Her family wrote: She lived a full life, with lots of friends and loved ones who miss her very much. She was the best mom in the whole world. She is remembered as a loving, happy, compassionate mother, wife, sister, and grandmother who always put the family and loved ones first. 
She loved Subarus, taking walks, us (of course), the horses, the dogs (her other children), the birds, playing games (especially Monopoly), and playing practical jokes on us kids. She made life fun!
She is survived by her husband, Arlo Bradstreet, of Sutton; daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Phillip Woansky, of Eagle River; son and daughter-in-law, Torrey and Tennille Bradstreet, of Wasilla; sisters, Mona York, of Mars Hill, Maine, Linda Bartlett, of Falmouth, Maine, Cora Lee Bates, of Mays Landing, N.J., Charlotte Doak, of Caribou, Maine; grandchildren, Arlo II and Sammi Bradstreet, of Wasilla, Holly Bradstreet, of Wasilla, and another grandchild on the way.
She was preceded in death by her son, Mitchell; daughter, Shelly; mother and father, Clara and Walter Rand; and brother, Frankie Rand.
In accordance with her wishes, there will be no services.

Wasilla and Ninilchik resident Mark Alan Watson, 40, died April 23, 2000, from cancer, at his Wasilla home.
Memorial services are pending. Please call Valley Funeral Home for information regarding date and time. His ashes will be spread in Ninilchik and Dryden, N.Y.
Mr. Watson was born June 14, 1959, in Cortland, N.Y. He graduated from Dryden Central School in 1977, in Dryden, N.Y. He became an Alaska resident in 1993.
His family wrote: Mark was a self-made inspired businessman, who fell in love with Alaska when he was a little boy, and when he was a grown man made his dream of living here a reality. His love of wood and the outdoors led to his interest in the furniture business, both where he grew up in central New York and here to Alaska. His demand for the highest quality in furniture-making brought the Amish people and Mark together, and bringing their quality of work to the Alaskan people was what inspired his furniture business in Anchorage. 
His joy in the simple and severe good life made for a perfect match between the Amish culture and the Alaska frontier. When he wasnt working bringing quality furniture to the Alaskan people, he loved the outdoors, fishing, hiking, his dogs and his family. His wit, charm and laughter in every situation was an endearing quality, as was his urgency to have everyone understand and love what he found so majestic and breathtaking of his Alaskan home and friends he made there. He had a boyish quality of innocence that attracted people from all over the country to him. To have met him was to never forget him. His memory lives in many hearts and will be forever missed. 
Mark was accompanied on his journey to see our Lord by his constant canine companion, Abbott best friends til the end.
Mark was preceded in death by his mother, Anne Watson, in 1992, and his father, Walt Watson in 1997.
Survivors are his wife, Lori Watson; stepchildren, Robbie, Robyn and Cameron; sister and brother-in-law, Maryanne and Vlado Novosel; nephew, Marko Novosel; special longtime friend, Carol Carberry; and many other family and friends, including his beloved K-9 companions.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Mat-Su Unit, P.O. Box 431, Palmer, AK 99645, or Hospice of Mat-Su, 3051 E. Palmer-Wasilla Hwy., Wasilla, AK 99654.

Hatcher Pass homemaker Ola Louise Spain, 67, died of a stroke on April 22, 2000, at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
A visitation will be held from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow [April 29], followed by a 2 p.m. service at the First Baptist Church of Willow. Dawson Lynbloom and Ray Nelson will officiate. Joe, James, Jarred, Gary and David Spain will serve as pallbearers.
Mrs. Spain was born Oct. 20, 1932, in Hale County, Alabama. She had been a resident of Hatcher Pass since 1960.
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Willow, and enjoyed gardening and flowers, her church and family. 
Her family said: She was very dedicated to her church, family, and friends.
Mrs. Spain is survived by her husband, Joseph Alfred Spain; children, Mike and Michelle, Johnny and Jamie, and David and Charlotte; grandchildren, Joe and Mandy, Tammy and Shane, James, Jarred, Gary, Crissy, Bobbi, David and Billy; great-grandchildren, Cody, Shana, Caylen and William; sisters and brothers, Vermell and Floyde Bamberg, Nellie and Jack Heinemarson, Grace and Robert Mexon, Estelle and Alfred Everat, Martha and Ben Hicks, Coleman and Guin Phillips, and James and Kathy Phillips.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Lola, and her father, three brothers, one sister and two sons.
The family requests memorial donations be directed to First Baptist Church of Willow, Willow, AK 99628. Arrangements were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Wasilla resident George Howard Garnes, 72, died of complications from diabetes on April 27, 2000, at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
A visitation was held from 5-8 p.m., Monday, May 1, with a wake at 7 p.m. at Kehls Forest Lawn Chapel, with the Knights of Columbus officiating. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla, with Father Stanley J. Allie officiating.
Further services will be held Friday at Woodlawn Funeral Home, Norfolk, Va. Burial will be Saturday, at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in Norfolk.
Mr. Garnes was born July 27, 1927, in Akron, Ohio. He had served in the U.S. Army Air Force and the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, earning several commendations including the Purple Heart.
He had been a resident of Alaska since April 1983, living in Eagle River from 1983 to 1993, and Wasilla since 1993.
He had worked as the manager of Alaska Industrial Hardware in Eagle River from 1983 until his retirement in 1993.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla, the Knights of Columbus in Eagle River, the VFW in Cradock-Portsmouth, Va., and held the honorary degree VFW Cooties in Cradock-Portsmouth.
He enjoyed fishing, hunting, travel, garage sales, photography, and hiking.
The family said, George will always be remembered by his many friends and extended family for his happy disposition and witty jokes. He fought a tremendous fight against the effects of diabetes and now he rests in his heavenly home. He was an inspiration for all of us and will be deeply missed.
Mr. Garnes was the beloved spouse of 49 years of Florence Dudzik Garnes, of Wasilla; beloved father of Maryann Downing, of Virginia Beach, Va.; beloved father of Gary H. Garnes, of Chesapeake, Va.; beloved brother of Richard McClure, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; beloved brother-in-law of Anne Durham, of Anchorage; beloved brother-in-law of Marie Gibson, of Alexandria, Ark.; beloved uncle to three nieces and one nephew; and beloved brother-in-law of Joan Hornsby, of Baltimore, Md.
The family requests memorial donations be directed to the Sacred Heart Building Fund, 1201 Bogard Road, Wasilla, AK 99654-6523.
Local arrangements were made by Kehls Forest Lawn Mortuary & Crematory.

Palmer resident Clayton Clay Sanders, 40, died May 3, 2000, at Valley Hospital in Palmer.
A visitation was held Monday, May 8, from noon to 1 p.m., followed by a service at Kehls Palmer Mortuary Chapel.
Mr. Sanders was born July 22, 1959, in St. Louis, Mo. He was a graduate of high school in Columbia, Mo., and had attended classes at Wyoming Technical Institute, AVTECH.
He had been a resident of Alaska since 1978, and had lived in Seward and Palmer.
He was a self-employed mechanic, owned and operated Valley Auto Springs, and enjoyed automobile restoration, outdoors, work and friends.
His family said, Clay lived life to the fullest, refusing to allow even cancer to interfere with his passions and work. He will be missed.
Mr. Sanders is survived by his mother, Shirley Sanders, of Imperial, Mo.; sister & brother-in-law, Heather & Karl Meyer, of St. Louis; brother & sister-in-law, Richard & Christine Sanders, of Sutton; and nieces, Kelley Meyer, of St. Louis, and Maria Sanders, of Sutton.
Arrangements were made by Kehls Palmer Mortuary.

Wasilla resident Margaret Ann (Maggie) Garcia, 78, died April 9, 2000, of cancer at Providence Hospital.
A funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla. The date is pending and will be announced later.
Born Sept. 17, 1921, in San Antonio, Texas, Maggie was the eighth of 13 children of Henry and Helen Sievers.
Mrs. Garcia moved with her husband, Eloy, to Alaska in 1947. They homesteaded near Wasilla, where Schrock Road was later built.
Mrs. Garcia was a devout Catholic. She was a founding member of Sacred Heart parish. She was active in the St. Judes Guild. She prayed for everyone in her family daily. She volunteered for many years at the Alaska Crippled Children and Adults thrift store in Wasilla. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary.
In retirement, Maggie and Eloy enjoyed motor homing Outside each winter. Wasilla was always home and in 1990 they resumed living in Wasilla year-round.
Her family wrote: Maggie was always busy. Every grandchild received a handmade afghan. She kept us all supplied with crocheted slippers. She never missed any of our birthdays. She maintained beautiful flower beds, including many wildflowers. She enjoyed playing cards, bingo and working crossword puzzles. She liked betting on the Nenana Ice Pool and gambling a little in Las Vegas on trips Outside. She was a quick wit and fun to play games with. She was an avid reader. She always made Christmas special with a great variety of homemade cookies and candy.
Mrs. Garcia is survived by her husband of 59 years, Eloy; children, Jim, Judy, Eloy, his wife, Clara, Chris, his wife, Delora, Jesse, and Greg; sisters, Dorothy, Evelyn, and Cely; brother, Charlie; 13 grandchildren; and 20 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Maria; sisters, Gene, Josephine, Gerry, Catherine, Louise, and Alice; and brothers, Henry and Al.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you wise up and stop smoking.
Donations should be sent to the charity of your choice.

Wasilla resident Allen Dale Ali Hoversten, 16, died May 13, 2000, in an auto accident on Schrock Road near Wasilla.
A funeral service was scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at Wasilla Lake Church of the Nazarene, with Pastor Lawrence Golden officiating.
Visitation was at the church one hour prior to service time. Burial followed at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery. Pallbearers were Darrin Hoversten (brother), Travis Longbotham, Brock Rapoza, Corey Palacios, Joe Dunkan, Nick Charles and Dustin Lindsey. 
A gathering of family and friends followed the graveside service at 2830 Brennas Way, off Seldon Road, in Wasilla.
Ali was born Oct. 11, 1983, in Bethel. He lived in Bethel until 1990, at which time he moved to Wasilla. He was a high school sophomore, and he worked at odd jobs for extra money.
His hobbies were fishing, hunting, helping others, bike and car repair, and gardening.
His family said: Ali had a happiness that made all around him smile. Even though hes not here on earth with us, he will always be in our hearts. His love will never die.
Survivors are his parents, Karon and Larry Hoversten; brothers, Darrin Hoversten and Ryan David; sister, Alethea David; grandparents, Mel and Bertha Underwood; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews in Minnesota, Fairbanks and Aniak.
Memorial contributions may be made to Larry Hoversten, in care of any branch of First National Bank, or in care of Chris Kuehn, P.O. Box 872426, Wasilla, AK 99687.
A steak feed fund raiser for Alis funeral expenses will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Newcomb Park, next to Wasilla Lake.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home.

Wasilla resident Rulon Hancock Mitchell, 74, passed away quietly in his home on Friday, May 12, 2000, from natural causes.
He was born in Fillmore, Millard County, Utah on March 15, 1926, where he lived until becoming an adult. At the age of 18, he joined the Navy and served in the South Pacific until the end of World War II. 
After the war, he attended the Agricultural College for one year in Cedar City, Utah, and Brigham Young University for one year in Provo, Utah. After college, he worked for two seasons for the Forest Service in Fillmore and later gained employment as a water well driller, which eventually became his lifes work. 
At the age of 29, he met and married his wife of 44 years and 10 months, Helen Phelps. 
In November 1968, the Mitchells, along with their four children, left their home in Carson City, Nev., and made their way to Alaska, where Mr. Mitchell continued to work as a water well driller. 
Their first home in Alaska was in the Bodenburg Butte area for approximately one year, and then the family settled in Wasilla, where Mr. Mitchell resided until his passing.
Mr. Mitchell was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he served in his ward as a high priest and filled assignments as high priest group leader, Stake missionary, primary teacher, assistant ward librarian, and a faithful home teacher. He was loved and known as a grandfather by many children and adults.
Mr. Mitchell is survived by his wife, Helen; brothers, Howard, John, and Robert; sisters, Emily, Arva, and Eleanor; children, Jill, Joan, Jack and Janet; 23 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, John James Mitchell and Caroline Hancock Mitchell, and his granddaughter, Lora Caroline Henson.
A funeral service was held at the Wasilla Stake Center on Bogard Road at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 15, with Bishop Shane Cunningham presiding.
A public viewing was held at 3 p.m. A graveside service followed at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home & Crematory of Wasilla.

Wasilla resident Robert F. Malette, 74, died of lung cancer on May 12, 2000, at his home. 
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Valley Funeral Home, 151 E. Herning Ave., in Wasilla.
Mr. Malette was born Sept. 13, 1925, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to John L. and Bertha Malette the sixth of nine children. 
He graduated from Soo High School in 1943. He married Rita Tebo in January 1949. They had six children. He came to Alaska to work at the tracking station at Cape Chiniak on Kodiak Island. He also worked at many military and communication stations all over the state of Alaska, including Shemya and Amchitka. 
He was a power plant supervisor and operator and retired from the Operating Engineers Local 302. He enjoyed bowling, hunting, fishing and going to his sons cabin at Lake Louise and his familys cabin at Lake Chiblow Ontario, Canada. He is survived by his brothers, Jack, Arthur, Harold, Frank and Andy; sister, June; children, Michael, David, Joy, Kenneth, Gayle and Daniel; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and his former wife and care giver, Rita. 
His family wrote: He was much loved by all and will be greatly missed by his family, many friends and his old dog, Gypsy.

Wasilla resident Vanita Irene Newell, 56, died of natural causes May 11, 2000, at her home.
A funeral service was held at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 18, at Family Christian Center, 203 W. Dogwood, in Palmer, with Pastor Peter Gallardo officiating.
Visitation began at the church one hour prior to service time. A small graveside service following the church service was held at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery. Pallbearers were Ron, Roland, Reed, Howard and Roland Tresham, and Shane Voelk.
Mrs. Newell was born Aug. 17, 1943, in Grants Pass, Josephine County, Ore. She graduated from Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction, Ore., in 1962.
She became an Alaska resident in 1991.
From 1975 to 1982 she was the owner of Wilbur Mini Mart in Wilbur, Ore. From 1983 to 1990 she provided home foster care, and from 1991 to 1998 she worked for the Mat-Su Borough School District and at the Wasilla Safeway.
She retired from Safeway in 1998.
Her family said: Vanita loved everyone and everything. One of her favorite things in life was to visit the coast, watch the ocean and let the dogs run on the beach. She found great pleasure in fishing, flowers, playing games and sharing Bible scripture with friends and family. All who met and knew Vanita will miss her cheerful way of life, fun sense of humor, fabulous cooking, especially her famous Christmas fudge, and her beautiful expression of love in her crochet work.
Survivors are her daughter, Dena Reeser; son, Ronald Reeser; daughter-in-law, Kathy Reeser; brother, Ronald Tresham; sister-in-law, Diane Tresham; nephews, Roland, David and Howard Tresham; great-nephew and nieces, Roland, Reed, Kasandra, Alycia, Hunter, and Fisher Tresham, Shenah Wyne and Shane Voelk; and her special Shane Rozak, who called her grandma; and many loving cousins in the Tresham, Osais, and Pullen families.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Vivian and Roland Tresham, and her loving canine companion, Cuddles.
Memorial contributions may be made to Family Christian Center, P.O. Box 2491, Palmer, AK 99645.
Arrangements were made by Valley Funeral Home.

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