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ALASKA GENWEB PROJECT

DENALI BOROUGH , ALASKA

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OBITUARIES
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BERRY Rose Jane Peretti Usibelli Berry, 90, died April 16, 1996. Photo of her obit.
BOHLIN Elroy W. Bohlin, 90, died peacefully July 17, 2008 while listening to the waves at the shore of his Hansville, WA home. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, he devoted his life to our country’s legacy of National Parks and community service. Born December 14, 1917 Elroy grew up in Ballard, and traveled with his family each summer to Scandia, WA to make camp there. As a young man he and his Ballard buddies hitched rides on trains out of Seattle to hike and climb among the high peaks of the Cascade Mountains. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at the age of 16. Elroy enlisted and served in WWII as a B-24 pilot assigned to the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron. He flew over 40 unescorted reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines in the South Pacific, including a flight over the Japanese mainland. After the war, Elroy graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in Forestry. He embarked on a 30 year career with the National Park service, where he developed his passion for conservation and the preservation of our national parks. All who encountered Elroy came away with a new understanding and appreciation for the natural world. He was the first Ranger assigned to Kalaloch, WA after the government acquired the oceanfront land for Olympic National Park. He served as Park Ranger at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (Hilo), and Chief Ranger at Mt McKinley National Park (Denali). He was Supervisor of Mammoth Hot Spring, Yellowstone, Big Hole National Monument, and Gila Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico. On retirement, Elroy returned to the Pacific Northwest and volunteered his time to the Hansville community, including helping to establish the Orchard Beach Water District. Music was a life-long interest, and he performed as a member of the Windjammers Musical Group (accordion and vocals). He loved to play golf with his friends almost as much as he loved to work in his garden. During this time he donated land at Lofall to the Kitsap Land Trust for a wetlands nature preserve. He is survived by his loving wife Marcelline and two daughters Janice Ceridwen, Seattle and Debbi Avery, Greenwater. Words cannot express the special person that was Elroy. He will be missed by all who knew him for the gleam in his eye, humor and positive attitude. Through his words and example he encouraged everyone he met to make the most of each and every day. A gathering in honor of Elroy’s life will be held at the Hansville Community Center at Buck Lake on August 23rd at 2:00pm.
CRABB Wednesday, October 12th, 1983 - "Independent Enterprise", ??, USA
George V. Crabb - Services for George V. Crabb, 65, Anchorage, Alaska, formerly of New Plymouth, who died of natural causes Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1983, in Healy, Alaska, were conducted today in Shaffer-Jensen Chapel, New Plymouth, with Rev. Earl Traughber of the New Plymouth Congregational Church officiating. Interment followed in Parkview Cemetery, New Plymouth. He was born Feb. 1, 1918 in St. John, Wash., the son of Bernard and Minnie Crabb. He was reared and educated in Washington. He married Evelyn Lee Williams on Aug. 1, 1941 at Aztec, N.M. They moved to New Plymouth in 1949 where he farmed. Mrs. Crabb died in 1973. He moved to Anchorage in Feb. 1975, where he was a heavy equipment operator for the Alaskan Railroad. He was a member of the Congregational Church in New Plymouth and a member of the Elks Lodge, Wallace, Idaho. Survivors include one son, Patrick Crabb of Eugene, Ore., two daughters, Georgia Davis of Mt. Vernon, Ore., Diana Hoppell of New Plymouth, two brothers, Francis Crabb of New Plymouth, Kenneth Crabb of Clarkston, Wash., four sisters, Thelma Tewalt of Dayton, Wash., Gladys Ferguson of Waitsburg, Wash., Delores Wright of Eugene, Ore., Phyllis Julian of Prescott, Wash., and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son and a brother.
DAUGHTRY James Morgan "Nigger Jim" Daughtry, son of John Bryant Daughtry and Rachel Woodham, was born 10 Jun 1867 in Dale County, Alabama, and married Unknown. James Morgan "Nigger Jim" died 21 Sep 1924 in Healy, Alaska. He died while traveling on the Alaska Railroad from intestinal trouble at age 61 per his obituary in the Fairbanks Daily News. He was a miner who came to the Forty Mile and Circle Country of Alaska in 1895. He first arrived at Dawson, Alaska, mined in the Klondike in the fall of 1897 then sold his property and went to England. By 1905 he was back in Alaska and had left Klondike for Fairbanks where he stayed till 1908 then moved to Seattle, Washington and worked as a logger till about 1920 when he returned again to Alaska. He was a member of the Anchorage Elks. [I apologize for the derogatory nickname listed here, but this is what the obit says]
EASTWOOD Harold Eastwood, BORN: August 26, 1922 , DIED: October 3, 1998, LOCATION: Denali National Park, AK
ENCELEWSKI-HENRIKSON Linda J. Encelewski-Henrikson, By Obituary | Peninsula Clarion. Former Alaska resident Linda J. Encelewski-Henrikson of Calistoga, Calif., died unexpectedly Friday, May 7, 2010, in Healy after a brief illness. She was 54. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13 at St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Anchorage. The Rev. John Zabinko will officiate. A funeral Mass and burial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15 at Transfiguration of Our Lord Orthodox Church in Ninilchik. Archpriest Marcarius Targonsky will officiate.
FORBES John Davis Forbes, 61, died Monday, February 15, 2010, in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was born July 30, 1948, in Wilmington, DE, the son of John and Lucy G. (Byrd) Forbes. Raised in Kansas City, John attended Hutchinson Community College where he received an associates degree in 1968, followed by a bachelors degree in engineering technology in 1970, and a masters of science in the college of industrial technology in 1971 from Pittsburg State University. In 1975, John left on a great adventure to the state of Alaska to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Alaska became a great love as well as his home where he ultimately retired after 30 years. His last 16 years were spent with the Usibelli Coal Mine where he used his ingenuity and mechanical engineering skills as lead machinist in Healy, Alaska, just down the road from Denali National Park. John is survived by his sister Trudy (Duane) Corkill of Topeka, his nephew Stephen (Janelle) Corkill and family of Olsburg, and his nieces Julie (Les) Garmon and Truanna (Scott) Nickel, and their families of Topeka. The memorial service will be 2 p.m., Tuesday, February 23, at the Davidson Funeral Home in Topeka. Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. Graveside service will follow at the Dover Cemetery. Because of Johns love for all things with wings, memorial contributions can be made to Topekas Aviation Explorer Squadron 8, www.post8.org. Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on February 21, 2010.
HABER Gordon C. Haber, BORN: August 22, 1942 , DIED: October 14, 2009 , LOCATION: Denali National Park, AK
LATHROP

Austin Eugene ("Cap") Lathrop, 84, died 7 August 1950. Alaskan multimillionaire (coal mines, canneries, newspapers, radio stations, etc.), stiff-necked opponent of Alaskan statehood; in Suntrana, Alaska. Born on a Michigan farm, Lathrop made his first big Alaskan profits (and was nicknamed Cap) when he bought into a two-masted schooner and tapped the rich Gold Rush traffic. He developed Alaska's biggest coal mine; built its biggest radio station; became, reputedly, its richest citizen.

Photo

Per Wikipedia: Early life
"Cap" Lathrop was born in 1865 in Lapeer County, Michigan to Eugene Lathrop and Susan Miriah Parsons Lathrop. He was expelled from school in the ninth grade for damages caused when he tampered with a water heater.

After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, Lathrop moved to that city and worked for a time as a contractor. He made plans to settle in Anacortes, but the Panic of 1893 disrupted his business and he was forced to return to Seattle. In 1895, he purchased a steam ship, the L.J. Perry, and embarked on a new venture, transporting goods to the Territory of Alaska. Once the Klondike Gold Rush started, business picked up, and soon he was transporting both prospectors and the goods that they required.

Alaska
Lathrop married a widow, Mrs. Cosby McDowell of Seattle in a 1901 ceremony in Valdez, Alaska, where Lathrop had taken up residence. The marriage did not last, however, and within a year Mrs. McDowell Lathrop and her daughter relocated to Seattle. In 1902, Lathrop's California-Alaska Mining and Development Company set up a camp at the mouth of the Kluvesna River, and in 1903, Lathrop drilled unsuccessfully for oil in Cold Bay.

Lathrop moved to Cordova, where in 1911, he was elected mayor. In 1916, he converted a clothing store into a movie theater, The Empress. He went on to construct Empress movie theaters in Anchorage (1916) and Fairbanks (1927), as well as the Lacey Street Theater (Fairbanks, 1936–1940) and the Fourth Avenue Theatre (Anchorage, 1941–1947; construction was interrupted by World War II). From 1920 to 1922, Lathrop served in the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives. In 1924, he produced The Chechahcos, the first feature-length film shot entirely in Alaska.

Lathrop moved to Fairbanks, and in 1929, purchased the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. In 1937, he began work on the building that would house KFAR, Fairbanks’s first radio station licensed under the Communications Act of 1934. The call-letters formed an acronym for "Key for Alaska’s Riches". KFAR made its inaugural broadcast on October 1, 1939. In 1948, Lathrop opened his second radio station, KENI in Anchorage.

In 1932, Lathrop became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alaska Agricultural College and the School of Mines. In 1935, the college's name was changed to the University of Alaska. The Board of Trustees became the Board of Regents. Lathrop would continue to serve in this position until his death.

Lathrop feared that Alaska statehood would entail taxes and regulations that would harm business, and the Daily News-Miner took a stance challenging pro-statehood Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening.

On July 26, 1950, Lathrop was killed in an accident when he was struck by a railroad car in the yard of his Suntrana coal plant.

Legacy
The Fairbanks Empress Theater was the first concrete building constructed in Fairbanks. Lathrop set out to prove detractors wrong who had said that a concrete building would crumble in the extreme winter climate. As of 2009, the building still stands.

Austin Lathrop is said to have been the model for the character of "Zeb 'Czar' Kennedy" in Edna Ferber's 1958 novel, Ice Palace. Kennedy was played by Richard Burton in the 1960 film adaptation.

Lathrop High School was constructed in Fairbanks in 1955, and named to honor the late Fairbanks resident. The Austin E. Lathrop Residence Hall of the University of Alaska Fairbanks was opened in 1962.

Many of the top Lathrop Company lieutenants went on to have substantial business success of their own. Augie Hiebert, who Lathrop brought to Alaska to put KFAR on the air, started Northern Television. Al Bramstedt, another of Lathrop's broadcast engineers, started Midnight Sun Broadcasters. Both had failed to convince Lathrop of the need to invest in the emerging field of television, as Lathrop felt it would take business away from his movie theaters. Both companies started television stations in Anchorage in 1953 and in Fairbanks in 1955. Both companies also owned and operated numerous radio stations. Midnight Sun Broadcasters would operate both KFAR and KENI through to the 1980s.

Harry Hill, another Lathrop lieutenant, became a real estate developer. Anchorage's city hall, originally known as the Hill Building, was built by Hill in 1962 as office space for the federal government. The Hill Building was one of the first skyscrapers built in Anchorage's central business district. All three of these individuals were seeded with money from Lathrop's estate.

In the 1970s, Lathrop's theaters and their successors were owned by a media conglomerate named Wometco. In Alaska, they were referred to as "Wometco-Lathrop Theaters."

In the 1980s, the downtown core of Fairbanks was the subject of discussions related to urban renewal in the wake of the completion of the trans-Alaska pipeline and the shift in business following the completion of 3 shopping malls in 1977. The buildings constructed by Lathrop on Second Avenue were considered for demolition until the intervention of persons concerned with maintaining Lathrop's legacy in the community. The Lathrop Building (516 Second Avenue, completed 1936) would be sold to Jim Whitaker and his wife for what has been publicly described at numerous civic meetings as being pennies on the dollar.

In 1988, Alaska Business Monthly nominated Lathrop to the Alaska Business Hall of Fame.

MICHEL "Wild Bill" Michel died Aug. 1, 2010, at the age of 61, in an airplane crash at Denali Park.There will be a celebration of his life at 4 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Delta Junction.He born May 24, 1949, and raised in upstate New York before coming to Alaska in the early '70s at the age of 24.Wild Bill started doing dirt work, building roads in the Sterling area, but his passion was flying. He piloted his first plane at the age of 15. He flew thousands of hours throughout Alaska, delivering supplies and building airfields in the most remote areas of the state.He was a man who would do anything for anyone and proved it many times. Wild Bill lived and died doing what he loved best.He is survived by his wife, Barbie of Delta Junction; stepson, Jamie Foster of Arkansas; stepdaughter, Jodie Ward of Tennessee; stepson, Jesse "Moe" Sheldon of Wasilla; sisters, Rita Marie Dreimiller of New York, Pat Powers of New York and Chris Hachten of New York; brothers, Ed Michel of Florida and Dan Michel of Sterling; seven stepgrandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
SPEER Windell Harveston Speer, age 83, passed away February 9, 2009, at his home in Healy, Alaska. He was born December 5, 1925, in Greene County, AR. He resided in Alaska for 39 years. Windell joined the U.S. Army in 1944 and was a member of the 89th Division, 914th Field Artillery Battalion, also known as the Rolling W. He served in Europe from 1944 to 1946. He was honorably discharged after his service to the country. Windell was awarded a Bronze Star Service Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, a WWII Victory Medal and a Meritorious Unit Award. He was initiated as a member of the Free Masons, Wisdom Lodge No. 343 in 1953 in Greenwa. He was a member of United Mine Workers and retired from the Teamsters Local 959 in 1986. Windell had little formal education, but was wise with life's lessons. When he did attend school, he walked long distances with his siblings both ways. Upon returning to Arkansas after WWII, he continued farming and operating heavy equipment. He met Patsy Maltbie and married her on Aug. 8, 1959, at Hargrave Corner. He went to Alaska looking for work in the winter of 1970. He arrived with $38 in his pocket. He immediately got a job with the Alaska Railroad, and then moved on to become a coal miner at Usibelli Coal Mine. In recent years, he ran a bed and breakfast with his wife Patsy, where he enjoyed showing guests the local area. Windell will be remembered for the 52 trips he made on the Alcan Highway, his enjoyment of fishing, hunting in a boat, continually searching for gold, and for many, his homemade wine and "white lightning." Windell is preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Emma Speer; brothers Doyle, Gerald and Wayland Speer, and daughter, Lavonda. Survivors include his wife, Patsy of Healy, AK., sons, Roger Speer and wife Amy of Healy and Ronald Speer of AR., daughters, Gerhounda Hick and husband Bill of Durant, OK., and Shirley Speer of TX., grandchildren, Mathias, Bill, Shelly, Wendy, Kenneth and David; brother, Harold Speer of Greenway; sister, Melva Kenard of Paragould, several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 28th, at the Tri-Valley Community Center in Healy, with a reception to follow. Burial at Valley View Cemetery in Healy with full military honors will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Tri-Valley Fire Dept., Morning Star Baptist Church in Healy, AK (907) 683-2704, or one's favorite charity. Arrangements were made by Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home, 415 Illinois, St. Fairbanks, AK 99701, 907-456-5566.
USIBELLI - BERRY Rose Jane Peretti Usibelli Berry, 90, died April 16, 1996. Photo of her obit.

 

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