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YAKUTAT BOROUGH - SURFING CAPITAL OF ALASKA (REALLY!)

ANKAU CEMETERY

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Yakutat Chief Grave

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Yakutat Chief Grave

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FRANK DIECK GRAEFF

Longtime Seward resident Frank Dieckgraeff, 75, died June 20, 2009, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, surrounded by family. A celebration of Frank’s life will be at 2 p.m. July 18 at the Cruise Ship Terminal in Seward followed by a gathering at American Legion Post #5, 402 Fifth Ave., in Seward.

Frank was born Feb. 23, 1934, in Strasburg, Colo., and was raised on a farm near Harrisburg, Ore. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers from 1953-1956. Frank married Barbara Miller on July 21, 1955, after his tour of duty in Korea. He returned to Oregon to work in the logging industry until 1965, when he and Barbara moved their family to Seward. Frank worked all over Alaska for Frontier Rock and Sand from 1965 to 1970, and was at Prudhoe Bay in 1968 when oil was discovered. In 1970, he started Metco Diesel Service and worked on commercial fishing vessels in Seward, Kodiak, Adak, Yakutat and Dutch Harbor. In 1973 he founded Metco Redi-Mix to provide concrete in the Seward area, and in 1975 the business was expanded to include sand and gravel, excavating and construction services. The family business was incorporated as Metco Inc. in 1976 and Frank was active in its operation until his death.

His family said Frank “lived his life the way he wanted to and said what he wanted to say. His work was his hobby and he loved to work. He was always thinking about how to do things differently and more efficiently. He was the happiest when he was operating heavy equipment, moving gravel or seeing one of his mechanical ideas realized.

“Being a great story teller, he loved to tell about his time ‘on the farm’, logging in the woods, the places he had worked around Alaska and the different projects he was involved with.”

Frank was dedicated to the Seward community. He contributed countless hours of his time plus truckloads of materials for various charitable projects and community improvements. Frank often joked that there wasn’t a block in Seward that he hadn’t worked on. He was well-known for his integrity, his quality of work, and his extensive work with rivers and creeks. Over the past 30 years, he was honored several times for his efforts during floods in the Seward area.

Frank is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara Dieckgraeff; two sisters in Oregon and an extended family in Alaska, the West Coast, Midwest, East Coast and Germany including children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Seward Community Foundation, Frank Dieckgraeff Memorial, P.O. Box 933, Seward, AK 99664. Donations will be used to help Seward seniors in need. Arrangements entrusted to Kehl’s Legacy Funeral Home & Crematory.

DAVID ANDREW HITCHCOCK

Birth: Jul. 26, 1964, Juneau Borough, AK
Death: Nov. 14, 2009, Anchorage Borough, AK

Lifelong Alaskan David Andrew Hitchcock, 45, died Nov. 14, 2009 from brain cancer at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

A funeral will be at 3 p.m. Monday at Kehl's Legacy Funeral Chapel, 11621 Old Seward Highway in Anchorage. Deacon Felix Maguire will officiate. His ashes will rest in his maternal family plot in Yakutat.

David was born July 26, 1964, in Juneau. He was an exceptional ivory and baleen sculptor, and loved animals, cooking and camping. He was on Team Nautiq Ski club and took part in barefoot and pyramid skiing.

His family wrote: "David was loved by everyone. His quiet, generous nature and warm, honest smile will be greatly missed. He never spoke unkindly of others and was loving, forgiving and tolerant by nature. He was a Tlingit Indian of the Raven Clan, House of the Owl. He will always remain close to our hearts."

He was preceded in death by his biological mother, Genevieve Benson of Yakutat and his adoptive brother, Michael Patrick Hitchcock. David is survived by his adoptive mother, Penny Fierros of Wasilla; sisters, Peggy Henderson of Anchorage, Mary Pruss of Iowa, Andreya Valle and Tina Marie Valle of Juneau; brothers, Daniel Manson of Wasilla, George Valle II of Yakutat, and Green Valle of Tacoma, Wash; longtime friend, Gilbert Stokes and many extended family members and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in David's memory to Mat Valley Kitty Rescue, in care of Susan Helmricks, 411 S. Gerome Drive, Wasilla, AK 99654.

Arrangements are with Legacy Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Kehl's Chapel; www.legacyalaska.com.

CHARLES GAMBLE

Longtime Juneau resident Charles Gamble died the evening of June 11, 2010, at Bartlett Regional Hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

Charles was born on July 26, 1925 and raised in Dry Bay near Yakutat. He was a Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) who served his country during World War II with the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army. He retired in 1986 as a State of Alaska employee.

He was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle and a true friend to many throughout his life. He enjoyed fishing on his beloved boat, the “Gambler,” and was a regular at Foodland and the post office, where he visited and extended a heartfelt hand of friendship, compassion, respect and kindness. A true gentleman, he will be remembered as a special grandfather and an all-around good man.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Eva Gamble and his son, Charles Franklin Gamble, Jr., who served in the army in Vietnam.

He is survived by his wife Margaret (they would have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on June 13); daughters Karen (Don) Webb, of Vancouver, Wash., Marcella (Keith) Whitney, of Juneau, and Charlene (Guy) Ransom of Juneau; grandchildren Dail Webb, Donnell Perdue, Dena Whitney, Dylan Rhyner and Daylene Rhyner; ten great-grandchildren; and sister Lillian Patterson and her family, of Juneau.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall at 320 W. Willoughby Ave., with refreshments provided by the family following the service. A funeral service will be held on Friday, June 18 at 2 p.m. at Northern Light United Church at 400 W. Eleventh Street. Charles will be laid to rest beside his son at Evergreen Cemetery.

Charles requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Glory Hole or Salvation Army.

Arrangements entrusted to Alaskan Memorial Park & Mortuary.

RAMONA KAY SHODDA ANDERSTROM JOHNSON

Birth: Dec. 17, 1955, Yakutat, AK
Death: Dec. 25, 2007, Yakutat, AK

Yakutat resident Ramona Kay Johnson (Shodda-Anderstrom), 52, died Dec. 25, 2007, at Alaska Native Medical Center after a longtime battle with cancer.
Services were held Dec. 27 and Dec. 28. She will be laid to rest at Ankau Cemetery in Yakutat.
Ramona was born Dec. 17, 1955, in Yakutat. Throughout her life, she lived in Yakutat, Juneau, Mount Edgecumbe, Kodiak, Anchorage and Seattle. During her life, she worked as a cannery worker, store clerk, commercial fisherman, Tlingit language instructor, social service director, Indian Child Welfare Act director, real estate officer and with Yakutat Tlingit Tribe tribal enrollment.
Ramona was a member of the Assembly of God, Yakutat Alaska Native Sisterhood president, an emergency medical technician with 18 years of volunteer ambulance service, school board president, and was a board member of Yak-Tat Kauaan Inc.
Ramona also enjoyed Tlingit dancing, singing and beading.
Her family writes: "Ramona was a strong Tlingit woman. She had a very positive attitude and always saw the best in people. She had a good sense of humor, and people like to be around her. She worked very hard and had excellent problem-solving ideas. Ramona spent quality time with her three sons, daughter and grandchildren. She was knowledgeable about and practiced her Tlingit culture. She was of the Eagle, Shark and Wooshkeetaan Clan."
Ramona is survived by her husband, Skip Johnson; mother, Marie Shodda; sons, William Anderstrom and wife Joyce, Matthew Anderstrom and wife Dana, and Eric Anderstrom; daughter, Gloria Anderstrom; brothers, Ron Shodda, Shelby Shodda, Julian Tumulok and John Waldron; sisters, Ingrid Shodda, Chanlotte Dietrickson and Cheryl Schumacher; and grandchildren, Kayla Anderstrom, Twyla Anderstrom, Marina Anderstrom, Devlin Anderstrom, Mekayla Anderstrom and Niko Anderstrom.
Local arrangements were by Witzleben Family Funeral Home.

RAYMOND E. MAPES

Birth: Oct. 10, 1921, Newberry, Luce County, MI
Death: Aug. 29, 2003, Yakutat, AK

Anchorage Daily News September 3, 2003

Yakutat resident Raymond E. Mapes, ENC (Ret.), 81, died Aug. 29, 2003, in Yakutat. A service was held at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Yakutat.

He was born Oct. 10, 1921, in Newberry, Mich. Mr. Mapes first arrived in Yakutat in December 1953. He was stationed at the U.S. Coast Guard LORAN Station until June 1956. From 1956 until 1959 he was stationed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Storis and made the historical inside passage run (now known as the Bering Sea Patrol). After his retirement from the Coast Guard in 1962, Mr. Mapes returned to Yakutat with his family, where he lived until his death. Ray also was a Pearl Harbor survivor, as he was in the U.S. Navy at the time aboard the USS Argonne. He spent six years in the Navy and two years in the Naval Reserve before he switched to the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served for more than 14 years. Mr. Mapes was adopted into the Eagle Clan by Eva Milton and Ruth Jackson as their brother. He was station manager for Cordova Airlines until 1972. He then became a full-time commercial fisherman. He also served on the Yakutat Planning and Zoning Commission for years. He was also a volunteer fireman and served as Yakutat's harbor master until a stroke in 1998. Mr. Mapes was active in the Pearl Harbor Association, Chief Petty Officer Association, Bering Sea Patrol and USS Arcturus Association. He was a member-at-large of American Legion Post 31 until it closed.

He is survived by wife, Cecilia "Cis"; daughter, Barbara; brothers and their families in Reidsville, N.C., and Ocala, Fla.; grandsons, Casey and Sean; stepgrandson, Dean Riley; daughter-in-law, Danelle Mapes; son-in-law, Gene Riley; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carol Riley, and son, Ray Mapes Jr. Arrangements were with Evergreen Memorial Chapel.

 

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