John E. Feero

Obituary
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  • "To the amazing and wonderful Feero Family, Thinking of you..."
  • "Miss you"
    - Karen Feero

Sterling resident and lifelong Alaskan John E. Feero, 76, died March 13, 2007, en route from Hawaii to Alaska.
A funeral Mass will be at noon Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. The Rev. Frank Reitter will officiate. A reception will follow at the Sterling Senior Citizens Center. Interment will be this summer in the Columbarium at the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, where John said he "will be able to view the beautiful scenery of Lynn Canal."
John was born April 4, 1930, in Douglas to Alta and William Feero.
His grandfather came to Skagway in 1897 during the Klondike Gold Rush. He owned a pack train to carry supplies over the White Pass and died on the trail in 1898. John's father was 15 years old at the time, and the family remained in Skagway until after he married and the family moved to Douglas. They lived in Douglas until after the "great fire" there in 1937, when they returned to Skagway. John attended school in Skagway and graduated from high school in 1949. From 1951 until 1953, he was in the U.S. Army Engineers stationed at Ladd Field in Fairbanks and Fort Richardson in Anchorage. Because he was an Alaskan, he was not eligible to receive overseas pay.
On Oct. 11, 1953, he married Eleanor Boyd, his high school sweetheart, at the Pius X Mission Chapel in Skagway. In June 1955, he joined the U.S. Customs Service as customs and marine inspector. He transferred to Ketchikan in 1957. In 1970, after some of these duties were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard, he transferred to Juneau to work as a civilian with the Coast Guard. He then transferred to Anchorage in 1980 in the same capacity. John retired from federal service in 1983. He then performed marine survey work for a short time. He retired completely in 1989 when he and Eleanor moved to their cabin in Sterling.
John became active in the Sterling Senior Citizens Center and served four years as president. He was a member of Pioneers of Alaska (Ketchikan Igloo), Elks in Skagway (BPOE 431), past president of the Alaska State Firefighters Association, American Legion Post 75 and a life member of Sterling Senior Citizens Center. John also spent 30 years as a volunteer fireman in Skagway, Ketchikan and Douglas, where he was fire chief for a number of years. During his time in Douglas, John was active in community events and instrumental in the renovation of Mount Jumbo's gym.
His family wrote: "John was a special person with a wonderful sense of humor and knack for stirring up trouble. He always told his children he was made of blue twisted steel, but it was obvious it melted as he grew older. We had a hard time distinguishing his stories from lies, but we now know it depends on the size of the fish. John was checking out the friendly skies before his passing."
He is survived by his wife of 53 years; daughter, Marcia Ballard and husband Bill and their children Amy, Sarah, Jed and wife Heather and their son Cole; daughter, Margi Maki and husband Edward and their children, Jennifer, Jonathan, Michael and his daughters, Adriana, Alexandra and Skyler; daughter, Debbie Besemann and husband Larry with children, Alex and Melissa; daughter, Karen Feero and husband Satch Tapangco and sons, Joseph, Benjamin and Jordan; daughter, Susie Feero; son, John W. Feero and wife Francine with children, Christopher and Anessa; daughter, Julie Feero and son John; "kissing cousin" Grace Russo and numerous other cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Robert and William, and sisters, Geneva Walters, Wilma Jensen, Myrtle Edwards and Evaline Egbert.
Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna or the Endowment Fund at Sterling Senior Citizens Center. Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 247, Sterling 99672.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Mar. 25, 2007