Alf Robert "Windy" Skaflestad (1936 - 2012)

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Two-term Hoonah Mayor, Alf Robert Skaflestad, known all his life as Windy Skaflestad died at home on Saturday, January 28, 2012 of prostate cancer. He was 75 years old.

Windy was born in a little cabin in Hoonah, Alaska on September 20, 1936 to Matilda (Greenewald) and Alf Skaflestad. The cabin once stood not more than 100 feet from the location of his home where he died.

Windy was of Norwegian, German, English and Tlingit heritage. His service will be held at the Hoonah Schools Alumni Gymnasium in Hoonah, Alaska on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.

Windy was T'akdeintaan (Raven) clan, Mt. Fairweather House (Snail House). His Tlingit name was Kaa Taa Wu, carrying the name of J.C. Johnson, the father of Mrs. Lily White.

Windy attended grade school in Hoonah and high school in Juneau. His early work experience began at age 11, running Caterpillar equipment in his father's logging camp. He would later leave high school to run his father's logging camp after his father was injured in a logging accident. He took engineering courses through correspondence studies which proved beneficial later when he started working in the field of construction.

Windy was a lead operator with the company that built the North Cascade Highway in Washington, working primarily on the west side. Upon completion of that project he and his family moved back to Alaska. His long-time friend Jim Crum encouraged him to apply for work with the US Public Health Service, Alaska Area Native Health, Sanitation Construction Services. He worked 27 years with them as a Construction Supervisor installing water, sewer, outfall lines, lagoons, water & sewer treatment plants, dams and roads in villages from Saxman to Kotzebue. He worked a few more years in this field with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, primarily in the Southeast District communities of Saxman, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Craig, Klawock, Kake, Angoon, Hoonah, Pelican, Skagway, and Yakutat. His friend Clarence Jackson said: "Windy was well liked in all the communities where he worked. He would plant daisies wherever he could and every year when I see them growing along the road in Kake, I think of Windy. It makes me smile because my mother's name was Daisy and now I will think of both of them when I see them growing."

After retiring from construction, Windy was elected Mayor of Hoonah. During his tenure he worked tirelessly to develop economic opportunities, reduce power costs, and obtain upgrades for the infra-structure of Hoonah, including the clinic, airport, harbor and roads.

He envisioned a road to Pelican, a collaborative project between the two communities that would also benefit Elfin Cove. His concept would reduce electrical costs to Hoonah by utilizing Pelican's excess hydro-power. The economic possibilities may prove to be endless.

Windy's oldest son Ken said, "Dad was real family oriented and his kids were always on his mind to the point of being a worry-wart, even when he was busy doing other things!" Son Gus said: "Dad was a go-to-guy, it didn't matter whether I was having trouble with equipment, my boat, my vehicles or my home, I could go to him with the problem and he always had the answer."

Windy is survived by his wife Joyce Skaflestad. Children: Kenneth Skaflestad; Gus Skaflestad (and wife Kris); Arlen Skaflestad (and wife Megan); and daughter Wendy Skaflestad, all of Hoonah, AK. Step-children: Sherry Mills of Federal Way, WA; Karen Mills of Hoonah, AK and Gus Mills of Japan and the Philippines by way of Military Sea-Lift Command stationed out of San Diego, CA. Gwynne Short (and husband Joe) of Petersburg, AK; Lori Larsen (and husband Andy) of Montana;. Grandchildren: Joshua Keith, Branda Kostka, Kristi and Jessica Skaflestad of Anchorage; Daylon Skaflestad; and Leona, Kenny, Hunter and Fisher Skaflestad of Hoonah, AK. Kayleigh and Matthew Short of Petersburg, AK and Michelle and Melissa Buness of Montana. Great-grandchildren: Kaden and Collin Keith of Anchorage, AK. Siblings: Erling Skaflestad (and wife Bonnie), Kolbjorn "Faggen" Skaflestad (and wife Jan), Wendell Skaflestad (and partner Nancy VanWeiringen) and favorite sister Caroline Peterson (and husband Jerry) of Hoonah, AK. Long-time friend and more like a brother: John Thein of Mount Vernon, WA. Uncle: Adam Greenwald (and wife Esther). Aunts: Marlene Johnson, Freda Borchick and Pauline Hinchman. Cousins: Ken Schoonover, Carl Oliver, Chris Oliver, and Jim Underwood. Nephews: Jeff Skaflestad (and partner Lisa Andersson), Ray Skaflestad (and wife Kenya), and Audie Peterson (and wife Mary) of Hoonah, AK. In-laws: Darrel Brown and wife Ronalda of Juneau, AK, Jolene King and husband Jerry of Vero Beach, FL, Mona Brown of Hoonah, AK, Joseph Brown of Anchorage, AK, and Ron Parker of Federal Way, WA. Friends: Dick Greseth (and wife Laurel) of Petersburg, AK, John Warren (and wife Carla) of Anchorage, AK, Butch Williams of Petersburg, AK; Jerry White, Sr., Denny Mayer, John Hillman (and wife Marilyn), Mike Morrison (and wife Nadine), Steve Brown (and wife Karlene), Ken Meserve (and wife Yan) all of Hoonah, AK and Harvey and Ron Hildre of Juneau, AK. There are other friends and family around the country and Norway, too many to mention. Dog: Bullets.

Windy was pre-deceased by ex-wives: Vera (Moller) Skaflestad originally from Unalaska, AK (mother to his children Ken, Gus and Wendy), and Myrtle (Blatchford) Skaflestad originally from Petersburg, AK (mother to his son Arlen). Parents: Matilda "Tillie" (Greenewald) and Alf A. Skaflestad. Favorite Aunts: Lottie Underwood and Cecelia Greenewald. Uncles: Albert, Robert, and Karl Greenewald. Mother-in-law and father-in-law: Emma and Hubert "Brownie" Brown. Favorite pets: Luxor and Flee.

Windy's life will be celebrated with a Memorial Service that honors his love of life and his love for the traditions of his people. His cremated remains will be scattered over his favorite place in Port Frederick, affectionately dubbed "Heaven's Gate" later this year.

Pallbearers: Ken Skaflestad, Gus Skaflestad, Arlen Skaflestad, Gus Mills, Josh Keith-Skaflestad, Daylon Skaflestad, Audie Peterson, Jeff Skaflestad, Ray Skaflestad.

Honorary Pallbearers: Ken Schoonover, Jerry Peterson, John Thein, Jerry White Sr., Darrell Brown, Ronalda Cadiente-Brown, Joe Brown, Jerry King, Dr. Greg Marino, Dr. Elliot Bruhl, Marlene Duvall, Jim Crum, Jim Norris, and Ken Meserve.

If his life was his message: "Work hard, play hard and treat everyone fairly." Summarizing his life Windy's final words were: "This was fun."

The family would also like to apologize to anyone not mentioned here; Windy had such a large family and touched so many lives we would need to write a book. You were special, you know who you are.

For more information you may contact his wife Joyce at P.O. Box 490, Hoonah, AK 99829 or Jeff Skaflestad at (907) 209-4904.

Published in The Juneau Empire from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19, 2012
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