Ellis "Pete" Bibb (1922 - 2016)

Obituary
29 entries | 2 photos
  • " I give thanks for Pete's friendship and our many..."
    - Pastor Jeff Clemens
  • "Sorry to hear of your dad passing. Take care."
    - Keith Berggren
  • "I took his Native art carving class, he was a very patient..."
    - Teeny Metcalfe
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    - John Gissberg
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Ellis "Pete" Bibb, age 93, passed away on March 16, 2016, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home. Pete was born in Emporia, Virginia on October 9, 1922. He was the only child of Inez and Ellis B. Bibb, Jr. After graduating from high school, he went to work in the Naval Shipyards at Newport News, Virginia. In 1944, he was drafted into the Army. He boarded the Queen Mary in New York City with thousands of other American soldiers and set sail for England. He proudly served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in France and Germany. After the war ended, he stayed on in Germany for a time and it was there that he learned to ski.

After his service in the Army, he attended college on the GI Bill and completed a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Education from Stout State University (1951) and a Master's degree in Education from Colorado State University (1958). In 1951, Pete was hired as an Industrial Arts teacher and ski coach at the Juneau High School. Some of his fondest memories were of the years he coached the high school ski teams and helped build the ski cabins and rope tows at 2nd and 3rd cabins (Dan Moller trail).

In 1952, he purchased a small cabin on the water in Thane beyond where road ended at that time. He married fellow teacher Mary Ellen Hofland in 1957. Together they raised six children in a log cabin that Pete built largely by hand over the course of many years. He loved Thane and it was his home for nearly sixty years until he moved to the Juneau Pioneers' Home in 2011.

In the late 1960s, at the request of his students, Pete started the Alaska Native Arts program at Juneau-Douglas High School. He always credited his students with the idea, but he was an enthusiastic partner, learning about Native Arts and wood carving techniques along with his students. He was very proud of the legacy of the Native Arts program and of all his students, many of whom went on to become well-known artists.

Pete retired from the Juneau School district in 1976, operated a carving shop in downtown Juneau, and ran lifts at Eaglecrest for a few years before completely retiring to travel to visit his children, grandchildren, and many friends; to spend time in his family home in Bedford, Virginia; and to maintain his beloved firewood pile.

Pete was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ellen, his son Dan, and his grandson Micean Roesel. He is survived by his children Sally, Aimee, Peter (Mona), James (Lorrie Heagy), and John (Amy); his grandchildren Luke Roesel (Annie), Katie Roesel Schenker (Rob), Dan Roesel, Ellis Roesel (Sandy), and Sally Roesel; and Hannah, Harrison, Leah, Luke, Julianna, Sam, and Bethany Bibb; and his great-grandchildren Micah, Maggie, Ben, and Micean Roesel.

The Bibb family wishes to particularly thank the wonderful staff of the Juneau Pioneers' Home for their loving and devoted care of our Pop. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 7 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Juneau-Douglas High School Commons. Everyone is invited to drop in at any time during that afternoon to look at photos and share memories. A short formal presentation will start about 2:30 pm. The Bibb family may be reached at 5610 Thane Road, Juneau, AK, 99801.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Apr. 14 to May 14, 2016