Hesden Duane "Scoug" Scougal (1921 - 2012)

12 entries
  • "Thank you to those who have posted. I miss him every day."
    - Becky Orford
  • "To all of Hesden's family, I am so sorry to hear Hesden..."
    - Sherri Willey
  • "A gentleman and true Alaskan has gone to lead the way and..."
    - Ron Lind
  • "Another gentle spirit has left Alaska. He was a kind and..."
    - W. Wiley
  • "Semper Fi brother Alaskan Sea going Marine, we will see you..."
    - thomas leigh-kendall
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Hesden Duane Scougal , "Scoug", 90, passed away quietly at the Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home in Palmer on February 22, 2012. He was born June 25, 1921, in Shell Rock, Iowa, to Alexander Duane and Opal Leonard Scougal. He grew up in Shell Rock, with his younger brother Cal, and older siblings Albert and Dorothy. As a boy he worked as a "printer's devil" and learned typesetting in his father's newspaper business. His father passed away when he was 15 years old, and the family eventually resettled in Waverly, Iowa.

He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1940, and served in China and on the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. He received a medical discharge in 1942, and after his recuperation he worked as a carpenter apprentice with Lytle & Green Construction. In January, 1943, he arrived at Fairbanks' Ladd Field, where he worked for the contractor building airfields around Alaska, as part of the war effort.

He met his future wife, Roma Hulse, in Fairbanks, where they were married on December 28, 1945. Together they managed the Copper Center Roadhouse for Ma Barnes for a time, and later returned to Fairbanks, where they homesteaded 160 acres on Badger Road, in the North Pole area. He built a log home, raised potato and alfalfa crops, and worked actively with the Tanana Valley State Fair association, while also working throughout the Arctic in the construction industry, with Lytle & Green, Arctic Contractors, Burgess Construction, and others. His construction career also took him to projects in Hawaii and the South Pacific.

In 1968 he became the administrative director of the Department of Highways for the State of Alaska. He was city manager of Petersburg from 1973 – 1976, and he served as deputy commissioner and acting commissioner of the Department of Transportation during the Hammond administration. After his retirement, he served on the Board of Transportation until its disbandment.

He was a classic self-made man who made his way through life by hard work and accumulated experience, and he was very proud that during his career he helped build the airports and roads that Alaska needed. He was interviewed in 2006 for the University of Alaska Project Jukebox history of the Dalton Highway, and his interviews and photos are available at http://jukebox.uaf.edu/haul_road/htm/int_scougal.htm and http://jukebox.uaf.edu/haul_road/htm/img_scoug_01.htm .

His family was the most important thing to him, and his life's work was to care for and provide for them. He was proud of his Scottish ancestry, and was able to fulfill his dream of visiting Scotland. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Pioneers of Alaska. He loved baseball, having played as a young man, and he loved to read, especially history. He also loved the many dogs and cats who shared his home over the years, and spoiled them rotten. He was always working on projects around his house and garden. It was a family joke that he could not move into a new house without remodeling it and adding a deck. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and was in all ways a gentleman and a gentle man.

He was preceded in death by his wife Roma, who passed away in December, 2001, shortly before their 56th anniversary. He is survived by his daughter, Roma Lee Scougal, of Big Lake, daughter and son-in-law Becky and Michael Orford, of Juneau, brother and sister-in-law Calvin and Kay Scougal, of Newport News, Virginia, grandson Adam Orford of Portland, Oregon, granddaughter Ariana Orford of Juneau, and many nieces and nephews.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Feb. 29 to Mar. 7, 2012
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