Phyllis Langdon (1917 - 2011)

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Longtime Juneau resident Phyllis Langdon died in Port Townsend, WA, on December 26, 2011, at the age of 94.
Phyllis Olson was born on October 31, 1917, in Rapid City, South Dakota, and raised in Seattle. She got her first violin at the age of nine and later earned her way through the University of Washington by working summers as a violinist on the Alaska Steamship Lines, traveling between Seattle and various ports in Alaska, as well as one especially memorable trip to East Cape, Siberia. She served on the S.S. Victoria and the S.S. Baranof.
Phyllis met D. C. (Jim) Langdon, a radio operator on the Baranof, and they married in 1940 and settled in Juneau.
While raising her three children, Phyllis worked part-time as a musician, playing violin and drums at nightclubs such as Mike's Place, the Salmon Creek Country Club and the Bubble Room of the Baranof Hotel.
She worked in the secretarial "Boiler Room" of the Alaska Territorial Legislature. She also worked as a secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and later for the Bureau of Land Management.
In the early 1960's, Phyllis served as the executive secretary to William Egan, the first Governor of the State of Alaska until 1966 when his term ended.
For two years until 1968, she was secretary to Tom Stewart, Superior Court Judge.
Together with Jim, who had owned and operated Alaska Radio Supply since the 1940's, Phyllis purchased and operated Alaska Music Supply in the late 1960's. They worked together, uniquely combining their music and radio backgrounds, until they retired to Arkansas and Grenada, West Indies, in 1979. After Jim died in 1994, Phyllis moved to Port Townsend, Washington.
Phyllis traveled the world with Jim after they retired, but her fondest memories were of Alaska, where she enjoyed many wonderful summers with her family, exploring the waters and coves of Southeastern Alaska on their boat, "Phyllis L".
She will always be remembered for her positive, glass-half-full attitude and her love for her family. Reading was her favorite activity, and books were her constant companions, both at her winter vacation home in Grenada, and in Port Townsend, where she spent most of the year. Other passions in her life included her dogs, stamp collecting, music and travel.
Phyllis is survived by her three children, Larry Langdon of Mitchellville, MD; Laurie Kasch of Santa Barbara, CA; and Lucy Gibbs of Sequim, WA; ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
To contact the family, email Lucy Gibbs [email protected], Laurie Kasch [email protected] or Larry Langdon [email protected].
Published in The Juneau Empire from Jan. 8 to Jan. 15, 2012