Marian Hassel Schafer of Juneau, Alaska passed away peacefully on February 5, 2013 in Palm Springs, CA, where she spent the winters in sunshine with her husband Bill Schafer.
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Marian was born in San Francisco on August 6, 1927. Her parents emigrated from Norway and settled in Fairbanks, Alaska, where her father was a gold miner at Fairbanks Creek. She attended school in Fairbanks, but decided to finish high school in Seattle and she graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1945. She graduated from Washington State University in 1949 and married Bill Schafer later that fall. They moved back to Fairbanks, Alaska and spent all their married life in Alaska, with the exception of two brief periods in California.
Marian worked for the Alaska Territorial Court, the 1955 Alaska Territorial Legislature, the Alaska Court system and she was the Administrator of the Longevity Bonus Program when she retired from many years of state service.
Marian was avid reader and bridge player and met regularly with her book club and bridge friends. She celebrated her Norwegian heritage and made it part of the family's everyday life. She was always up for adventure and she and Bill traveled the world and went to some places twice. She also treasured her many, many friends. She was always a great correspondent and enjoyed sending and receiving letters and emails. Marian belonged to the Pioneers of Alaska, the Salvation Army Ladies Auxiliary, Capital City Republican Women and her college sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, from which she just received her 65 year membership pin. Marian also was a member of the Juneau P.E.O. Chapter G. She was a 50 year member of PEO and she considered being involved with this organization as a gift.
One of her proudest personal achievements was to climb the Chilkoot Trail when she was 50 years old. She made the trek with her uncle and cousins.
Marian is survived by her husband of more than 63 years, Martin F. "Bill" Schafer of Juneau; daughters Kimberly Schafer of Juneau and Lin Sanford (Steve) of Bellevue, WA; brother, Jerry Hassel of Fairbanks and his children niece Jody Hassel and nephew Jim Hassel, both of Fairbanks; cousins Jean Lee Schrier of Soldotna, Norman Lee (Janet) of Anchorage and Ingrid Lee Edgerly (Phil) of Kasilof, Alaska and numerous family members in Norway.
In remembrance, the family suggests that donations be made to her local chapter of P.E.O. that will be used for local education scholarships. Donations can be payable to P.E.O. and mailed to:
P.E.O., Chapter G, PO Box 20581, Juneau, AK 99802.
Interment with be at the Shrine of St. Therese Columbarium in a private family gathering.
A celebration of her life will be held on April 28th from 4-6 pm at the home of Noel and Shari Grant, 3170 Nowell Avenue in West Juneau. Her family welcomes her friends to attend.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Apr. 21, 2013