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Shellinger, Lillie M.  
Lillie M. Shellinger, 84, passed away peacefully with her family present on April 8, 2015, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Lillie was a resolute believer in education and social justice. She was born in Custer, South Dakota,on Aug. 21, 1930, to Virginia and Harry Parris. The fifth child of 13 siblings, she was the first to attend college, earn a bachelor's degree and master's degree, obtain a professional position and to travel internationally. Lillie is survived by her husband, Edward, 86, of Fairbanks; son Mark and daughter-in-law Carol, of Louisville, Kentucky; daughter Sandy and son-in-law Roy Merritt, of Binghamton, New York; and granddaughter Jessica and her husband, Gino Cimino, of Las Vegas. Honorary family members include in-home caregivers Walt and Chris Warner, Lynette Mailloux, Catherine Brantley and Amy Ernst. Walt Warner has been and remains an important part of the family since 2005. Lillie's siblings included Harriett, Bill, Mary Jane, Kenny Rae, Archie Claude and Doris, who are deceased. Surviving siblings include LaDonna Youngblood, of Alabama; Bernie Palmer, of Wyoming; Betty Kraner, of New York; Harry "Butch" Parris, of Mississippi; Bobby Parris, of South Dakota; and Ila Larson, of Texas. Lillie met Ed in college in Chadron, Nebraska, in 1951. Married July 15, 1952, they had 63 years together. Lillie returned to college in 1974 determined to beat her son, Mark, and daughter-in-law Carol to a degree. She was successful, graduating in 1975, and began a teaching career that spanned the next 20 years. Lillie taught third grade at Fox Elementary School and then transitioned to Pearl Creek to help open the school in 1982. A remarkable teacher, she engaged children and their families with high standards, expectations and fun. She created the annual Pearl Creek Shoe Box Parade that has continued on at the school to this day, 20 years after her retirement. Children decorate shoe boxes with diorama displays depicting favorite books and parade through the school's hallways. Normally a private and reserved person, Lillie readily confronted prejudice of any kind and believed silence was a form of approval. She loved fishing and made frequent trips to Saskatchewan for lake trout and Valdez for halibut. Mom regularly caught the first fish, the largest fish and the most fish. She enjoyed this accomplishment immensely. So did her family, mostly. Episcopal priest Stephen Reed, FMH chaplain, conducted a private family service prior to her passing. A family remembrance service will follow this summer. The family thanks the wonderful people at Fairbanks Memorial and primary physicians Zach Werle and Jenny Lessner. Expressions of sympathy can be mailed to Ed and the family at P.O. Box 60475, Fairbanks, AK 99706.  Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner from Apr. 10 to Apr. 12, 2015
Smith Jr. , Willie Clint  
Willie Clint Smith Jr. passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 6, 2015, while surrounded by his family. Willie Smith Jr. was born July 30, 1927, in Koran, Louisiana, to Willie Clint Smith Sr. and Ernestine Minnus. Willie worked for 31 years in the state of California as a cement finisher before arriving in Fairbanks in 1976 by way of the pipeline. Although he retired in 1985 from the Cement Mason local Union, Willie worked with several apprenticeship programs in Fairbanks to pass on knowledge and skills to those who were willing to learn his craft. He believed in "paying it forward," and because of his generosity and willingness to train young men in need of a job, many got their start in the trades under Willie's trained eye.  He often was called the "Cornerstone of Fairbanks." Today, you still can see the quarters he embedded in his work around Fairbanks. Willie was a giving person and always wanted to provide people with an opportunity to work to better themselves. He was an entrepreneur in his own right and owned several businesses around town, including Willie's Discount Towing, his own construction, painting and taping business. Through previous unions, Willie had two daughters, Niecey and Regina, and three sons, Clint, Kelly and Junior. While in Fairbanks, Willie met Lillie B. Smith and they were married April 30, 1985. To this union were born twin daughters Aleta "Alta" and Alma Smith. Willie accepted Christ at a young age and was active in his church community all his life. He was a member of Corinthian Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon before he relocated to Arizona. Up until he passed, you always could catch him watching sermons on the Christian channel. Willie is preceded in death by his father, Willie C. Smith Sr.; his mother, Ernestine Minnus; his sister, Anne Mitchell; his daughter, Niecey Smith; and son Willie C. Smith Jr. Willie is survived by his sisters, Carolyn Henry, of Louisiana, and Willie Mae Smith, of California; brother Billie Ray Smith, of California, daughters Aleta and Alma Smith, of Alaska; Regina Smith, of California; sons Clint Smith, of California, and Kelly Smith, of Alaska; nieces Linda Fletcher, of New York, and Carmen Sudduth, of California; nephews Jodie Daniels, of California; Kevin, Damien and Devin Smith, of California; John and Clifton Mitchell, of California; and Tyronne McConnell, of Lousiana; grandchildren, Aliyah and Arianah Butler, and Amayah McRavin, of Alaska; Dynisha, Kyanna and Devonte Smith, of Idaho; Carl Owens, of California, and four great-grandchildren, Kayree Kennell, of Idaho, and Adrian, Kevin and Dorian Smith, of California.  He also leaves to cherish his memory and legacy a host of extended family and friends. Willie will be greatly missed by many people who respected and loved him. He was an incredible dad, granddad and true friend to all who were lucky enough to know him. He had a big wonderful smile, a big heart and a gentle spirit. "We were all blessed to have had him in our lives," his family said.  A celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m. May 2 at St. John Baptist Church, 802 17th Avenue. Cards and condolences may be sent to the family at 1203 26th Ave., Fairbanks, AK 99701.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Apr. 17, 2015
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