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Baker, Nancy  
On Aug. 16, 2015, Fairbanks lost pioneer and entrepreneur Nancy Baker. At 94 years old, she never lost her mischievous grin or attitude that made her one of a kind. Nancy was always up to something: creating, fixing or finding her own unique solution - even if she was the only one who could identify the problem.  Nancy was born in Washington, D.C., to Norman and Mariam Baker, and then grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later in White Plains, New York, with her two sisters, Patricia and Jane Baker. Nancy always wanted to fly and got her first flight training and earned her pilot's license in 1937 in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. After graduating with a business degree from Bergen Junior College in Hackensack, New Jersey, she worked as a welder at Piper Aircraft in Lockhaven, Pennsylvania, (1941-43). Nancy joined the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) in 1943 for training in Sweetwater, Texas, where Ginny Wood was a roommate. After training, she was stationed in Wilmington, Delaware, for the Ferry Command where she met Celia Hunter. Nancy was well known in Fairbanks as one of the WASPs who called Fairbanks home after World War II. During the war, Nancy shuttled airplanes across the continental United States, flying planes such as the P-40, P-47, P-51 and P-63 direct from the factories to the coasts where they were shipped to Europe and Asia. The Thunderbolt and Mustangs were her favorites to fly. Unfortunately, she never got to fly planes to Alaska as they would not allow WASPs to fly over foreign lands; Canada or Mexico. The WASPs were finally recognized as veterans in 1977. In July 2009, Congress honored Nancy and the other surviving WASPs with the Congressional Gold Medal. She was dedicated to her fellow WASP veterans, keeping up with newsletters and attending numerous reunions. In May 2014, Nancy joined other war veterans on an "Honor Flight" trip to Washington, D.C.,  to recognize their service and celebrate the new World War II Memorial. Her good friends and fellow WASPs, Ginny Wood and Celia Hunter, brought Nancy to Fairbanks in 1950, where she could be her own person and follow her dreams. "To live where I could fly planes, and wear jeans and boots" was all she ever wanted as a young girl. In Alaska, pursuing and shaping her independence was not only a possibility, but expected. She worked for Wien Alaska Airlines as a tour guide in Kotzebue. She then started several businesses including Eskimo Maid, a traditional kuspuk and parka making business where she contracted with Native women seamstresses in Wainwright; and Midnight Sun Shut–Eye, a comfortable sleep mask she designed and sold. Nancy was one who saw what was needed in our community, believed in equality and worked to make a difference. She believed every family home should have a complete set of World Book Encyclopedias. Flying throughout the state of Alaska, she sold many of these treasured resources connecting everyone to the world. Nancy's mainstay business that is still thriving today was as the creator and keeper of the "Little Yellow Map." One can find this map conveniently and strategically placed all over Fairbanks. It has saved many a newcomer and tourist from going the wrong way on Cushman Street or just helped them get around town. If you have ever given one of these maps to an out of town guest or have one in your glove box, you can thank Nancy.  Nancy had a few properties she rented. The dry cabin on Grenac Road gave many people their first taste of living in Alaska, and many stayed, making Fairbanks home. She seemed to seek out tenants with dogs. Her landlord philosophy was, "Tenants with dogs come home every night and take care of things. They are more reliable and they don't move around as much."  Over the years, Nancy was devoted to a wide assortment of cats and dogs. She may have lived alone, but she was never truly alone. They say there are dog people and cat people, but Nancy was truly both. The dogs got to ride around town and go for walks and the cats roosted on any number of perches and soft warm beds throughout the house.  Nancy was a vocal advocate and proud supporter of many causes that made Fairbanks the community it is today: KUAC, Girl Scouts, PFLAG, Animal Shelter, Planned Parenthood, Reproductive Rights, N.O.W, Compassion and Choice, Democrats, the Arts in Fairbanks, our local Food Bank, Friends of Creamer's Field and many others. One never had to ask Nancy where she stood on an issue -she would always tell it like it is or at least how it ought to be.  Nancy has left an indelible imprint at the national level - furthering equal rights and opportunities for women as pilots; at the local level with entrepreneurial enterprises and contributor to local agencies, and on the personal level with those whose lives she touched with her energy, vision and independent attitude. Good bye, dear friend. Fairbanks won't be the same without you.  Please join in the celebration of Nancy Baker's life at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home located at 2221 Eagan Street off Wilbur Street. Come share stories, learn more about this amazing woman and drink a toast to our dear friend. Wear your Eskimo Maid "parkey" if you are lucky enough to have one. As Nancy would say, "Don't waste money on damn flowers. Donate that money to the community nonprofit of your choice." Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 29, 2015
Carlson, Perri  
Perri Carlson, nee Patricia Colleen Parr, passed away peacefully in her home at Raven Landing on Aug. 26, 2015, at age 67. She was born June 6, 1948, in Vienna, Austria, to Charles H. Parr and Eloise Perdue Parr. She came into a family with twin 2-year-old boys, Charlie and Chipper. About the time she came to Alaska with family in 1961, she insisted on being called "Perri" instead of "Patsy" as she had been known until then. Her determination, insistence and persistence eventually got the whole family to comply and she has been Perri to all since then. Perri attended Main Junior High School and graduated from Lathrop High School in 1966. In 1969, she married Vern Carlson, and they had two children, Sonja Diane and Charles Vernon Carlson III, known as Bjorn. Sonja died unexpectedly young in 2008, leaving behind her husband, John Quebbemann, and daughter Kalina, of Fairbanks. Bjorn and his wife Baylie (Gray) and their children, Freyja and Ogden, moved to Virginia in early August of this year. Perri worked with Vern in establishing and running his business as a State Farm agent. She also returned to school, earning a degree in early childhood development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Perri was predeceased by her biological mother, her father and her daughter. She is survived by her husband, Vern, of Chicago; her mother, Karen Parr, of Fairbanks; her son, Bjorn, and his wife, Bailey, and their children; her son-in-law, John Quebbemann, and granddaughter Kalina, of Fairbanks; her brother, Charlie, of Fairbanks, and his wife, Marilyn Biagi; brother Chipper and his wife, Sandy, of Juneau; and sister Maria Sample and her husband, Roger, of Charleston, South Carolina. She also is survived by a niece and nephew she helped raise, Chrissy McHugh, of Seattle, and Jason Parr, of Vashon, Washington. Other nieces and nephews include Charlie Parr, of Fairbanks, Elizabeth Parr, of Seattle, Jesse Parr, of Juneau, Suzanne Morris, of Juneau, and Kari Stevens, of Phoenix. Perri touched the lives of many with her kindness, generosity, and love. She will be greatly missed by all of us. Her family invites you to join them in a celebration of her life beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Raven Landing Community Center. For information, please call 374-9085. Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 29, 2015
Daigle, Daniel  
Daniel T. Daigle, 68, of Fairbanks, passed away Aug. 24, 2015. Service information and a full obituary will follow at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Legacy Funeral Homes - Chapel of Chimes.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 28, 2015
Debes, Penelope  
Penelope Jane Debes, 68, died peacefully Aug. 17, 2015, at the home of her son, Jeremiah Sheahen, in Hollywood, Florida, after an extended illness. Penny was born Nov. 27, 1946, in Syracuse, New York, and grew up in Rochester, New York. She graduated with honors in professional nursing from Finger Lakes Community College and worked as a registered nurse for 15 years at Newark Wayne Community Hospital. She subsequently moved to Alaska, where she worked for 20 years as an RN in the Emergency Department of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Following her retirement in 2012, she moved to Beauregard, Alabama, where she lived briefly before moving to Hollywood, Florida. From an early age, Penny loved all animals, especially horses. In Alaska, she owned several horses and regularly went with friends on trail riding and camping excursions. She also enjoyed dogsledding. She had a longtime love of New York's Adirondack Mountains, where her family members often gathered in the summer at a family-owned camp. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Jane Debes. She is survived by her daughter, Jessica Burke, of Sodus Point, New York, and son Jeremiah Sheahen (Michelle), of Hollywood, Florida; her grandson, Ryan Debes; sister Janne Debes (Ken Autrey), and brothers Peter Debes (Kathy Castania) and Jeff Debes (Kim Urbach). Arrangements for a memorial gathering will be announced later. Memorial contributions may be sent to Lollypop Farm, 99 Victor Road., Fairport, NY 14450 or to Loving Companions Animal Rescue, 1360 Old Richardson Highway, North Pole, AK 99705. Memorial messages may be sent to Janne Debes at jwdebes@outlook.com . Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 25, 2015
Deininger, Elizabeth  
Elizabeth Jane Deininger (Haas), age 95, passed away at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home on Aug. 17, 2015. Elizabeth (Betty) was born July 16, 1920, in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Meritt Bower Haas, a mechanic, and Florence Julia Haas (Jones). She was the third child of four. She had two sisters, Denise and Valeria, and one brother, Alison. Her father, Meritt, came from a family that was well known for its seafood restaurant in Reading, Pennsylvania, and he had his own auto repair shop. During the Depression, the family opened a restaurant in their home for supplemental income.  Elizabeth graduated from Reading High School in 1938 and went to work in a candy factory. While working there, she met and married, on Jan. 18, 1942, James William Deininger, an active duty petty officer (radioman) in the U.S. Navy, also of Reading Pennsylvania. On Jan. 24, 1947, while stationed at the Winter Harbor Navy Station in Maine, she gave birth to their only child, James William Deininger Jr. After completing that tour of duty, the family moved to Valeo, California, where Elizabeth and son lived in Naval housing for a year while her husband was stationed in Brazil.  Subsequent tours of duty in the Washington, D.C., area included an overseas assignment to Cyprus for the entire family.  On return, the family built a house in Savage, Maryland, her husband then working for the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland. Living in Maryland, summer family outings included crabbing, clamming and fishing on the Eastern Shore and the lower Chesapeake Bay. During this time, the family also became avid square dancers. In 1964, an opening in James' section came available in Anchorage. To live in Alaska was an ambition conceived during a ship board visit to Juneau just after the war. So the family moved to Anchorage, pulling a small camper trailer across the eastern U.S. and Canada, arriving in Alaska in July 1964.  They enjoyed Alaska activities, such as fishing the Kenai's Russian River and in the streams of the Matanuska Valley, camping, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the Hatcher Pass area and square dancing. Upon retirement, they snowbirded for two years in their camper until purchasing a house in Palmer in 1975 where they settled in. Her husband passed away Nov. 20, 1990. Elizabeth continued to keep house in Palmer until 1992, when she moved to Fairbanks to be with her son and his family. She moved into the Fairbanks Pioneer Home in December 2009, where she was well cared for by Pioneer Home staff and family.  She is preceded in death by her husband, James W. Deininger; parents Meritt Bower and Florence Julia Haas, and siblings Alison, Valeria and Denise. She is survived by James W. Deininger Jr., of Fairbanks, and grandchildren Jeremy Alan, Jenny Elizabeth and Johanna Christine.  Her ashes will be interred at a future date beside those of her husband's in the family plot at Forest Hills Cemetery in Reading, Pennsylvania. Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 25, 2015
Dickey, Bradley Wilfer  
Go gently back to the ocean from which you were created and know you are missed.  Bradley Wilfer Dickey was born to Adah Christiansen and Wilfer Dickey on Jan. 14, 1936, in Worthington, Minesota. An accomplished lad from an early age, Brad was an Acolyte, a classical pianist, an Eagle Scout and he loved to show champion Tennessee walking horses throughout the Midwest.  In 1957, Brad earned his pharmaceutical degree from the University of Colorado. Shortly afterwards, he met and married Paula Schildhouer. Brad was a gifted entrepreneur. His first businesses were in Worthington; as a pharmacist he opened the Dickey Thrifty Drug. He also owned a mobile home park, Wagon Wheel Estates. He moved to Alaska in 1971. He first tested the business waters in Chugiak by partnering up with Thillman Wallace in the Klondike Concrete Company. After a short time, he found one of his true gifts as a master home builder. He constructed more than 20 homes in three Eagle River subdivisions. In the 1980s, Brad began commercial fishing out of Homer. Partnering up with Jim Fetterly, they purchased The Sea Venture. They crabbed and long-lined until an unfortunate set of circumstances capsized The Sea Venture in February 1992. Crew member Todd Jensen was lost. By heroic actions of another crew member, Tony Banco, Brad was spared. After his brush with death, Brad turned his focus to growing his seafood company, Katch Seafood. Brad retired from the fast paced retail shop in 1997, turning again to building and remodeling rentals in Homer. Brad was a quiet, soft-spoken man with a great sense of humor. Brad adored Paula, his wife of 52 years. He loved his family and friends, as well as traveling, gardening, cooking, hunting and fishing. Friends will remember his thrill of winning 10th place in the 2011 Homer winter king salmon tournament. Brad was preceded in death by his parents, Wilfer and Adah Dickey; his sister, Marilyn Dickey; his niece, Karoline Williams; his only son, Devon Wilfer Dickey, in 2000, and his wife, Paula, in 2011. Brad leaves behind his niece, Cindy Roy, of St. George, Utah, and his nephew, Steve Malmgren, of Mesquite, Nevada, and their children, as well as many good friends. Brad died June 17, 2015, in an unexplained car crash. Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 22, 2015
Fett, Marie  
Funeral services for Marie Fett will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, in Delta Junction. Immediately after Mass, we will travel to Rest Haven Cemetery for the burial. We will then proceed to the Sullivan Roadhouse and take a "walk" through Marie's memories. Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 25, 2015
Hope Jr. , Ulak  
Ulak "Homeboy" Hope, Jr. was born in Beaver to Ellen and Ulak Hope on May 2, 1955. Homeboy was easy going and never hurt or spoke bad about anyone. He was comical, humorous, always smiling and had nicknames for everyone: Nellie baby, Birdie in the trees, Moose island Jenny, Down river girl, Home girl, School girl, Baby love, Old Chief, Rampart baby girl, Betty's baby girl, Girly, Hey girl, Down river Indian friend, Old battle ax, God brother, just to name a few. He lived in Beaver, where he loved to hunt and travel throughout the Yukon Flats. Many family and friends will miss him throughout the region, and have been posting wonderful memories of Homeboy:   "He use to walk around in the woods with just a spear."  "A little man that was a giant … A giant heart, a nice giant man's hand shake, a real tuff little giant he was, and with a giant smile for everyone he met … sure will miss seeing your smiling face around Homeboy whenever I go home, may you rest in peace my friend."  "Will definitely miss Arluk …he was an awesome, fun-loving guy. He use to come down to Rampart a lot when we were younger, when Auntie Elsie was at fish camp. When I would run into him in Fairbanks he always called me "Rampart baby girl" or "Betty's baby girl ... sure going to miss his happy face." "Dang so sad to see. He always was a happy guy! U will be missed buddy." "RIP Homeboy or as my baby called him Little man."  "Rest in peace Homeboy, always a smiling face and kind hello." "There was a morning this summer when a bus load of tourists had stopped and visited. As the 70 Saskatchewans or Scandinavians or somebodys were leaving the Church, getting ready to board their bus, his friend happened to be walking by, smiling. Smiling he stood there greeting them as they left. 'Thank you,' this smiling short figure eyes smiling kept saying, shaking their hands, 'Thank you for stopping to visit OUR Church. Oh HO, Oh HO.' (Note the 'Our'.) They loved it; and smiled back in return. (Because that's the way smiles and friendliness work). And some of us watching rolled our eyes and some of us watching just smiled. He has every sense that his friend now is smiling and shaking hands in That Country of Light, while small pockets of us here sit in the darkening evening smiling and remembering. No one ever ever ever ever heard him say an unkind word about anyone. Ever. And that is not a bad Legacy to leave." "May your travels in the afterlife always be adventurous with a never ending supply of 'chew.'" Ulak is the beloved son of Ulak and Ellen Hope (both deceased); brother of Annie Brittan (deceased), James Hope, Judy Leavitt, Mildred Spruell, Samuel Hope, David Hope, Gerald Hope (deceased) and Thomas Mott (deceased); uncle of Gregory and Rochelle Hope, Darlene Leavitt and Bunna Aveoganna, Sheila and Ralph Burke, Ambrose Leavitt Jr., Eluktoona Leavitt, Robert Dale Leavitt, Ambrosia E. Leavitt, and godfather of James Wade Jr. A spaghetti fundraiser is planned from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., today, Aug. 27, at the Tribal Hall, followed by a potluck at 5 p.m. in the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Parrish Hall. Donations accepted and appreciated. Services will be held with visitation at 11 a.m. and service at noon Friday, Aug. 28, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fairbanks. Visitation, service and final resting place will be on Saturday, Aug. 29, in Beaver with a potlatch to follow. Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 27, 2015
Kwachka, Patricia "Pat"  
Friends and family of Pat Kwachka will gather for a memorial meeting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 in the Gathering Room, first floor Brooks Building (between the library and Duckering Building) on the UAF campus.  Pat, who was professor emerita of linguistics and anthropology, died May 20, 2015, at her home in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where she and her husband, Jim Deitz, moved after she retired from UAF.  Following the memorial, a potluck gathering will be held for friends and family at 1973 Kittiwake. Directions will be available at the Brooks Building. If you have questions, please call 479-5744.  
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 26, 2015
Kwachka, Patricia Pat  
Friends and family of Pat Kwachka will gather for a memorial meeting at 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29, in the Gathering Room on the first floor of the Brooks Building (between the library and Duckering Bldg.) on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.  Pat, who was professor emerita of linguistics and anthropology, died May 20, 2015, at her home in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where she and her husband, Jim Deitz, moved after she retired from UAF.  Following the memorial, a potluck gathering will be held for friends and family at 1973 Kittiwake. Directions will be available at the Brooks Building. If you have questions, please call 479-5744.   Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign an online guest book.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 24, 2015
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