Thirty-eight year Alaska resident Jacqueline Shirley Huff, 80, of North Pole, made her journey to heaven on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
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A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at Santa's Senior Center, 101 E. Fifth Avenue, North Pole, with Reverend J.N. Hunter II.
Jackie was born June 14, 1932, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Clarence and Marie Colby. When she was a young girl, her family moved to Los Angeles, Calif. Jackie worked for more than 10 years at the United States Envelope Factory in Los Angeles, where she ran all types of machines and was an inspector.
Jackie married Jack Johnson and they had two sons, Roy and Dean. They later divorced, and Jackie married Tommy Rankin and completed their family with another son, Kevin. The family moved from sunny L.A. to the gloomy and beautiful Redwoods of Crescent City, in northern California.
While in Crescent City, she served on the school board and was a den mother for her sons' Boy Scouts troop. She drove school buses daily and on field trips, sometimes working 10 hours per day. Looking for adventure, Tommy and Jackie moved their family to Fairbanks, in 1975.
They later divorced, and she married Barney Fagen. She loved working alongside Barney at a mine near Central as a mechanics helper and camp cook. She wasn't afraid to try anything, and she learned to drive heavy equipment. Barney passed in 1983.
She worked at FE Gold Camp for a few years as a waitress and met the love of her life, Al Huff. She then worked at Sam's Club as a food server for 10 years, making lifelong friendships. She became a caregiver to Al until his passing in 2004.
Jackie had many health issues herself, but remained in good spirits. She became caregiver to Floyd Swenson until his passing in 2008.
Her sister, Bonnie, was her friend, soul mate and confident. They were great buddies, talking frequently on the phone. The many years of memories and laughter they shared raising their kids will be forever cherished. Those who knew her enjoyed her quick wit and willingess to help whenever she could.
"She will be dearly missed and remain in our hearts forever," her family stated. Jackie is survived by her brother, Darrel Colby, of Everett, Wash.; sister, Lavaughn Bonnie Valdez, of Pamona, Calif.; sons, Dean A. Johnson and Kevin C. Rankin, both of North Pole; grandchildren, Trevor and Kalina Clewell, of Brookings, Ore., Evan Williams and Melissa Cory, of Ester, Alaska, Ruby Williams, of Fairbanks; great-grandchildren, Austin Clewell, Mikey Trent, Ruby Lynn Kindle, Abby Garthwaite; good friends, Loretta Gunn and Cindy Jefferies.
In addition to her parents, Jackie was preceded in death by her sister, June Smith; brother-in-laws, Teddy Valdez and Joe Smith; infant son, Roy Johnson; third husband, Barney Fagen; fourth husband, Al Huff; and companion, Floyd Swenson.
Memorial contributions may be made to the
Arrangements entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Feb. 13, 2013