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George W. Sundborg

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George W. Sundborg

Our dad, George Walter Sundborg, a lifelong journalist, prepared his own obituary with instructions to "update with any interesting circumstances, e.g., died in plane crash in Arizona." He died in bed at age 95, so we have space to note he was a booster and statesman much honored in Alaska. The University of Alaska awarded him an honorary doctorate for years of fighting for statehood, and helping to write the Alaska State Constitution. In his honor, Alaska flags throughout the state will fly at half-staff for a day. Alaska has no law school, so he and Mom endowed scholarships for students from Alaska at Seattle University's School of Law.

Here's what Dad wrote about himself: "Born in San Francisco March 25, 1913; died in Seattle Feb. 7, 2009. Predeceased by wife of 68 years Mary Frances Baker in 2006, and by granddaughter Lynn in 2007. Survived by sons Pierre (wife Jean), Seattle; George Jr. (Lisa), Fairbanks; Rev. Stephen, S.J., Seattle; daughters Dr. Rosemary Hunter (Eugene McGuire), Albuquerque; Dr. Sarah Long (Dr. William), Gladwyne, Pa.; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

"Moved to Seattle 1923. Eagle Scout, assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 65, Seattle. Attended Coe School, graduated from Queen Anne High School 1929, University of Washington 1934. Reporter, city editor, Grays Harbor Daily Washingtonian, Hoquiam; reporter, Daily Alaska Empire, Juneau; editor, Juneau Independent; editor, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Worked during World War II for Executive Office of President and Department of State. General manager, Alaska Development Board, executive assistant to Territorial Governor, elected to Alaska Constitutional Convention, administrative assistant to U.S. Sen. Ernest Gruening (D-Alaska), assistant to director of U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. Founder, Alaska Visitors Association, founder and first president, Alaska State Society, Washington, D.C. Awarded Department of Interior commendation for assistance in transferring Fort Lawton land to City of Seattle to form Discovery Park. Longtime volunteer at Children's Orthopedic Hospital, Blessed Sacrament feed-in and food bank, St. Francis House, and President of the Magnolia Bluffers. Author of "Opportunity in Alaska" and "Hail Columbia."

Funeral Mass will be on Saturday, Feb. 14, at

8 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 3218 W. Barrett St. Dad will be buried beside Mom at Fern Hill Cemetery, Aberdeen. For their loving care during his last years, months and days, respectively, the family thanks Merrill Gardens at Queen Anne, With a Little Help, and Swedish Hospital.

Published in Daily News-Miner on Feb. 12, 2009
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