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Jan Baker "J.B." Carnahan


1937 - 2019
Jan Baker "J.B." Carnahan Obituary
Jan Baker (J.B.) Carnahan passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 9, 2019, at 82 years of age.
J.B. was born Jan. 21, 1937, in San Francisco, California, to Virgil and Mildred Carnahan. The family then moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, one week after the attack on Pearl Harbor, where his father was transferred for work. His fondest childhood memories were of these years, before moving back to San Francisco and graduating from George Washington High School in 1955.
He spent a long stint working on an oil tanker and serving as a popular life guard at Stinson Beach before attending City College and graduating with a degree in hospitality. Life had other plans for J.B., however, and he joined the Walnut Creek Police Department in 1958; the beginning of what would become a lifelong service in law enforcement.
In March 1959, he met the love of his life, Roberta J. Peeters, and they were married Sept. 6 of the same year. In 1966, J.B. was recruited by the United States Agency for International Development to serve as a public safety officer in Vietnam. The family relocated to the Philippines, where they lived during his time of service in order to be closer to each other.
In addition to a son and daughter, they added to their family through adoption during this time. One son came from Vietnam in 1968 and another was adopted in the Philippines during their last year in the country. In 1971, he flew his family back to the U.S., bought a van and began the trek north on the Alaska Highway, arriving in Fairbanks on July 4, 1971. He returned to Vietnam after the purchase of a Fairbanks home to finish his service, and the Carnahan's began putting their roots down while waiting for his return.
J.B. joined the Fairbanks City Police Department in 1972 and retired in 1989 at the rank of sergeant. During his tenure with FPD, he founded the Fairbanks Neighborhood Watch and Crime Prevention programs. He also founded the Fairbanks Police Cadets.
During this time, and well into the early '90s, J.B. and Roberta opened their home to nearly 150 foster children during their years as foster parents. They always found themselves with a very full house, with kids and their friends knowing it was a safe place to be.
Police retirement was not just an end to a distinguished career for J.B., but the beginning of new opportunities. He purchased "Craigrick's," a local party store that the family operated for many years. He also began his radio career as "the Cruiser" on KIAK FM, reporting road conditions every morning as part of the popular morning show that Pete Van Nort, the Cruiser and Kathryn Harris have broadcast for nearly 30 years. They were a great team, and he loved his radio family. J.B. was very proud of some of the weather phrases he coined over the years, such as "the brakes are not your friend," and " the roads have a pucker factor of 10."
Never concerning himself too much with political correctness, his listening audience trusted him to prepare them for the winter drive to work. In addition to these activities and interests he was lifelong Shriner as a master mason of Lodge No. 12 in Fairbanks, past potentate of Alaska Shrine, a York Rite mason, a Shrine clown and a member of the Rite-Care Foundation. He was also a 33rd degree Grand Cross recipient of the Scottish Rite of Masonry.
Most recently, J.B. and Roberta had completed a whirlwind 27 day cruise to celebrate their 60 years of marriage, a marriage that truly stood the test of time and was the foundation of their family. J.B. is survived by his wife, Roberta Carnahan; his sister, Dawn Stone, and her husband, Jeff; his children, Randi Carnahan, Scott Carnahan and his wife, Laurel, Tom Carnahan and Hen Carnahan; is grandchildren, Darren Resa and his wife, Krystal, Brianna Carnahan, Brandon, Daniel and Kody Carnahan, along with their mother, Cindy Pennington; also his great-grandchildren, Adrianna Carnahan, Mila Chin, J.B. Resa, Logan Resa, Riley Chin and little Miss Harper. He still lives on through all of us, and we are forever grateful to have had him.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in J.B.'s name to Alaska Scottish Rite-Care, 518 14th Ave., Anchorage, AK, 99501.
A celebration of life will be held at the Event Center and Lounge at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, 1288 Sadler Way, Fairbanks 99701.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 20, 2019
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