Lily Osterback ALFORD Lily passed onto her heavenly glory on April 24, 2008 at the age of 99. She was born February 10, 1909 in Cold Bay, Alaska in the Shumagin Islands while her family was on a hunting trip. Her father dug a cave in the side of the hill for shelter on that frosty winter morning to deliver his baby girl. Oskar Alfred Osterback (Al) and Fackla Vereskin raised Lily and her 8 siblings on isolated Wosnessenski Isle. Like Swiss Family Robinson, her family learned to survive in relative solitude. Her Papa made her ice skates from metal files and leather straps and she would ski on barrel staves. She enjoyed fishing and hunting (which was like a shopping trip to them!) and gardening and making clothes for her whole family. Entertainment on the island was practicing penmanship and reading. Lily stayed busy her whole life and would sew, knit, crochet, embroider and quilt gifts for her family and friends. Lily had some moments of fame in the early 1930's as the only "Indian Girl" (she was half Aleut) to hold a Ham Radio License in the United States. The Seattle PI and other mainland newspapers labeled her the "Queen of the North". She would communicate with people all over the world on their homemade transmitter and receiver, her call letters were K7ANQ. Lily was preceded in death by her husband Harold T. (Red) Alford Sr., her parents, 6 siblings Walter, Ida, George, Eleanor, Alvin and Nora, her daughter, Lea Bowen and grandson Jason Scholz. She is survived by her baby sisters Florence "Dewdy" Nettle and Pauline Calugan of AK, daughters Ilene Evans of WA, Julie (Brad) Brousseau of CT and Connie Jerry of TX and step-sons Harold Alford, Jr. and Gerald Alford both of WA. She is also survived by her grandchildren Laurette (Jon) Buxton, Jay McGrath, Gina (Sam) Spiller, Allan (Cheryl) Gerking, Kismet Harvey and Joe Scholz; 16 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. Lily was "Mama" to her own children and to many others whom she loved and cared for over the years. Her can-do attitude was inspirational; she sought out the best in everyone and loved with her whole heart. She was admired and respected by all who were privileged to know her. A Memorial Celebration of her life will be held Saturday May 3, 2008 at Bitterlake Community Center 13035 Linden Ave N, Seattle at 11:00 a.m., lunch to immediately follow. Remembrances may be made to the American Heart Association
; flowers should be delivered between 10 and 10:30 at the Community Center.
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Published by The Seattle Times from Apr. 29 to Apr. 30, 2008.