Obituaries


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  • Former resident Charles William Kangas dies at 59

    Aug 23, 2023

    Charles William Kangas passed away on May 30, in Anchorage after a short illness. He was born in Wrangell to Charles Edward and Sanra K. Kangas on Oct. 25, 1963. He graduated from Wrangell High School in 1981. Charles worked in various commercial fishing jobs with his father and at the Wrangell sawmill. Later, he worked at Ketchikan Pulp Mill. In Anchorage he worked as a sales representative for Spenard Builders Supply for more than 20 years. "Ever since he was a young man, he enjoyed...

  • Former teacher Ron Castle dies at 89 in Idaho

    Aug 9, 2023

    Ron Castle, 89, passed away at home on June 30 in Lewiston, Idaho, after battling cancer. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 18, 1934, and was the eldest of four siblings (Marcia, Connie and Gerald). While growing up Ron spent much of his spare time off the farm, going fishing, hunting and playing basketball and baseball. He went on to play baseball for four years for Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, "and enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of the game with...

  • Former resident Clint Miller was on 1952 state championship team

    Jul 26, 2023

    Former Wrangell resident Clint Owen Miller, 87, died April 27 in Sitka. He was born on Nov. 16, 1935, in Hutton Valley, Missouri, to Stanton Miller and Eva (Williams) Miller. His family lived in Missouri and moved to the shipyards near Portland during World War II, then to logging camps in Idaho after the war, finally settling in Wrangell. Clint grew up in Wrangell, attending school and graduating from high school. As a freshman, he played center for the team that beat West Anchorage for the...

  • Former long-time resident James Rinehart dies at 64

    Jun 28, 2023

    James Randolph Rinehart, 64, passed away April 23 after a prolonged illness in Yakima, Washington. James' remains will be returned to his immediate family in Alaska and a memorial is planned for a future date. "His family appreciates all the kind words and memories shared about Jim. He will be missed by his family, friends and everyone who knew him. Many fond memories of Jim will remain with us," his family wrote. James was born on Jan. 19, 1959, to Pauline and Harry Lloyd Rinehart. He worked...

  • Long-time resident Yvonne Matney-Case dies at 92

    Jun 28, 2023

    Yvonne Matney-Case passed away on June 3, 2023, in Wrangell. There will be a small service at a later date. Yvonne was born in Sacramento, California, on April 10, 1931, to Mary and Curt Curtis. She lived many years in Reno Nevada, before moving to Wrangell, where she met and married Bud Matney and together they owned and operated the NAPA auto and marine parts store. After Bud's passing, she married Theodore Case. "She loved her weekly outings with the lunch ladies and spending time with Carol...

  • Daisy Mae Lewis Callbreath dies at 89

    Jun 28, 2023

    Daisy Mae Lewis Callbreath passed away in Wrangell on May 29, 2023. No service is planned. The family will honor her passing privately. "Daisy spent her final days surrounded by family ones and passed away peacefully," her family wrote. Daisy was born July 4, 1933, and was the eldest child to Delphia and Fredrick Lewis. She was preceded in death by her stepbrother, Donald Lewis Sr.; sibling Fredrick Lewis; and daughter Elizabeth Callbreath. She is survived by her siblings Carol Ferguson...

  • Celebration of life for Gale Glass on Saturday

    Jun 14, 2023

    A celebration of life is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Shoemaker Park in Wrangell. "Please bring a dish to share and if you were lucky enough to get a picture of him, please bring it," the family asked. Gale was born in Sonora, California, on Jan. 6, 1948, to Rudy Glass and Violine Sarff. He was a longtime Wrangell resident. "He was a full-time storyteller and lived a life full of adventures that finally brought him home to Wrangell," his family wrote. Gale is preceded in death by...

  • Former Wrangell resident Myra Arlene Sarber dies age 80

    Jun 7, 2023

    Myra Arlene Sarber passed with her family by her side April 14 in Sunnyside, Oregon. Myra was born the sixth child of seven in Spokane, Washington, to Thelma Irene and Faber Sebastian Wondzell. In 1951, her family moved by steamship to Wrangell in the territory of Alaska. 1955 brought a consistent and loving stepfather, Albert Ronning. She married her lifelong love, Homer Sarber, in Petersburg in 1962, and they settled down in Ketchikan to raise their family. Myra and Homer lived in Ketchikan...

  • Frank Duane Kelly dies at 86

    May 17, 2023

    Frank Duane Kelly, 86, of Wrangell, passed away April 30 in Wrangell after battling a long illness. He was born in North Dakota on Feb. 23, 1937. He enlisted at a young age and served four years in the U.S. Army. After an honorable discharge from the service, he began his journey and love for Alaska. He logged and fished throughout Southeast until choosing to settle in Wrangell with his sister Patricia and brother-in-law Bill Overbay. "Everyone knew Duane as just 'Kelly,'" his family wrote. "He...

  • Constance 'Connie' Mae Buness; Jan. 16, 1934, to April 14, 2023

    May 17, 2023

    It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother and dear friend Constance (Connie) Mae Buness on April 14, 2023. Born to Bonita (Bunny) and Hugo Stoke on January 16, 1934, in Tomahawk , Wisconsin, Connie was raised primarily in Tacoma, Washington, with her older brother James (Jimmy) Stoke. After high school graduation, Connie entered nursing school, but her newly discharged Army fiancé Oliver (Ole) had other ideas, which...

  • Charter boat operator Bob Farrell dies at 79

    May 10, 2023

    Robert Paul "Bob" Farrell, 79, of Wrangell, passed away on March 21 in his home. He will be buried at Sitka National Cemetery on Thursday, May 11. Bob was born in Boston to Anna Elizabeth McGuigan and John Francis Farrell on May 18, 1943. He went to high school at Needham High School, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1961. He joined the Army on July 22, 1964, and served in Vietnam during the war. He was honorably discharged on July 21, 1970. Bob went on to earn a certificate in electronics from...

  • Longtime resident Betty Keegan dies at 90

    Apr 19, 2023

    Former Wrangell resident Elizabeth "Betty" Ann Twitchell Keegan, 90, passed away on March 31 in Moses Lake, Washington, following complications of a stroke. She was born April 19, 1932. As a child, Betty and her mother traveled the Lower 48 following Betty's father from Seattle to San Diego and Miami with stops in between while he served as a career sailor in the U.S. Navy. During World War II, Betty and her mother lived with her grandmother in Wilkeson, Washington, when her father fought in...

  • David K. Hartung: July 3, 1951, to March 5, 2023

    Mar 29, 2023

    Dave Hartung, 71, of Wrangell, passed away March 5, 2023, in Portland, Oregon. He was surrounded by his family and loved ones. A celebration of life was held in Portland on March 26. Dave was born and raised in Portland. He demonstrated his mechanical abilities at a very young age, and was even known to help the nuns in grade school with some basic car maintenance. (It wouldn't surprise anyone to hear that he was known to let the air out of the tires at recess, so he could get called out of...

  • Randy Churchill Jr., 39, dies in logging accident

    Mar 22, 2023

    Randy William Churchill Jr., 39, of Wrangell, passed away on Feb. 22, 2023, after a logging accident. Randy was born on Dec. 27, 1983, to Carol and Randy Churchill Sr. at Wrangell General Hospital. After graduating from Wrangell High School in 2002 he went on to study welding at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward, and graduated in May 2003 with welding technology and pipe welding technology certificates. After graduating, Randy started his first welding job in Bellingham...

  • Celebration of life for George Phillips on April 1

    Mar 15, 2023

    George Phillips, 74, of Wrangell, passed away from lung cancer at the Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System Medical ICU in Seattle on Feb. 24. A celebration of life is planned for 2 p.m. April 1 at the Harbor Light Assembly of God Church in Wrangell. George was born on Jan. 19, 1949, to George and Betty Jane Phillips in Kalispell, Montana. When he was 8 years old, his parents moved to Oregon, where his mother could carry on with her music career. When his parents moved to Astori...

  • Longtime resident Luella Rae Davidson dies at 85

    Feb 22, 2023

    Longtime resident Luella Rae Davidson, known as "Grandma Lou," passed away Jan. 31 in Wrangell. A celebration of life will be held at Harbor Light Church at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, with a small potluck reception to follow downstairs. "If you are able to bring a dish to share, please do," her family wrote. Luella was born Feb. 28, 1937, in California to Ralph and Dale Schrader. They moved to Oregon where she attended Roseburg High School where she met her future husband, Kenneth Davidson. They...

  • Charmaine Honey Benston dies at 63 in Klawock

    Feb 22, 2023

    Charmaine Honey Benston, 63, passed away on Feb. 1 in Klawock. She was born on Dec. 20, 1959, in Wrangell to Gladys and Gilbert Gunderson. She was the youngest member of the family. As a child she resided in Wrangell, attending school and later getting her GED. She moved to Klawock on Prince of Wales Island, where she met her husband, Carl Benston, in 1997. They were married on July 2, 1999. "She loved Prince of Wales Island, especially as each season came and went and putting up traditional...

  • Lifelong resident and fisherman Felix Villarma dies at 90

    Feb 15, 2023

    Felix Villarma, 90, passed away on Jan. 22 in Wrangell. He was born on Feb. 28, 1932, in Wrangell. "He loved Wrangell!" the family wrote. "From a very early age, Felix was a hard worker. He cut halibut cheeks, sold scrap fish to the local mink farm, and was a paperboy for the Wrangell Sentinel." He graduated from Wrangell High School in 1949, where he was an excellent basketball player. He also worked as a deck hand on several different boats during those years. In the fall of 1950, he left...

  • Long-time resident Marlene Ann Clarke dies at 86

    Feb 15, 2023

    Marlene Ann Clarke passed away Feb. 7 in the Wrangell long-term care facility. She was born on April 3, 1936, to Nellie Prescott and Howard Messinger in Wrangell. She spent most of her childhood in Wrangell except for short stays in Juneau, Haines and Anchorage. She came back in the third grade and graduated from Wrangell High School in 1954. Working summers in the shrimp and fish canneries gave her the push to move to California to try something different after graduation. She took business...

  • Services planned Feb. 18 for Dennis Berkeley

    Feb 8, 2023

    Former Wrangell resident Dennis Robert Berkeley, 76, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on Dec. 7, 2022, in Sitka, his family reported. He was surrounded by family and friends, and was visited by many close friends and family during his final stay in Sitka. A service will be held on his birthday, Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Wrangell. He was born Feb. 18, 1946, in Petersburg, and grew up in Kake, where he developed his love for commercial fishing and...

  • Christine Jenkins

    Jan 18, 2023

    Christine Jenkins passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on January 4, 2023, at the age of 94. She was a lifelong Wrangell resident and a much-loved and respected member of the Wrangell community. Cecelia Christine Feller was born October 12, 1928, in Wrangell to Otto and Susie (Cooday) Feller. She was the youngest of seven children. She was Tlingit Raven/Frog, Kiks.a'di of the Sun House in Wrangell and was a tribal citizen of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Christine...

  • Harvey Gross -- April 7, 1929, to Nov. 30, 2022

    Dec 14, 2022

    Lifelong resident Harvey Gross came to the end of the trail and met death on Nov. 30, 2022, at the Wrangell SEARHC medical hospital. Born in Wrangell on April 7, 1929, to his Tlingit mother Bessie (Nickerson) Gross and Father William (Bill) Gross Sr., Harvey was the youngest of five children. Like so many who were poor during the Great Depression, he described living those years as "the chicken in the summer and the feathers in the winter." About 1935, the family took up homesteading on the...

  • Longtime resident Ron Kagee dies at 86

    Nov 30, 2022

    Ronald D. Kagee passed away Nov. 17 at the Wrangell Medical Center. Burial is planned for 1 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the Sunset Gardens Cemetery. No reception is planned. Ron was born to Bill and Toney Kagee on March 14, 1936, in Longview, Washington. He joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from high school in Castle Rock, Washington. He spent two years in the military in Germany and played the bugle. He then worked as a cutter in logging, working in Washington and Oregon before coming to Alas...

  • Former real estate broker John L. Tullis Sr. dies at 99

    Oct 19, 2022

    Former Wrangell real estate broker John L. Tullis Sr., 99, passed away peacefully with his two daughters present on Sept. 28 in Camas, Washington. Tullis was born on Jan. 16, 1923, in Pendleton, Oregon. He was raised on a ranch, caring for animals, pitching hay, building fences, cleaning the barn and cooking with his mom. He was one of six kids, second from the bottom. He drove a Model T Ford to high school and later sold it for $25. Serving in the Navy during World War II took him to the...

  • William Gregory Aalbertsberg dies at 74

    Oct 5, 2022

    William Gregory Aalbertsberg dies at 74 William "Will" Gregory Aalbertsberg, 74, passed away on July 30. He had lived in Wrangell since 2009. William was born on July 29, 1948, in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. As a young man, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as soon as he could. "He loved telling the tale of how he celebrated his 17th birthday in boot camp," his family wrote. Will was proud of his service, and a lifelong love of the shooting sports and weaponry took hold as he earned his M14...

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