Feb 12, 1949 - Sep 18, 2022
Mar 02, 1960 - Oct 04, 2023
Arrangements are currently incomplete. Connie Diane Clayton was born on March 2, 1960 in Savannah, Tennessee, the daughter of the late Shirley Neal and Neva Kate Sanford Clayton. In the early 2000s, Connie moved to Alaska to pursue her career in nursing, instantly falling in love with the state. She returned back to her hometown, Savannah, Tennessee, to reside alongside her family. She dreamed of going back to Alaska one day and in 2021, her wish came true. Connie spent her final years in her happy place, Alaska. Connie was a kind-hearted woman of God who loved helping others. She had a passion for traveling, crafts, interior decorating, and the outdoors. She was a wonderful cook. Connie was loved and cherished by many. Connie Diane Clayton departed this life on October 4, 2023 in Seward, Alaska at the age of 63 years, 7 months, and 2 days. She is survived by her sons, Kevin Gray of Winder, Georgia and Adam Bain of Savannah, Tennessee; daughter, Avery Clayton of Seward, Alaska; brother, Kenneth Varnell of McDonough, Georgia; grandchildren, Clayton Bain of Savannah, Tennessee, Lainey Bain of Savannah, Tennessee, and Haleigh Connor of Hampton, Georgia; and 4 great grandchildren.
Feb 12, 1949 - Sep 18, 2022
Georgia Marlene Blackmon passed away peacefully, with her family at her side, in Seward, Alaska on September 18, 2022. She was born February 12, 1949 to John and Nina Reed. Marlene is preceded in death by her parents; loving husband of 34 years, Bo Blackmon; brother Jimmy Reed; and sister Louise Laird. She is survived by her children, Lori Parish and husband Michael, Jennifer Balckmon; and Courtney Williams; grandchildren, Christopher, Mathew, Makenzie, Bo, Emma, and Hunter; and brother John Reed and wife Beverly. Numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends also survive. Marlene was a faithful member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Trinity. In her leisure time, she enjoyed crocheting and writing poetry. Her favorite pastime was spending time with her family, especially her beloved grandchildren. She will be dearly missed by those that she leaves behind to cherish her memory and protect her legacy. To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Marlene Blackmon, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
Apr 09, 1952 - Sep 02, 2021
Virginia Mary Reilly, 69, of Summerville, SC died September 2, 2021 in Seward, Alaska, while on a vacation with her husband, son, and daughter. Ginger was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on April 9, 1952, the daughter of Walter and Frances Reilly. She grew up in nearby Linden, NJ and graduated from Linden High School. Ginger graduated from Rutgers University in 1974 with a Bachelor's degree in Forestry. She went on to receive a Masters of Forestry degree from Yale University in 1976. Ginger began her professional career in Texas with Kirby Forest Industries. She moved to Summerville in 1979, where she joined Westvaco, met and married her husband, and raised her family. Ginger retired from Westvaco after 27 years of service. Her career at Westvaco included a number of different roles, including maintenance manager, technical forester, and minerals manager. She was most proud of her service as district forester, guiding over a dozen people and 90,000 acres of land through the worst fire season. . .
Died : May 01, 2019
Helen Gourley Wasson, 94, of Seward, AK, passed away Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Providence Seward Medical Center. A memorial service will be held for Helen on Friday, May 17, at 3:00 pm at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Seward. She was a child of the Ozarks and the Depression. Helen Joyce Gourley was delivered into this world by her country doctor grandfather Oscar Gourley in Bado, Missouri on July 28, 1924, her father Gaulford Gourley a farmer and skilled laborer, her mother Mary (Farley) a school teacher who loved Shakespeare. They raised nine children with Helen being fourth oldest. What they couldn't grow, they got from the land eating squirrels, rabbits, possum, wild nuts, and berries. During the hardest of times they survived on water biscuits and water gravy. Helen's father taught her how to trap rabbits, and she checked her traps each day before dawn. Her mother taught her how to make a meal out of very little. Even during her last days in the hospital she made sure the family dog got any uneaten food. She learned the love of literature and poetry in her country school and could still recite throughout her life. After business college in Springfield she went to California to work and met a blue-eyed Marine working in company security. Joe Wasson had just spent a year in hospital after being wounded in the Pacific. They were soon married and spent the next forty-seven years on an adventure. Joe worked for an oil company to start with and his work took them to Wyoming and Texas where their three children Dennis, Jennifer and Elizabeth were born. Joe later went to welding school and worked in plumbing and contracting. Jobs and Joe's wandering star led the family to live in ten other western states, Joe and Helen building six houses themselves. Just before Joe passed away in Emmett, Idaho in 1994 he tried to get Helen to move to Costa Rica. Wherever Helen lived she planted gardens, fruit trees, and berry patches. She was very active in the Methodist church, cub scouts, 4-H, school activities, and sewing. Helen believed in making your own life and your own entertainment. She was interested in so many things, she didn't understand how anyone could be bored. For someone who started with a horse and wagon, Helen loved her computer. Helen moved to Seward, Alaska in 2009 where she wrote her memoirs Ozark Girl. She loved the view of Resurrection Bay from her little apartment and her church family at Resurrection Lutheran. Helen lived independently before passing away May 1, 2019 at Seward Providence from heart failure at age 94. She once said she hoped she could be brave when it came time to die, and she was very brave. Helen is survived by her brother Franklin Gourley (Houston, MO) and her children: daughter Elizabeth Wasson (Butte, MT); daughter Jennifer and Quentin Carr (Seward AK), their children Ann and Tony Sieminski (great grandsons Simon and Solomon-Seward), Joe Carr (Seward) and Erin Carr (Fairbanks AK); son Dennis Wasson and family (Kaneohe, HI) and many nieces and nephews. Helen was so thankful for her extraordinary ordinary life. To remember Helen, spread kindness, help those in need, and take care of our planet.
Oct 28, 1930 - Mar 01, 2019
Willard Eugene Dunham, 75-year resident of Seward, Alaska passed on March 1, 2019 at Alaska Regional Hospital Anchorage, at age 88. He was born in Billings, Montana on October 28, 1930 to Violet Lenore Dunham. His father, whom he was named after, died five months before his birth. He came to Alaska in 1943, at age 12, leaving Montana aboard a troop train to Seattle, then flew hops aboard Alaska Star (a precursor of Alaska Airlines) first to Peace River, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Fairbanks and on to Anchorage. They only flew daytimes because of the wartime blackouts. There was no civilian pilot available the day he flew to Seward so a military pilot was enlisted and advised to "follow the railroad tracks and you'll find it." In his youth, Willard climbed Kenai Peninsula peaks from Manitoba to Alice. He was an avid fisherman and hunter. In later life, with coffers full enough to do it, he loved to travel the world, even Russia before the breakup of the USSR. Willard graduated high school in 1948 and went to work for the Alaska Railroad. In 1951 he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Fairbanks as a pharmacy assistant at Eielson Air Force Base. Soon his master sergeant announced that Pvt. Dunham would be a medic. Claiming no medical experience whatsoever, except knowing CPR, he was dubious. The sergeant handed him a large medical text he had personally carried through Europe from D-day to victory. "This will tell you everything you need to know," the new medic was assured. That Thanksgiving Willard wired his girlfriend, Beverly Abrahamsen "I won $2,000 in a craps game let's get married." She quit college and joined him. They were married Christmas Eve 1951. In 1953, with Willard out of the Army, the new parents returned to Seward where he worked the docks until the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and tsunamis destroyed them. By then he had been working part-time for the Department of Labor (DOL) for two years. The disaster aftermath made him a full-time DOL employee. From then and beyond retirement, he racked up an impressive record of community service. Including the priority of job-creation. Every new job was considered a victory. In 1969 When the University proposed moving its marine science labs from southeastern, Dunham worked with Dr. Donald Hood to locate them in Seward.The quake had seriously damaged the family home, resulting in a mortgage much higher than it could have sold for but the Dunhams had never considered leaving Seward anyway, In the late 1960's the state was seeking a site for its proposed vocational school. When then governor Keith Miller was on a visit to Seward, Willard took the opportunity to lobby him. He went about this by "kidnapping" the governor, whisking him away from his trooper who was not pleased. They toured available properties including s a city block. "I can get you this for $5" Dunham said. Later that fall, during a hunting trip, he received a message, "Be in Juneau tomorrow the governor wants you." Because the kids had four caribou down, the trip was delayed by one day. In Juneau he learned the governor had chosen Seward, most welcome news. The school, AVTEC, has served thousands of students in the last 50 years. (As an aside, the Governor Miller died at hospice the day after Willard's passing). Another Seward boost has been the Alaska SeaLife Center. Mr. Dunham worked with the University of Alaska in efforts to build a larger marine science facility The project made it through the regents and legislature but was red-lined at budget time. Not discouraged, a committee headed by Dunham and other supporters organized, determined to continue its efforts, When the oil spill occurred, a funding opportunity arose. Governor Hickel was given a "show and tell" of the project. In his familiar style, Hickel declared, "Let's do it." The community itself raised over $1 million. That and other private donations showed public support. With the governor and a legislative majority backing it, civil and criminal settlement money enabled construction to start. The center celebrates its first 20 years this summer. Many other projects Willard headed or participated in include Spring Creek Correctional Center, and the building of the new Seward Library/Museum. Willard and Bev had four children, WED the 3rd (Gene), Delbert Kevin, Robin Neil, and Meggin Marie. The Dunham parents warmed the bleachers at every game their kids played, and the plays, concerts, and other activities. The Dunham kitchen was open to dozens of kids of all ages. Three of their grandkids lived with them while in high school. Those were hectic, noisy times. They had several business interests, namely the Seward Phoenix Log newspaper they founded and operated for 18. years with kids helping out, though grudgingly. Mr. Dunham served six years on Seward City Council and two as mayor. His volunteer resume is long and diverse: president of the Seward General hospital board, Fish & Game Advisory groups, longshore union boards, Chamber of Commerce President twice, and nearly every city task force, commission, and committee over a 60-year period. Mr. Dunham was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Robin Neil, daughter Meggin Clancy, and step-sister Jacquelyn Robbins. He is survived by Beverly, his wife of 67 years; sons Gene and Kevin (Carmen); son-in-law Kai Clancy and neighbor Suze Urbach, who Willard called "the next best thing to being another daughter. Ggrandchildren: Lara Schultz (Eric), Rian, Rory; Aaron & Sean; Curtis (Connie), Kara (Chad), Eric (April); and Dawson Clancy. Finally, great-grandkids: Cole, Alyssa, Alanna, Noah, Aliyah, Byron, Maison, Colton, Haley, Roman, Saxon, Ashley, Luke, Jaxon, Tucker, Bay Lee, Emma Lee, Amber Lee, Rian Junior, Tristan, and Ashley Landess. Memorial services were held March 9 at the Alaska SeaLife Center with the reception catering by the AVTEC culinary department. The family thanks them and all the folks who provided meals, sent messages of condolence and visited in the days before and after Willard's passing. To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Willard Eugene Dunham, please visit our .