Candice Rae Wallace
Aug. 1947 - Dec. 2013
Skagway resident Candice R. Wallace died on December 30, 2013 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Cause of death is believed to have been kidney cancer.
Candy was born Aug. 16, 1947 in Seattle, WA. She spent most of her life in the Pacific Northwest. In Sept. 1999 she moved to Skagway to head the newly created city Economic Development Commission. After that department was disbanded, she worked for Bounds Electric and later started her own consultant business, "Mind Your Own Business".
Candy worked with various businesses in Skagway helping them with a variety of projects and problems.
Candy was steadfast in her belief that there was a right thing to do and a right way to do things. She truly believed that if presented with the right facts people would see it her way. Agree with her or not, Candy always advocated for what she thought was in the best interests of Skagway residents.
Candy was loyal to her friends. If you were her friend she would defend you to the end. If you wronged one of her friends, you would never be forgiven. Those of us who were her friends knew she was a loving, generous person. She will be missed.
Candice is survived by her daughter, Michele Spigers; husband Troy; and granddaughters RaeAnna, Ella and Tessa of Henderson, NV; and her son, Roger (Joe) Dix, Jr., and wife Jennifer of South Jordan, Utah. – Submitted by friends
John ‘JP’ Poljacik
Former Skagway resident John (JP) Poljacik, 64, died Saturday, December 21, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with ocular melanoma. His death occurred at his Kasilof home with his wife Colleen and his two Newfies, Sweet Pea and Bud by his side.
On Saturday, Jan. 11, at a friend’s house in Soldotna, we had a celebration of life gathering attended by many friends and work colleagues from all over Alaska and beyond.
A Bennington, Vermont native, JP moved to Alaska over three decades ago and made his home in Skagway where he met and married Colleen Sinnott. He and Colleen later moved to the Kenai Peninsula where he was happiest when walking with his dogs, riding his motorcycle or working on his land.
John served as a combat engineer in Vietnam and was a man known for his ethics, strong work habits, integrity, and booming laugh. He was a craftsman and master woodworker as evidenced in the artistic and lasting qualities of the buildings he constructed.
While living in Skagway, JP worked on many significant projects including building the library, restoring the Pack Train building, building the Westmark’s 200 wing and Bonanza Bar and Grill, helping supervise the construction of the Skagway School, supervising the construction of the White Pass gift shop and remodel, and returning a few years ago to supervise the construction of the new Rasmuson Community Health Center for the Dahl Memorial Clinic. Not to mention the numerous houses he built in town and Dyea!
While living in Kasilof, John worked for Dawson Construction as a superintendent and left a legacy of impressive work throughout the state of Alaska. One of his favorite and most challenging projects was building the Eielson Visitor Center in the middle of Denali National Park.
John is survived by his wife of 29 years, Colleen Sinnott; his mother, Ethel Poljacik; his dogs Bud and Sweet Pea; and many friends, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws, with Pete Holden and Nancy Ryan having held a special place in his heart.
He was preceded in death by his father, John Andrew Poljacik Sr.
One of the last things he said to Colleen was, “I’m going now to ride my motorcycle.” His friends and family have no doubt that he is riding his motorcycle through the universe with the wind on his face and a smile in his heart.
ln lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's name to your local food bank or animal shelter. – Submitted by Jim Jewell for the family
Dec. 1941 - Jan. 2014
Former Skagway Police Chief James Donald Hester passed away on January 1, 2014 in Witts Springs, Arkansas. He was born in West Frankfort, Illinois on December 16, 1941 to the late James Oval Hester and Ruby Roberta Keelin Hester. He was the oldest of their seven children. At the age of five, Jim knew that he wanted to pursue the career of a police officer. He also started at that young age with a life long hobby of gunsmithing. His first encounter with dismantling and reassembling a gun happened when he was five years old with his toy cap gun.
Jim graduated from the San Gabriel California Police Academy in 1964. He served as a motor officer until 1969. He was struck by a car while on duty and was unable to return to his position of motor officer, retiring from the state of California in 1970. He continued using his law enforcement experience through directing security, internal theft and corporate investigations.
In 1977, Jim became Skagway’s Chief of Police. He served in this position until 1983. While in Skagway, he was a member of the Alaska Shrine, the Scottish Rite and the White Pass Lodge of the Freemasons.
He served as the North Pole police chief until 1985, in which he retired from the State of Alaska. Unable to continue in his career of law enforcement due to his struggles with Crohn’s Disease, he decided to pursue a less strenuous career of gunsmithing. In order to be deemed as a reputable gunsmith, he felt that he needed to be properly trained and certified. He decided to move his family to Prescott Valley, Ariz. in 1986 to pursue a degree in gunsmithing and machinery. He graduated from Yavapai College in 1988 with his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Gunsmithing.
Jim excelled greatly with his hobby/turned career of gunsmithing. He became a Master Gunsmith and Machinist. Upon graduation, The Hand Prop Room, a prop house for the film and TV industry in Los Angeles, hired him. He fabricated and/or modified all the firearms of the prop house. He also created different weapons and props for the film industry. Some of weapons that he crafted or modified can be seen in the movies Glory, Kindergarten Cop, Turner and Hooch, and The Addams Family along with the television shows Alien Nation, Major Dad and Young Riders.
In 1991, he permanently retired to Witts Springs. He continued to fabricate guns, modify and repair firearms for himself and others. His hobbies included studying history, especially the Civil War era, playing clawhammer banjo, tinkering with firearms, reading, and being active in the Single Action Shooting Society.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Janis Hester of Witts Springs, Arkansas; three daughters, Marina Medina of Hesperia, California, Candy Richey of Monument, Colorado, and Rebecca Kee of Miami, Texas; one brother, Jerry Hester of Marion, Illinois; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brothers Billy Hester, Norman Hester and Leonard Hester; his sister Ruby Hester Baldino; and one grandson, Kevin Medina.
His obituary may be viewed at www.rosewoodcremation.com. A Celebration of Life was held in honor of Jim on January 11, 2014 in Witts Springs, Arkansas. – Submitted by the family