Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Lee Raphael Sinka Andrews, 1984-2004

Jennifer “Jenny” Lee Raphael Sinka Andrews died on March 13 at approximately 6:15 a.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich. Born March 22, 1984, in Nome, Alaska, she was just shy of 20 when she died unexpectedly.
The length of her name reflects the journey her life took in search of a safe home and a loving family. She found that briefly when she was almost a year old in the foster care of Frank Wasmer and Nancy Schave when they lived in Nome.
“When she was taken from us, she was termed ‘gifted,’” Nancy said. “She was the sweetest little kid.”
Jenny’s search began anew at four-and-a-half when a state agency transferred her to other foster homes, until she was adopted at seven by an elderly couple, Joseph and Agatha Sinka, who died four years later. Several years after their death, her biological mother Matilda Acoman also died.


Throughout her life, she was closely cared for by her sister, Lisa Marie Acoman Hunt. Jenny was a devoted aunt to Lisa’s daughter, Dainean Teeluk.
In 1999, Jenny was reunited with Frank and Nancy after they found she was in Sitka. They were finally allowed to adopt her.
Jenny attended Skagway High School, graduating in 2003. She was a cadet with the Skagway Volunteer Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Team for three years, and was active in a number of athletic activities at school.
“She was swimming at one-and-a-half, and at three, she was fearless diving off the high board,” recalled Frank. “She liked to sit on my arm and fish.”
Jenny worked summers at the National Park Service, Diamonds International, Westmark, and Moose on the Loose, where she learned she loved sales.
“She could sell anything to anyone,” said Nancy.
At the time of her death, she was enrolled at Adrian College in Ann Arbor, Mich. A gifted writer, she was looking at writing as a profession.
Several of the couple’s 21 foster children consider Jenny a “sibling of affinity,” a term Nancy coined for the members of the widely extended family created over the years.
“She was always smiling and happy to see us,” said Melanie Johnston, Frank’s biological daughter, who traveled to Skagway for the memorial service held on March 20 at the Presbyterian Church.
Memorial services were also held at the two rehab programs Jenny had attended in the Lower 48.

Ole Slettevold, 1920-2004

Former Skagway resident Ole A. Slettevold, 83, died March 17, 2004 at his home in Cle Elum, Wash.
Ole was born Sept. 1, 1920 in Oklee, Minn. After graduating from high school he served in the U.S. Navy. Ole was a carpenter and a member of the Eagles, Carpenter’s Union, and VFW. Ole enjoyed wood-working in his spare time.
In Skagway he was known as a kind and generous man, always willing to help anyone and give a leg up to a person starting out. He was a building contractor in Skagway for many years. Concerned about affordable housing, he built many homes around town.
He built the Nugget Lodge apartment complex, the Klothes Rush/Kone Kompany building, and the Gold Rush Lodge, and worked on many other projects.
He was full of the entrepreneurial spirit and started many businesses while in Skagway, truly a man ahead of his time. Ole and Bette Slettevold started the Klothes Rush Laundry and dry cleaners in a home style setting. They ran an artists co-op where many of the artists in town started out. And he had Ole’s Fish and Chips on Fifth, as well as helping to run the Fifth Ave. Bunkhouse and showers for hikers.
Ole had an active mind and was always curious on how to do new things. He was proud of his Norwegian heritage and imprinted on the minds of Skagway residents is his smiling face as he cooked lefsa at Christmas time in the corner of the laundromat for anyone who wanted it.
Ask an old time resident of Skagway, “What did Ole do to help you?” and you will get replies to attest to a life well-lived, as he cared for and served others.
Ole was preceded in death by his wife Bette in 1999. He is survived by his two sons, John and wife Dina of Soap Lake, Wash, and Bill and wife Cindy of LaConner, Wash. As well as six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at the Cle Elum Eagles Club on March 24. Cascade Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.