Charlene M. Matthews, 1973-2007

Charlene M. Matthews, 33, died March 26, 2007, at Providence St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, Ore., from complications associated with a recently diagnosed neurological disease.
“Wrapped in the arms of her family, Charlene left this life surrounded in the love of those near and far, who hold her in their hearts,” her family wrote.
A family service to honor Charlene was held at the home of her mother, Marie Matthews, and memorial services will take place in Haines and Skagway. The Skagway service will be at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 12 at the Skagway Traditional Council tribal community center.
Charlene was born in Haines on Oct. 7, 1973. “Though her time here with us was brief, Charlene was a teaching soul who seemed to intently understand what she was born to do,” her family wrote. “Traveling the country, living all over Alaska, Washington, California, Colorado and beyond, the breadth of Charlene’s impact was great. She is best remembered for her unique ability to nurture the potential and beauty in all of us.
“An entrepreneur and adventurer, Charlene had been a small business owner, an overseas flight attendant, a road construction supervisor and an esthetician, to name a few. Though she excelled in all of her work, Charlene’s real job here centered on the relationships, love and support she offered to each of us. She was the kind ear when we needed someone to listen, the comfort in our darkness, and the infectious laugh that set the tone of our lives. There is no doubt that Charlene was a leader, that she finished what she was here to do and that her grace and greatness will continue in all those she touched. In such a short amount of time, Charlene changed our lives simply by living hers with a greater purpose.”
In honor of Charlene, her family asks that “you live too with purpose, and as you bridge across your grief, you draw on the strength and love that Charlene has given you.”
Charlene is survived by her mother, Marie Matthews; father, Jim Matthews; sisters, Christy Ruby and Amber Matthews; grandfather, Bud Matthews; grandparents, Charmaine and Dick Winn; and countless cousins, friends and loved ones dear to her heart.

John E. Feero, 1930-2007

Lifelong Alaska resident John E. Feero of Sterling died March 13, 2007 enroute home during the flight from a vacation in Hawaii. John was born April 4, 1930 to Alta and William Feero in Douglas, Alaska. Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, March 31, 2007 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. Father Frank Reitter officiated. A reception followed the service at the Sterling Senior Citizens Center. Interment will be this summer in the Columbarium at the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau where John has said he will be able to view the beautiful scenery of Lynn Canal.
Mr. Feero’s grandfather came to Skagway in 1897 during the Klondike Gold Rush. He owned a pack train to carry supplies over the White Pass and died on the trail in 1898. John’s father was 15-years-old at the time and the family remained in Skagway until after he married and the family moved to Douglas where they remained until after the great fire there in 1937 when they returned to Skagway. John attended school in Skagway and graduated from high school in 1949. From 1951 until 1953 he was in the U.S Army Engineers stationed at Ladd Field in Fairbanks and Ft. Richardson in Anchorage. Because he was an Alaskan he was not eligible to receive overseas pay.
On October 11, 1953 he married Eleanor Boyd, his high school sweetheart at the Pius X Mission Chapel in Skagway. In 1955 he joined the U.S. Customs Service as Customs and Marine Inspector. He transferred to Ketchikan in 1957. In 1970 after some of these duties were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard he transferred to Juneau to work as a civilian with the Coast Guard. He then transferred to Anchorage in 1980 in the same capacity. He retired from federal service in 1983. After his federal retirement John performed marine survey work for a short time. He retired completely in 1989 when he and Eleanor moved to their cabin in Sterling.
John was active in the Sterling Senior Citizens Center and served four years as president. He was a member of Pioneers of Alaska (Ketchikan Igloo), Elks in Skagway (BPOE #431), past president of the Alaska State Firefighters Association, American Legion Post 75 and Life Member of Sterling Senior Citizens as well as member in Nikiski and Cooper Landing Senior Citizens. John also spent 30 years as a volunteer fireman in Skagway, Ketchikan and Douglas where he was Fire Chief for a number of years. During his time in Douglas, John was very active in community events and instrumental in the renovation of Mt. Jumbo’s gym.
His family wrote: “John was a special person with a wonderful sense of humor and knack for stirring up trouble. He always told his children he was made of blue twisted steel but it was obvious it melted as he grew older. We had a hard time distinguishing his stories from lies but we now know it depends on the size of the fish. John was checking out the friendly skies before his passing.”
He is survived by his wife of 53 years; daughter Marcia Ballard and husband Bill and their children Amy, Sarah, Jed and wife Heather and their son Cole; daughter Margi Maki and husband Edward and their children Jennifer, Jonathan, Michael and his daughters Adriana, Alexandra and Skyler; daughter Debbie Besemann and husband Larry with children Alex and Melissa; daughter Karen Feero and husband Satch Tapangco and sons Joseph, Benjamin and Jordan; daughter Susie Feero; son John W. Feero and wife Francine with children Christopher and Anessa; daughter Julie Feero and son John; kissing cousin Grace Russo and numerous other cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers Robert and William, sisters Geneva Walters, Wilma Jensen, Myrtle Edwards, and Evaline Egbert.
Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna or the Endowment Fund at Sterling Senior Citizens Center. Condolences may be sent to the family at PO. Box 247, Sterling AK 99672.

Amy J. Flint, 1970-2007

Amy J. Flint, 37, died in a vehicle accident in Colorado on Friday, February 16, 2007. She was a summer resident of Skagway through much of the 1990s, working for Gray Line of Alaska, the White Pass and McFarlane’s Trading Company as well as helping with the Fire Department.
Amy had many fond memories of those Skagway summers, often reminiscing about the wonderful times and the many good friends she made there. Special memories included window shopping downtown, reading for hours at her all-time favorite library, timing morning walks to meet the Steam Train behind the Pullen house, watching the ships from Yakutania Point, and the long walks home down Broadway greeting and conversing with friends.
Amy is survived by her husband, Jonathan, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, family in Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado and Ecuador, as well as her two Golden Retriever buddies, Tagish and Tutshi.