OBITUARIES

Chris A. Rohlf, 1919-2006
Christopher August Rohlf, 86, of Skagway, Alaska, died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 5, 2006, in Minneapolis, Minn.
Chris was born on June 23, 1919 in Laporte, Minn. to Adolph and Mary (Gianera) Rohlf. He grew up and attended school in Laporte; then was drafted into the Army. His first assignment was with the 375th Port Battalion in Skagway. He was transferred south to the lower states for basic training before sailing to Europe in August of 1944. He served in England, France and Belgium until discharge in November of 1945.
He returned to Laporte to live for a short time before again heading north to Skagway in 1947, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was a foreman and member of the Skagway longshore crew, working on the docks until his retirement in 1983.
He was married for 23 years to Allene (Roberts), from whom he was widowed in 2005. He loved his work but found time to serve on the Skagway City Council for 13 years, cared for dozens of wild rabbits, and significantly helped the environment by scavenging dumps. He is fondly remembered as a man who sincerely and passionately enjoyed working and led an interesting and entertaining life.
He is survived by brothers, Charlie (Virginia), Cecil (Darlene), and Marvin Rohlf; sisters, "Libby" Elizabeth Kittilson and Beulah Nyberg; and by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Allene; one daughter, Mary Louise; one brother, Ernie Rohlf, and one sister, Annie Ott.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, 2006 at the Thomas-Dennis Funeral Home in Walker, Minn. A luncheon will follow at the Walker American Legion. Interment will be in the Lakeport Cemetery in Laporte. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to charities of choice.
Arrangements are being handled by Thomas-Dennis Funeral Home of Walker (218-547-1112).

Beau Jaklitsch, 1983-2006

Beau Dane Jaklitsch, “a good kid with a big heart,” lost his courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006 in a Los Angeles hospital.
Jaklitsch, who grew up in Skagway, had received a double lung transplant earlier in the month and did well for 10 days – even getting to where he could walk up and down two flights of stairs – but he suffered a setback and his body rejected the lungs.
Many in Skagway had donated to a fund to help Beau and his family, and his death at such a young age, just 22, has been difficult for his many friends here.
The lung transplant was “the light at the end of the tunnel,” said his father, Steve. They had been inspired by other CF survivors. A 28-year-old girl who had a transplant in the past two years “gave us food when she probably couldn’t afford it,” Steve said, and they knew of other CF transplant survivors in their late 30s and one in his 50s.
Beau was born on June 17, 1983 in Juneau and spent his elementary school years in Skagway. When he was three, he was diagnosed with the disease, and his mom Meri and dad held annual “Bowl For Breath” fund-raisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in town. “Skagway has always been very supportive,” Steve said.
The early prognosis was not good, but the Cystic Fibrosis gene was isolated, and progress with transplants and new drug therapy starting giving CF patients hope for living beyond childhood. Beau fought on through the daily thumps on his back to clear his lungs of mucous.
“He never complained once,” Steve said. “All he’d say when he had to go to the hospital was ‘this sucks.’”
During junior high, Beau divided time between Skagway and Bellingham, Wash., and then completed high school in Bellingham. He would spend summers in Skagway, working for his dad’s gallery and at the city visitor center, where he spent several hours counting all 8,833 sticks on A.B. Hall so there would be an accurate count for a contest.
His dad introduced him to canoeing at a young age, and one trip was all it took to hook Beau. They paddled several Yukon rivers, including the Nisutlin where on a magical night they looked out their tent and saw wolves sniffing where father and son had “marked” their spots.
Beau moved to Southern California in February 2005, and he’d ride around on his motorcycle with his oxygen bottle on his back. Beau had been taking college courses in business with the dream of setting up a drive-through coffee place in L.A.
Beau is survived by his father, Steve, of Skagway, and mother Meri of Bellingham. As he wished, his ashes will be spread at Upper Dewey Lake.
A friend, Rory Lamb, of Bellingham, also submitted the following memory of Beau:
“Losing Beau was like losing my brother. We were so close throughout our entire friendship that began in the sixth grade. I’ve never laughed so hard and so much with any other.... That’s what I loved so much about him, his sense of humor. He always shed light on any situation. And whenever I felt I was going through tough times, Beau brought me back to my senses and instilled his blessing.
“I sometimes took for granted my health. Especially this last year, Beau was fighting an extremely tough battle with CF, 24 hours a day. CONSTANTLY. He never had a break and I admired his strength and courage. He took it like a champ who would fall but get right back up. He’s a champion in my eyes, and I miss him so much right now. And for the rest of my time here, I will remember my best friend, Beau Dane Jaklitsch, my hero who fought so hard, and loved his friends and family so much. A true friend, the greatest friend you could ask for. I miss you homie.” – Compiled by Jeff Brady with the family

Anna True, 1924-2006

Long-time Skagway resident Anna True died May 4, 2006 at her home in Indio, Calif.
She was born October 10, 1924 to Alexander and Elizabeth Gabel in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Anna worked in Whitehorse during World War Two and later at Bennett eating house where she met and, after one date, married railroader J.D. True of Skagway. She returned to work at Bennett after the honeymoon trip to Whitehorse riding in the engine with JD while he shoveled coal into the boiler. After a couple weeks the train crews put JD up to writing her a letter to please quit and come live with him in Skagway. That was the beginning of her love for Skagway.
She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Anna was instrumental in getting the early cruise ships to stay in Skagway longer, by working with her fellow members at FOE No. 25 putting on the original Days of ‘98 show. She worked tirelessly making sure there would be enough cast to put on the show, making sure volunteers had babysitters, plus many hours every year training cancan dancers.
She held many jobs over the years, waiting tables at Patterson’s restaurant, clerking at the power company, and working at the F & F store, Dedman’s and Keller’s. She drove taxi and bartended for Moe’s.
Anna was preceded in death by her husband on Sept. 18, 2000. She had lived with her daughter, Lynda and husband Manuel Lamas, since December 2001, after surviving cancer and open-heart surgery. They took her to live in Mexico where she recuperated on papaya and enjoyed the tropical life until 2005 when they returned to live in Indio.
She loved Skagway more than anything and asked to go “home” often. She missed her coffee sessions at the Sweet Tooth and Corner Cafe, and F.O.E. No. 25.
Anna is survived by her daughter, Lynda and husband Manuel Lamas, of Indio, California; son Irven Dale True of Skagway; sister Ruth Rullman and husband Lloyd of Ocean Shores, Wash.; grandson, Jeff Hamilton, his wife, Joan Hamilton, and great grandchildren, Kyli, Andrea and Gregory Hamilton of Burlington, Wash.; grandsons Chris and Scott True of Skagway; and additional survivor, “adopted son” Richard White of Seattle.
– Submitted by Lynda Lou True

Erik A. Selmer, 1934-2006
Former Skagway resident Erik Asbjorn Selmer, 71, died March 19, 2006, at his home in Anchorage.
Selmer was born Nov. 15, 1934, to Asbjorn and Elizabeth Selmer in Skagway. He graduated from Skagway High School in 1952.
He served in the U.S. Air Force 1956-1958 as a crash/rescue fireman and was stationed at Ladd and Eielson Air Force bases in Fairbanks.
He worked as a railroad engineer for the White Pass and Yukon Railroad during the time the railroad was transitioning from steam to diesel engines.
He used to say his higher education consisted of the time he spent on a Baldwin 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive, but his children most remember him running the General Electric Class 90 Diesel Electric engine. He also worked as an engineer with the Alaska Railroad in the 1970s and 1980s.
He was an accomplished bush pilot, having flown commercially in virtually every part of Alaska. He started Skagway Air Service about 1965, later partnered with and then sold out to Benny Lingle. He continued to fly for many other flying services throughout Alaska into the 1980s.
The family wrote: “He was an accomplished outdoorsman in his youth and was a registered Master Guide in Southeast Alaska during the early 1960s. He was a talented carpenter, woodworker and musician as well as an avid reader, especially of poetry, throughout his life. Friends will remember him for the many hours of entertaining music, stories and poetry that he loved to share with everyone.”
He is survived by four adult children, Brooke, Drake, Meredith and Tamara; and his special friend, Nancy Welch. – Anchorage Daily News