Ada Blodwen Reed, 1914-2007
Ada Blodwen Reed was born in March of 1914 in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, where her parents and older brother had emigrated to from Wales. Blodwen first came to Skagway on the Canadian Pacific Railroad ships working as part of the crew as a news agent in the late 1940s. Her favorite ships were the Princess Patricia and Kathleen. She met Morgan Reed during one of these sailings into Skagway. Morgan had come to Skagway during the war to work on the Alaskan-Canadian Highway, where he purchased the Igloo bar.
Blodwen married Morgan in September of 1949 in a chapel on Lake Washington in Seattle. Morgan put her to work in the bar and liquor store and then purchased a bakery for her to run also - she often commented on the fact that he liked to buy but not work the businesses - he left that to her. When she and Morgan sold the bakery and then later the bar, they turned their interests to real estate. They built the Mountain View apartments in the 1970s. When Morgan passed away in 1988 Blodwen ran the business until her reluctant retirement at age 90. She missed taking care of her tenants and visiting with them.
Blodwen passed away April 20 in Mesa, Ariz. at the age of 93. She is survived by her three sons John, Allan (and daughter-in-law Sue) and Glenn, all of Skagway; stepson Bill (wife Theresa) of Fairbanks; step grandson Morgan (wife Alexandra and daughter Anwen); stepson Ken (wife Carlie) of Toronto; step granddaughters Morgan and Madison, plus family in Canada and many friends here and in Arizona.
She loved to tell folk stories of working on the CPR ships and of her early days in Skagway. She loved her home at Long Bay and having folks stop to visit with her whether she knew them or not. She enjoyed going to Senior Lunch and was a big supporter of it. She hated giving up driving, which she did until the age of 90. It often looked like her little beige Chevette was driving itself down the road - until you could see a small pair of hands at the wheel and the top of a white-haired head. This was only visible because she sat on pillows. She truly had the pioneer spirit that Alaskans are so well known for - she became a U.S. citizen and was truly the woman behind the man when Morgan began and continued his political career as city councilman, Mayor of Skagway (repeated), state legislator, and administrative judge. They were a good match. She will be missed.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 2 at 1 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church.