Margaret came into this life on March 7, 1956 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her parents Gordon and Sally Sue Sylliaasen, moved their family out west to Bellevue, Washington when Margaret was three. Margaret was baptized at St. Margarets Episcopal Church in Bellvue in 1961, the year her sister Suzanne was born.
Margaret attended Tyee Junior High where she became friends with Barb, Laurie (later to become Laurie Rapuzzi) and Dellalee Rapuzzi. Margaret had written letters to various businesses in Skagway during her high school years looking for summer work. She received a letter from Wanda Warner advising her to finish high school first. After graduating high school in 1974, Margaret and Laurie came to Skagway to work, arriving via the ferry Columbia. Margaret worked at the Golden North Hotel and Dedmans Photo Shop. Steve Burnham noticed her and courted her.
Margaret attended the University of Washington for two years; while there she joined a sorority and was a member of the crew team. Steve and Margaret married July 24, 1976 at St. Margarets Episcopal Church.
Margaret bought her first Bradley Method book while awaiting her first born. She was her own first student in 1978. Afterward, she received training in Seattle and taught the Bradley Method from 1982-2006, always wanting a baby in her arms. To date she has at least 63 kids who arrived from her birth coaching, and some of those kids have been students themselves.
Margaret was always smiling, taking care of others, and did not want to be taken care of herself. She loved looking out her south window to view Mt. Harding Glacier and her east windows displaying Dewey Peaks. She participated in the Bird Club and knew her birds, and enjoyed climbing mountains and skiing with her dad and sister. Margaret was active in the Emblem Club and held the financial secretary office for several years. She served as a Sunday School teacher and a Deacon for First Presbyterian Church of Skagway. Margaret also worked for the library and Richters. Margaret was a core member of the Get The Lead Out Group, helping to spearhead the lead investigation out of concern for the children of Skagway. She provided the baby teeth saved from her boys for testing lead levels, resulting in the testing of all Skagway kids.
Margaret was proceeded in death by her father, Gordon Sylliaasen.
Margaret is survived by her devoted and loving husband, Steve Burnham; her precious son and daughter-in-law, Steven, Jr. and Kim,; precious son, Michael; precious son and partner, Henry and Danielle; precious son Christopher; beautiful granddaughter, Maggie Lynn; her mother Sally Sue Sylliaasen; sisters, Suzanne and Tricia; parents-in-law, Charlie and Joyce Burnham; and lots of brothers and sisters-in-law, and tons of nephews and nieces.
Margarets living example as a devoted wife, loving mother, and faithful friend will continue to encourage and teach us all. Her grace and gentle spirit will be remembered and carried on.
She passed away at home on June 12, 2008. Margarets final words, I love you.
Nicklaus James Sorum, 1986-2008
Nicklaus James Sorum, 21, died in his cabin in Fairbanks on May 23, 2008. Nick was born on June 29, 1986, in Prescott Ariz., and lived there until age 5 when he moved with his family to Wrangell. He grew up in Wrangell and moved with his family to Valdez in December 1999. Nick attended Valdez High School and graduated in 2004.
He worked for his uncle in Elko, Nev., for two summers and had attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 2004. He was involved with the music and art departments, was majoring in elementary eduction, and was an employee of Beaver Sports.
Nick was a member of the Church of Christ, an Eagle Scout and an all around good kid. He loved his music, art, working with younger children and spending time with friends hiking, biking, camping, snowboarding, and kayaking.
He is survived by his parents, Alan Sorum and Ruthie Knight of Valdez and Skagway, his sister, Elise; grandparents, Dawn Knight of Prescott and Harey and Gail Sorum of La Luz, N.M.; uncles David Knight (wife Debby, children Sam and Hannah) of Elko, Doug Knight (wife, Stacie, sons, Sean and Landon) of Plattsmouth Neb., and Roger Sorum of La Luz; aunts Robin Knight of Gilbert, Ariz., and Julie Sorum of Odessa Texas, and many, many friends.
A memorial service was held May 30, in Davis Concert Hall at UAF. An additional service was held May 31, at the Civic Center in Valdez.
In lieu of flowers, please honor Nicklaus with a donation to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Music Departments talent scholarship fund: University of Alaska Fairbanks Music Department, P.O. Box 757530, Fairbanks, AK 99775. Arrangements were by Fairbanks Funeral Home and Crematory. Fairbanks News-Miner
Mary Jane Hanousek
Mary Jane (Lingle) Hanousek, former Skagway resident, died of natural causes on April 23, 2008, in Mount Vernon, Washington.
One of four children born to Guthrie (George) and Beulah Jones Lingle, Mary Jane was born in Hickory, North Carolina on April 7, 1928.
Mary Jane met and married Edward C. Hanousek Sr., her husband of 55 years, in Skagway.
She and Ed owned and operated Alaska Transfer, supplying locals with heating fuel for several years and later Mary Jane worked for White Pass and Yukon Railroad as a clerk at the Wharf Office; she also worked for her brother, Benny Lingle, at Skagway Hardware.
Mary Jane was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Eagles Auxiliary in Skagway and was an avid bowler. She is well remembered for her fabulous garden on her familys Dyea, Alaska, homestead, her infectious laugh, and her ability to drive any piece of equipment including dump trucks.
She and her husband retired to Camano Island, Wash., in 1982 where she continued gardening, farming (always sharing their bounty with the Camano Island Seniors), and was an avid member of the Camano Island Animal Shelter.
She was preceded in death by her husband (Edward Sr.), son Jerry, and brother Guthrie (Gus) Lingle, Jr. She is survived by brothers Bobby Lingle; Benny Lingle and wife Bea; sister-in-law Anne Lingle; son Gary; son Ed, Jr. and wife Wanda; son, Brett and wife Valorie; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren; as well as several nieces and nephews.
A private memorial service to celebrate Mary Janes life will be held at a future date.
Dr. William G. Godbey
Dr. William Bill G. Godbey, a university professor who retired to Skagway, died at the Sitka Pioneers Home on April 14.
Godbey was born in Georgetown, Texas on September 24, 1919 and was an Eagle Scout and accomplished student athlete. He received his BA and BS from Southwestern University in 1939-40, and then went into the U.S. Army Air Force during World War Two. He had 5,000 hours as a test pilot and 1,000 combat hours (28 missions as a bomber pilot) , and became a Major in charge of all engineering for the B-17 bomber.
After the war, he was a chemical consultant to major companies like Dow, and to municipalities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. He eventually became chief chemist for American Smelting and Refining and the State Chemist of Colorado.
He then went back to college and obtained his masters and doctorates in chemistry from the University of Missouri in 1958-1960. He then taught at Pan American College; became a director of research labs at Colorado School of Mines; and then taught at University of Missouri, Southwest Missouri State, and finally Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific).
He taught several of the sciences and mathematics and was a member of several professional societies. He also was published in several magazines. In 1969, Dr. Godbey was the recipient of the James and Beth Armsey Excellence in Teaching Award at AMU.
He married Helen Godbey and they had a son, Will. After his retirement, they all moved to Skagway. Helen Godbey passed away in 1992.
He then met Frances Elmo in Skagway and they were married. They moved to the Pioneer Home where they spent the rest of their days. She died just over a week after he passed.
Dr. Godbey is survived by his son Will and daughter-in-law Cindy of Skagway; a daughter Lulee Dubuisson; a brother Charles Godbey; a sister Rosie Tucker; and a nephew Joel Godbey.
Frances Lady Elmo Godbey
Frances Elmo Wood Beeks Godbey died April 25 at the Sitka Pioneers Home, less than a month after celebrating her 100th birthday.
Frances Elmo was born March 28, 1908 in Los Angeles, Calf, the only child of Fred and Eva (Yeazell) Wood. When she was in her 20s she did stage acting, and met and married Bob Beeks, a studio carpenter in the movie industry.
During World War II, she moved to Reno, Nevada, where she worked for the IRS. After her retirement, she moved to Skagway, where her son and family were living.
When she was 86, Lady Elmo and Bill Godbey eloped and were married in Texas. They moved to the Sitka Pioneers Home in 2005. Mr. Godbey died April 14.
Elmo is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Fred and Eva Beeks of Anacortes, Wash.; granddaughters Ruth Jensen of Clovis, Calif., and Mary Beeks of Phoenix; and great-grandson Logan Jensen.
Memorial donations may be made to the Sitka Pioneers Home.