May 1942 – November 2009
The body of former Skagway City Manager James R. Filip, 67, was found near the site of his crashed vehicle in the mountains of southwest Colorado on July 9. Filip had been missing since last November, when he apparently tried to cross a section of highway on Cinnamon Pass that had closed for the winter.
Filip’s Jeep was found off the road in deep snow on June 7. A piece of his luggage was found on July 8, and his body was found by a search dog the next day, according to the Silverton Standard. Filip reportedly had been trying to drive from Gunnison to Silverton for the Veterans Day weekend and ran off the gravel roadway. The vehicle was not heavily damaged but became buried in a deep snowbank. According to CBS-4 in Denver, authorities believe he either died in the crash or because of some medical condition that led to the crash. Hinsdale County Sheriff Ron Bruce said an autopsy is not planned.
James Robert Filip was born in Cicero, Illinois on May 3, 1942. He attended a Catholic grade school and Riverside High School. He then moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, where he graduated from the University of Alaska. Later he furthered his education at Purdue University in Indiana.
Filip had a long career in municipal government, serving as fire chief or city manager in several towns in Alaska, and later in Wisconsin and Montana. He was the Skagway City Manager from 1992 to 1996.
He and his wife Mary Lou had lived in Silverton, Colorado for the last 10 years, where he enjoyed what he described as a “fun retirement job,” working as a ticket agent for the world-famous Durango and Silverton Railroad, which carries tourists up the scenic canyon from Durango to Silverton during the summer months. With his fascination for railroads, this was the perfect job for him, his wife said.
The Filips visited Skagway a couple years ago in the fall. At the time, Filip talked about possibly coming back to Skagway and getting a job with the fire department, but he said he enjoyed working for the Colorado railroad.
At his request, no services are being planned.
Filip was remembered in Skagway on July 23 with an Official Day of Mourning declared by Mayor Tom Cochran.
November 1976 – July 2010
Former Skagway resident Heather Irene Hosford, 33, passed away unexpectedly on July 16, 2010 in Mesa, Arizona.
Born November 26, 1976 to Mike and Susan Hosford, Heather spent the first 7 years of her life in her beloved Dyea (Skagway), Alaska with her sister Rachel. She later lived in Petersburg, Fairbanks and Juneau, where she graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1994, and then attended University of Alaska Southeast.
Heather was a devoted and loving mother. She had a great sense of humor, a strong spirituality, and showed kindness to all she met. Anyone who knew Heather will remember her for her commitment to family and friends, compassionate soul, love of animals and the outdoors, and interest in astrology and angelology. She will be missed, but will always live in our hearts.
She was preceded in death by her husband Brian Meier, her mother Susan Hosford, and her grandparents.
She is survived by her sons Tyler, Mike and Andrew Burns; father Mike Hosford of Skagway; sister Rachel Hosford Spence and husband Darren of Mesa, Arizona; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Heather’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Chilkoot Trail Outpost in Dyea.
In lieu of flowers, the Heather Hosford Memorial Fund has been set up at Wells Fargo to be used in support of her three sons.
For details or further information, please call Desi Hosford Tucker at (206) 854-3374.
– Submitted by the family
Memorial Service for Heather Hosford – Sept 11, 2010 at 2pm
Everyone is invited to gather at the Chilkoot Trail Outpost in Dyea to share good food
and wonderful memories and watch a video celebration of Heather’s life. In lieu of flowers,
please consider donating to the Heather Hosford Memorial Fund account that has been set
up at Wells Fargo. Thank you. Heather's obituary appeared in the July 23 issue.
NOTICE: Funeral services for Luke Whitehead of Skagway will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7 at St. Terese's Catholic Church in Skagway. A reception will follow at the Eagles Hall at 2:30 p.m. Whitehead passed away from ALS just before our July 23 edition. An obituary will appear in the Aug. 13 issue.