Jan. 1945 – July 2009
Wendell Louis Fogliani of Skagway passed away on July 24, 2009 in Juneau. He was 64.
Fogliani was born January 30, 1945 in Calienete, Nevada where he resided until 1950 when his family moved to Carson City, Nevada. He graduated in 1963 from Carson City High School, where he enjoyed basketball and baseball. Soon after graduation he started working with the State of Nevada.
In 1969 he was married to Gale Albin and they had two wonderful children. With a passion for cooking and finding ways to use every spice he could find, he decided to move his family to Skagway in 1976 where he followed his dream of being in “the last frontier” and learn everything he could about the culinary arts. He had many talents and there was nothing he would not try. He never met a stranger he didn’t like.
He was preceded in death by his mother Sarah Fogliani and father Jack Fogliani. He is survived by: son John J. Fogliani and wife Brenda of Bothell, Washington; daughter Sherina D. Paxton and husband Darren of Idaho; brother Milton Fogliani and Chris of Nevada; two nieces Shauna Nelson of Nevada and Tracy Kennedy of California; and five grandchildren, grandsons Joshua Cotton and Jacob Cotton of Idaho, grandson Ryan Fogliani of Washington, granddaughter Sunnie Cotton of Idaho, granddaughter Lauren Fogliani of Washington.
The family held a celebration of life for Wendell at the Skagway Brewing Company on Friday, July 31. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Skagway Firefighters Association, P.O. Box 421, Skagway, Alaska 99840. – Submitted by the family
Former Skagway piano player Tyler Dean “Tag” Eckles died at his home in Juneau on the morning of July 26, 2009, after a valiant fight against cancer, with his wife Hildegard and friends at his side. He was 59.
A long-time fixture in the Juneau and Southeast music scene, Tag lived in Juneau since 1971. He fell in love with the place while touring with his rock ‘n’ roll show band, Ben Roe. Since that time, he was known as a musician, composer, bon vivant and for many years, as Professor Phineas Poon, the beloved honky tonk piano player and comedian at the Red Dog Saloon. He created music for plays and films including “Pieces of Eight” (Perseverance Theatre), “The Shadow Walkers” and “Shooting the West.” He was a member of the Saint Paul Singers and in 1986 toured across Russia with the Alaska Performing Artists for Peace, in their effort to open the Alaska-Russia border.
Tag was a fixture in the old Soapy Smith Show in Skagway, playing the role of piano-playing con man Syd Dixon from 1974 to 1977. After the Soapy show merged with the Days of ’98 Show, Tag decided to stay in Juneau but kept up with friends here. Tag offered to produce Steve Hites’ first album, “Yukon Legacy”, arranging a live recording gig at the Red Dog. Tag again set up a 30th anniversary reunion show at the Red Dog last summer. He also was musical director for the KTOO-produced Skagway Centennial video series. At least once a summer on a break from the Red Dog scene, Tag would cruise through Skagway on his motorcycle and visit friends.
He is survived by his wife, Hildegard Sellner, of Juneau; daughter, April Powell; grandson, Thomas Tyler Powell; and son-in-law, Steven Powell, all of Houston; stepson, Nicholas Samoniego, of Juneau; brother, Gaylord Eckles, of Sierra Madre, Calif.; niece, Savanna Eckles, of Berkeley, Calif.; cousin, Tom Eckles, of Gualala, Calif.; godmother, Dixie Belcher, of Juneau; and countless friends he considered family.
He was a founding member of the notorious Juneau Fencing Club, an adopted member of the Eagle-Killer Whale clan (his Tlingit name is Skanuch), and a council member of Turning the Tides.
“He will be remembered by everyone who knew him for his ebullient high spirits, his unflagging optimism, his generosity and his great, great love of life,” his wife said.
An open house potluck was held Aug. 2, at Hildegard Sellner’s and Tag’s house. A wake and poker run will be held on a weekend in September. Stay tuned for further information. - Juneau Empire/SN