'Uncle Ted' in Skagway, 1977 and 1998

Sen. Ted Stevens came to Skagway several times during his tenure, and his mark is all over the town’s infrastructure. He was a champion of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and attended the dedication in 1977 (right). When Skagway was down after the railroad shutdown in 1982, he made sure the park had plenty of funding to hire people on the crews for the many buildings that were being restored.
As the gold rush centennials approached, he assisted a local committee in securing a Klondike postage stamp, which had a joint dedication on a single day in Nome and Skagway (seen left applauding the unveiling of the stamp in 1998). His list of other accomplishments is too long for this space, but his latest and greatest is perhaps the new clinic, funded in part by the Denali Commission, his legacy.
The greatest compliment a small town editor can give a man of his stature is that he would always call you back. That’s rare in a politician these days. – WJB

photos from Skagway News archives and Klondike Gold Rush NHP

Tom Tunley
May 1932– June 2010

Former Skagway resident Arthur Tom Tunley, 78, died peacefully June 13, 2010, at home in Anchorage. A Mass celebration officiated by the Rev. Fred Bugarin was held at St. Anthony's Catholic Church the following Friday. Pallbearers were Thomas Tunley, Charles Tunley, John Tunley, Zan Walsh, Marshall Walsh and Lantz Milam. A reception in his honor followed at 3946 Geneva Place. Tom was born May 15, 1932, to Arthur and Celestia Tunley in Skagway. He grew up in Skagway and graduated in 1950 with a class of nine students. He continued his education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Stanford University. In 1956, he met Renee Regat while stationed in Poitiers, France. Together they traveled the world with their six children, always calling Alaska their home. He served in the U.S. Army and taught in Cordova, Poitiers and the Anchorage School District. He also taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage as an adjunct geology professor, published a book on Alaska geology and geography, and explored Alaska during the summers as a geologist. He was a strong advocate for responsible mineral exploration. He worked with the State of Alaska to develop the Alaska Mineral and Energy Resource Education Fund, encouraging youths to pursue science in Alaska. Tom was a passionate advocate in the Catholic Church, promoting the Deacon program, youth involvement, and supporting the pope's 1984 Alaska visit. His family wrote: "He lived a full life celebrating the many blessings of his family every day. He was able to blend his teaching with his love for the great outdoors as a geologist, prospecting throughout Alaska. Long-time friend Charles Ask also shared these memories: “One of the legacies that Tom Tunley's six kids have, is that their dad took each one of them separately up over the Chilkoot, when in his estimation they had reached the right age to make the ascent, pretty much as you've done with Danny,” he wrote to the News editor. “I'm going to miss Tom a lot. He and I were the best of childhood friends from age 5 to 12, whereupon I left Skagway. And of course there have many get-togethers over the years since, with him and with our families.” Due to his health, Tom was unable to return to Skagway for the class’s 60th reunion dinner which was photographed in the News earlier this summer. Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Renee; his children, Thomas Tunley and Debbie Price; Charles Tunley; Chantal and Tom Walsh; Evelyne and Kevin Daymude; John Tunley and Aline and Bart Milam; and his grandchildren, Charlotte Tunley; Sophie, Zan and Marshall Walsh; Sebastian and Julian Tunley; and HunterRenee and Lantz Milam. He is also survived by his brother, Charles and Carol Tunley and family (Michael, David and Laura Tunley); Jean Jacques and Mary Regat; many relatives and close friends.

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.