Richard Dick poses with one of his carvings outside the Inside Passage Arts Gallery in 2005. Photo courtesy of Terry Williams

Remembering Richard Dick, artist and friend, 1925-2008

Master Tlingit carver and former Skagway resident Richard Dick died Sept. 25, 2008, at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 83.
Born Sept. 14, 1925, in Angoon, he was an Eagle Kaagwaantaan from the Eagle Nest House. He attended school up to the eighth grade in Angoon and lived 60 years in Skagway.
Richard moved to Skagway after working with the U.S. Army engineers on the Alaska Highway project in 1942-43. His parents were working at the old TB sanitarium at Liarsville. Richard joined the railroad’s bridge gang but eventually moved over to the longshore unit, “where the money was better,” he said in a 2005 interview.
Richard said he loved the people in Skagway: “You’re no stranger when you come here.”
He also was a business owner in Skagway with his wife, Alta. They operated Native Carvings and Gifts on the corner of Second and Broadway for many years, and also The Door Knob up the street. A master wood carver, he would often be seen working out on the bench in front of his store. Later, after the business closed, he sold his works in other galleries. His canoes and totems are in collections worldwide.
“It’s a gift,” he said. “I’m fortunate to do something with my hands, so I’m not starting at the TV all day.”
Richard also was an accomplished musician, and even recorded an album of love songs in Tlingit and English.
Richard left Skagway in 2005 when a respiratory illness required him to be nearer to a hospital. He said the illness was probably brought on by breathing dust from unloading bags of asbestos from the old Cassiar mine in the 1960s. The bags sometimes broke, but they never thought much of it. “It was just dirty work,” he said.
He moved to Juneau to be near his son Gilbert, and in recent weeks had been in the Anchorage hospital.
Richard was a shareholder of Kootznoowoo Corp., Sealaska Corp., and Huna Totem Corp., and a member of Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The Skagway Tribal Council also was very kind to Richard.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Alta Marie Dick; daughter, Inga Betty Gore; parents, Albert Dick and Mary Judson; sisters, Naomi Kanosh, Priscilla Corpuz, Lydia Elliott, Lillian Fawcett and Helen Flood; and brothers, William Dick and Joseph Dick Judson.
He is survived by his son, Gilbert Peter Dick and wife, Janet, of Juneau; grandchildren, David Watson, of Juneau, Elijah Harris, of Juneau, Juanita Harris, of Juneau, Yvonne Harris, of Coos Bay, Ore., and Krista Harris, of Anchorage; great-grandchildren, Justice and Keisha Harris, of Juneau; sister, Rachel Jenning and husband, Chuck, of Stanwood, Wash.; brother, Albert Judson, of Juneau; and many nieces and nephews.
Two services were planned for Richard in Juneau and Skagway.
A memorial service has been scheduled for 2 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 12 at the Skagway Traditional Council. Interment will then be at Skagway Cemetery next to Alta, according to his wishes. Refreshments will follow.
Honorary pallbearers are: Cyril George, Douglas Chilton, Gilbert Dick, Bud Matthews, Paul Wilson, John Berry, Larry Jacquot, Andrew Beierly, Si Dennis Jr., Fred Hosford, Ray Hosford, Keith Knorr, and Doug Hulk.
An earlier service was held on Oct. 4, at the Church of God in Juneau. Memorials may be sent to Janet K. Dick, 711 W. Willoughby Ave., No. 4, Juneau, AK 99801. – Skagway News & Juneau Empire, with information from the family and friends.

Linda Hancock, 1943-2008

Linda Hancock was born in Dayton, Ohio on November 21, 1943. She grew up in Ohio and experienced a lot of the United States as an adult. She moved to Alaska in 1996, and settled in Skagway in 1999.
While in Skagway, she met and married Stan Kowalke. They eventually moved to Oregon, where Stan passed away. Linda moved on to Missouri and then returned back up to Alaska.
She passed away peacefully on August, 8, 2008 after a long illness.
Linda will always be remembered for her great dreams and for bringing her sister Cindy to know Jesus. She was a wonderful, feisty woman who was loved and will be missed by all.
Linda Hancock is survived by: brother Bill Sanderson; sister Diane Weimar; and sister Cindy Godbey (and Will) of Skagway. – Submitted byCindy Godbey