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Call, us or send check to Alaska Pioneer Press, P.O. Box 1024, Talkeetna, AK 99676
Lifelong Alaska resident Anna M. Pratt, 53, died at home in Talkeetna of heart complications on
May 1, 2011.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Alaska Native Heritage
Center, 8800 Heritage Center Drive in Anchorage (near Bartlett High School). Please join us for
this celebration and to share memories and stories of Anna's life.
Anna was born at home in St. Mary's to Daniel and Theresa Stevens on June 12, 1957. Anna
attended St. Mary's Catholic High School and graduated in 1975. She attended college at Fort
Wright College of the Holy Names in Spokane, Wash. Anna met her husband, Jon, in St. Mary's in
Anna belonged to many organizations and traveled extensively in rural Alaska. She was a member
of the Yupiit of Andreafsky board of directors. She was affiliated with the Catholic and Community of
Christ Church. Anna spent many years working in the aviation industry as a station manager for
Wien, Seair and Ryan Air.
She was an avid outdoorswoman, boat captain, adventurer, crack shot, basketball player, mother
and wife extraordinaire.
Anna will be remembered for her quick and authentic laugh, beauty, compassion and generosity.
Anna is survived by her husband, Jon; son, Joshua; daughter, Danielle; father and mother, Dan
and Theresa Stevens; nine brothers and sisters; and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.
Any cards or condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 926, Talkeetna, AK 99676.
Arrangements by Alaskan Heritage Memorial Chapel & Crematory of Wasilla.
Read more: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?n=anna-
Wayne Ralph Richardson
Wayne Ralph Richardson was born November 13, 1951 to Ralph and Irene (Domine) Richardson
in Marshall, MN. Not sure if he would even survive, Wayne was baptized three days later while still
in the hospital. Oh, what a life you lived! Wayne was confirmed at First Lutheran Church in
Alexandria, MN and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1970.
At age 18, he left for Alaska to follow his dream. He fell in love with the land as he worked on the
Alaskan Pipeline as a heavy equipment operator and OTR truck driver. He worked all over Alaska,
and drove the Haul Road from Valdez to Prudoe Bay. In later years, Wayne worked with a
construction company, overhauling runways in many Eskimo villages. Wayne worked as
supervisor over the drivers, most of whom were Eskimo. Over a span of 40 years, Wayne lived in
Anchorage, Wasilla, and last in Talkeetna. The family often called Wayne “our little hermit” as each
of his moves was always further north, because in his own words “There are less people.” Wayne
always enjoyed the outdoors while working, playing, hunting or fishing — comfortable even at 70
degrees below zero. He especially loved being a volunteer on several Iditarod Sled Dog Races
right up to the last one which he wasn’t able to attend, but followed it closely anyway. He also loved
Montana visiting his brother Allen many times where they enjoyed hunting and getting together with
friends. Wayne loved animals and they loved him right back. After moving to Alaska, he never had a
pet of his own, but thoroughly enjoyed all his family’s and friends’ pets. On Tuesday, October 12,
2010, Wayne lost his year-long battle with colon cancer. Wayne was preceded in death by his
father, Ralph Richardson, several of his grandparents, aunts and uncles. He is survived by his
mother, Irene of Alexandria, MN; brother Lloyd (Betsy) Richardson of Maple Grove, MN sister Peggy
(Gary) Hills of Alexandria, MN, brother Allen Richardson of Columbia Falls, MT; and sister Debra
(Bruce) Lindquist of Brooklyn Center, MN along with grandmother Isabell Domine Mueller of
Lamberton, MN, several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and his countless family
of friends in Alaska, Montana and Minnesota. Wayne’s family wants to express their gratitude for
the unwavering friendship, love and support given to Wayne by the townspeople of Talkeetna,
helping him through his battle with cancer when we could not be with him. Wayne’s parting words
were always “I’ll see ya in the spring” so goodbye for now Wayne, forever in our hearts and “we’ll
see ya in the spring”. Love Mom, your brothers and sisters. Arrangements with Anderson Funeral
Home in Alexandria, MN and Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla, AK. Private family burial happened
Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Visit www.andersonfuneral.net to view a video tribute of Wayne’s life and
sign the guest book for the family.
Carole Louise Young
Sept. 19, 1940 – Sept. 22, 2010
Carole Louise Young, 70, of Willow, died Sept. 22 at home. The Franklin, Penn. native has been an
Alaska resident since 1968.
Carole was employed by Checker Cab from 1970 – 1977. She attended Faith Baptist Chuch and
Montana Creek Baptist Church, and was a member of Upper Susitna Senior Center, She-Mon-Sun
and Talkeetna Homemakers, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Quilting Guilds and the Red Hat Society.
Carole won multiple Blue Ribbons at the Alaska State Fair for her quilts.
Carole, an avid and prolific quilter, shared her talents freely with others, teaching friends, family,
and strangers how to create their own works of textile art. She was a fantastic cook (as evidenced
by her husband’s waning interest in preparing his own food after their marriage).
Her superb marksmanship from a young age earned her the fearsome moniker “Annie Oakley.”
One year she brought home a curl and a quarter ram which her husband bragged about for years
Carole was an intrepid woman, a constant student who never stopped learning new techniques
and growing as an artist. One of her truisms --and there were many – was, “There is nothing more
important than art.”
One of her favorite things to do was fish; she caught many a king that dwarfed everyone else’s
down at the river. She embodied passion in all that she did and was exceptional at making people
feel at home, welcome and loved. She is famous for her wise advice, common sense and loving
care for all that she touched.
She is survived by her husband , Maynard Young; father, Everett Vogus; brothers , James, Michael
& Timothy Vogus; sisters, Linda Gregor and Nancy Johnson; children, Crystal Domino, James
Roger White, Sandra Loomis; grandchildren Dana, Joey, Derek, Christopher, Paris, Willow,
Justin, Michelle, Mikaela, Jordan, Brandon, Kyle, April, Shelley.
A celebration of her life was held at the Upper Susitna Senior Center on Sept. 24, 2010 at 6 p.m.
Remains will be scattered at her favorite fishin’ hole. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to
the Upper Susitna Senior Center, Talkeetna, AK 99676
SUSAN ANNE TALLMAN
Sept. 25, 1949 – Aug. 31, 2010
Susan Anne Tallman was born in Seattle on Sept. 25,
1949, as the second child of James and Alice (Lindberg)
Tallman. Her long, valiant battle with cancer ended on
Aug. 31, 2010, in Grand Junction, Colo.
As a child, Susie moved with her family to Anchorage,
Alaska, where she attended public schools. In her early
years Susie played piano, took ballet and horseback
riding lessons, and loved going into the woods to collect
bugs. As a teen she was a downhill skier and during
summers enjoyed swimming and water skiing. In 1972
Susie received her nursing degree (LPN) in Sarasota,
Fla., working in nursing first at Sarasota Memorial
Hospital and later at Providence Hospital in Anchorage.
She received her B.S. in Biology from California State
University, Sacramento, in 1978, working at a fish
cannery and as a waitress while attending college. She
also received a B.A. in Psychology from Mesa State
College in Grand Junction in 1997. Susie was married to
Max Schwab in 1985 and had two daughters around
which her life revolved. That marriage later ended in
divorce. During her life Susie was a successful
entrepreneur, her many ventures including a fireworks
stand, a family car dealership, a food wagon, a
Christmas tree lot, selling topsoil, a bed & breakfast, a
thrift store and furniture warehouse, collecting and
reselling unusual items, and buying and remodeling
She was an active member of Talkeetna Christian Center
until 1993 when she moved to Grand Junction, joining
her Pastor and other church members to form the Spirit
of Life Christian Fellowship. During and after continuing
her education at Mesa State, Susie volunteered at The
Pregnancy Center and worked as a counselor for
Miranda Place and, later, The Salvation Army.
She received her Certified Addiction Counselor II
certification in 2006. Susie loved to travel, visiting such
places as Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. Other
hobbies included camping, interior design, photography,
boating, and skiing. Susie is survived by two daughters,
Gina Tallman and LeeAnna Tallman, both of Grand
Junction; one sister, Barbara Tallman of Alaska; one
brother, Jon Tallman of Hawaii; one grandson, Oliver
Tallman of Grand Junction; her aunt Anna Renda of
Florida; and fourteen nieces and nephews. She was
predeceased by her parents and one brother, Jim
Susie will be deeply missed by her family, many friends,
and those who received the benefits of her counseling.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11,
2010, at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary, 2515 Patterson Road,
Grand Junction, Colorado at 4:00 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made for her grandchildren’
s educations to Gina Tallman, C/O Spirit of Life, P.O. Box
40111, Grand Junction, CO 81504.
Curt Wagner Jr.
Talkeetna resident Curt W. Wagner Jr. died on July 26, 2010, of
cancer at Mat-Su Regional Hospital, weeks short of his 88th
He was born in Anchorage in 1922 to Curt and Gertrude
Wagner. He grew up in Fairbanks and studied under Alaska
artist Ted Lambert. He served in the U.S. Army at Guadalcanal
during World War II.
Upon his return, Mr. Wagner studied at the American Academy
of Arts in Chicago.
The lure of painting Mt. McKinley brought him to Talkeetna in
1949 where he started painting Mt. McKinley and pioneer
Curt moved to Trapper Creek, where he homesteaded 160
acres of land and painted the 5-by-12-foot picture hanging in
the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
At the age of 60, Curt took a break from painting to pursue his
love of sailing; as a novice he sailed alone in his 32-foot
sailboat from Port Townsend, Wash., to Homer, Alaska. He
lived aboard his sailboat for 14 years.
Upon returning to Talkeetna, Curt continued to paint Mt.
McKinley and seascapes.
In 2000, he was one of the artists featured in the Alaska
Geographic “Painting Alaska.” His paintings hang in many
private homes and at the Talkeetna Elementary School.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Margaret
Arnhold and Anna Heffentrager, and brother Robert Wagner.
He is survived by nieces Evelyn Tilley and Gertrude Hinds, and
nephews Robert Wagner and Frank Heffentrager.
Services took place at the Talkeetna VFW on Aug. 2, with
burial at the Talkeetna Cemetery.
Donations may be made in Curt’s memory to an account at the
Mat Valley Federal Credit Union for the Talkeetna Fire and
Arrangements by Alaskan Heritage Memorial Chapel &
Crematory in Wasilla.
Michael "Mad Dog" Kelly
Michael "Mad Dog" Kelly died June 16, 2010 at Alaska
Regional Hospital in Anchorage of a massive stroke. Michael
was born Jan. 1, 1949 in Cincinnati, Ohio to John Kelly and
Margaret Schnelle. He graduated from Elder High School in
1967. He majored in Russian Studies at the University of
Cincinnati, intending to become an interpreter, but music
A life-long musician, his first gig was at St. Lawrence Gridiron
Club in 1965. He was a full-time musician for 36 years.
Michael was the consummate entertainer, he lit up the stage.
He began lead singing, but picked up numerous instruments,
but the bass guitar was where he shined.
In the late 60’s, he started playing with Plum Wine who shared
the stage with major acts such as Janis Joplin, Hour Glass
(Allman Brothers), and Jefferson Airplane. He loved to share
his stories of those times. He retired from playing full-time but
kept his licks up playing part-time.
Michael drew people from all walks of life. He made people
feel special and loved to make them laugh.
He met his wife, Glenda, in 1984 and they married May 20,
1989, in Ormond Beach, Florida. Michael and Glenda
‘dropped out of the straight life’ and moved to Talkeetna in
2001. He began working for the Talkeetna Historical Museum
in 2001 and became Curator in 2005.
He cared deeply for the museum and called his work his
“legacy” for Talkeetna.
He is survived by his children Delia Hoffman, Bridie Kelly,
Tristan Hoffman, and Janis Coryea, grandchildren Jarod and
Breann Hoffman, brothers and sisters, Jerry and Pam Rauen,
Barb and Steve Beiderbeck and Nolan Mendenhall. In
Talkeetna, he has numerous ‘sons and daughters.’
The family would like everyone to support health care reform.
Michael worked hard his whole life, never wanting anything
free, but went without treatment because of exorbitant health,
drug and insurance costs.
More and more people are losing everything and won’t be able
to afford the care that may cure them, or if not cure, may help
the quality of the life they have left.
A wake was held on Monday, June 28, in Talkeetna.
Arrangements were by the Cremation Society of Alaska.
Richard Michael Schiesl, 55, of Talkeetna died peacefully
March 22, 2010, at Mat-Su Medical Center in Palmer,
surrounded by family.
He was born June 19, 1954, to Mary and Jack Schiesl in
Kenosha, Wis. He moved to Mount Hull in Washington in
1988 and traveled to Alaska in 1992 to stay. Rick was an
independent fishing and hunting guide from Valdez to the
Brooks Range. Rick was also known for caretaking the
Historic Denali Fairview Inn for almost 10 years, and
rebuilding the West Rib Pub after a fire. He built the
handicap trails in Sourdough and also the handicap
access for Thompson Pass. Rick and brother Terry
planted many trees on the Coleville Indian Reservation,
as well as providing firewood for people on energy
He loved to fish for walleye under the Grand Coulee
Dam. He worked as an apple picker, and fought fires as
a volunteer firefighter in Washington state. He received
several certificates for his generous support of The
Wilderness Woman Contest and Bachelor Auction. He
was honored with the Community Service Award for the
Talkeetna Village Park Enhancement Project. He
communed with of all the animals of the world and spent
time in most of our national parks. He grew many
gardens and ate off the land. Rick was authentic,
resourceful and very artistic. He lived fully every day, up
until the very end. He was preceded in death by his
mother, Mary. He is survived by his father, Jack Schiesl;
brothers, Dave, Greg, Mark and “Little Brother” Terry of
“The Birch Creek Boys”; niece, Jessica; and nephew,
Chase; and numerous cousins; significant other, Betsy
Heilman; and best friend, “Bubbha the king.”
If you have blankets you no longer need, please drop
them off at the Talkeetna Free Box to help families that
have house fires. The Free Box is located in the parking
lot of the Church on the Rock on the Talkeetna Spur
Road, between Veteran’s Way and Second Street.
Volunteers staff the Free Box nearly every day,. Tales
Told Twice, the bookstore on the corner has a loaner key
if access is needed at other times. Call 355-0400.
and they are open Monday-Saturday between 10 am and
6 pm. The Talkeetna Free Box is looking for summertime
volunteers. Spend a few hours to help out the
community. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and
to check out all the new duds that come into the Free
Box. Call LouAnn at 355-0400 for details.