Alice Jean Puster
Anchorage Times Photographer
Alice Puster will be remembered as a well-known photographer for The Anchorage Times. She died Jan. 26 at age 83.
Puster loved photography and adventure from an early age. Upon graduation, she saved enough money to buy a car and trailer, and loaded 50 rolls of film and her sister, Florine, for a cross-country adventure. The girls visited 33 states.
In 1962, Puster started another big adventure, traveling with her friend Martha to Anchorage, where she got a job as a photographer for The Anchorage Times. Her photos of the 1964 earthquake were published worldwide, and Puster received a congratulatory letter from The Associated Press.
During her career, she flew to remote areas, photographing the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and staying in the pipeline camps. She helped beach a whale in a Native village, along with Ann Stevens. They became good friends, and Puster was an honorary pallbearer for Stevens.
Puster was on the boards of the Anchorage Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Anchorage Zoo. She was chosen Alaskan of the Year in the 1970s for her photography and for helping the Humane Society find homes for so many animals.
After 28 years as a photographer for The Anchorage Times, Puster retired in 1990. She moved to a home on Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing.
She was a lifetime member of the Cooper Landing Senior Citizen Corporation Inc. and an active member of the Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners. She attended Cooper Landing Community Church.
She joined the Dumpster cleaners every Monday, traveling to Hope, Moose Pass and Cooper Landing to clean transfer sites. She paid special attention to the recycling bins, making sure they were properly organized.
Rosalie A. Blanton, 79, died Dec. 15. She was an active member of the Fairbanks Emblem Club and had many jobs throughout her life, including bank teller, tutor, telephone repair dispatcher, wife and mother of seven. She enjoyed reading, knitting, crocheting, gardening and playing pinochle and cribbage.
Ellen Francis Curtiss, 95, died June 14. She moved to Anchorage in 1941 with her husband, Donald. Curtiss worked in food operation for the Anchorage School District until retirement. She then worked for a gift shop in downtown Anchorage. She enjoyed animals, sewing and genealogy.
Carol D. Davis, 79, died July 27. In 1954, she moved to Fairbanks and started her career as a clerk in the commissioner’s office, taking a permanent position with the Alaska Court System in 1969 and serving as the Standing Master for Probate from 1977 until her retirement in 1987.
Belle Dawson, 89, died June 28. In 1972, she moved to Anchorage to work as director of technical services for the Loussac Library. Dawson was known as an artist, activist and avid square dancer. She was nationally known as a professional wildlife artist and won many awards.
Pat Fleetwood, 84, died July 28. In 1958, she moved to Alaska with her husband, Al, and their three children. She founded Camp Fire Girls in the Interior and was active in the Fairbanks Chamber, AAUW, Quota Club and P.E.O. Sisterhood. Fleetwood served on the first Governors Commission on the Status of Women. She received her Master of Education and taught elementary school in Fairbanks.
Mary E. Ghezzi, 96, died July 26. She was born in Fairbanks, where she began her nursing career. Then, nurses did everything from scrubbing floors to laundry, making cotton balls and washing surgical gloves. She was known as the first person to work and the last to leave.
Betty Johannes, 85, died June 25. She was born in Juneau. Johannes worked as a secretary at several schools in Anchorage, where she raised her children and built homes, living in them until they were sold, with her husband, Eugene. She was generous and enjoyed family, gardening, crafts and entertaining.
Malcolm R. “Mac” McGregor, 88, died July 25. He moved from New Mexico to Juneau with his wife, Caroline. McGregor worked for the Department of Transportation and then worked as the building manager of the state Capitol. He had three children.
Norman Olsen, 84, died July 7. He was born and raised in Ketchikan. Olsen was class president and captain of Ketchikan High School championship basketball team. He made log rafts, drove pile, was a fisherman and logger, worked on lighthouses, and built helicopter pads for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Robert A. Pegues, 74, died July 3. He was born in Juneau. Pegues worked as a radio announcer for KINY-AM and KJNO-AM in Juneau and worked as an announcer, news reporter, co-anchor, director of news and station manager for KFAR-AM radio in Fairbanks. He also served as network film news reporter for Midnight Sun Broadcasting Network in Anchorage. In 1963, he moved to Tenakee Springs, working at Snyder Mercantile and in commercial crab fishing. He commuted to the North Slope during oil pipeline construction, retiring as assistant chief of Alaska air operations. During the Exxon Valdez oil spill, he was a controller for Exxon’s response center. He was mayor of Tenakee Springs for three terms.
Caleb Pungowiyi, 69, died July 25. He was born in Savoonga, on St. Lawrence Island. His wife, Gladys, was his best friend, and the couple loved to hunt, gather and prepare subsistence foods together. Pungowiyi was a senior adviser for Oceana and an ambassador for Native interests.
Patricia Rogge, 97, died July 25. She was born in Fairbanks and graduated from the University of Alaska. She was employed by the Empress Theater, the U.S. Smelting, Refining & Mining Co., and the Northern Commercial Co. In 1935, she married Gene, owner of Sourdough Express. They had three children. She got a second degree and taught for 16 years at Denali School.
Frances Trevethan, 92, died Nov. 16. She was born in Anchorage and married Murl in 1934. They built a home in Seward where they raised seven children. The family members enjoyed their cabin in Cooper Landing, skiing, hunting, clam digging and picking blueberries and currants.
Donald “Doc” Schultz II, 71, died July 6. In 1972, he moved to Alaska and lived in various parts of the state working as a pharmacist and playing music. Schultz formed the Dr. Schultz and the Last Frontier Band, selling 20,000 albums. In 1982, he joined Matt Hammer, playing as Schultz & Hammer. He played the banjo.
Richard Gordon Seagrave, 65, died July 17. After college, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard, spending the majority of his career stationed in Alaska, including Sitka, Kodiak and Juneau. He was executive officer of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Citrus in Kodiak, and commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Planetree in Juneau. In 1981, Gordon retired from active duty and began working for the U.S. Coast Guard as a civilian in the Juneau Aids to Navigation Office until retirement in 2002. Seagrave was a devoted father and enjoyed skiing, running, cycling, cross-country skiing, spending time with his golden retrievers, playing saxophone, photography, genealogy, and spending time on his boat.
Dorothy Louise “Dottie” Sherman, 84, died July 24. In 1953, she moved to Fairbanks with her daughter, Merceile, and husband, Bill. She worked for the Fairbanks Arts Association and Alaskaland. She was a talented seamstress and enjoyed embroidery, knitting and crocheting.
Kenneth Elmer Warfel, 80, died Feb. 5. In 1958, he homesteaded with his family on Chena Ridge in Fairbanks. He organized and directed in the Arctic Circle Theatre, and he was one of the original five of Alaska’s Flying Poets. Warfel authored three books of poetry.
Alice Jean Puster