Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Ray Renshaw

Longtime Juneau resident and Southeast Alaska aviation pioneer Ray Renshaw died Jan. 14, 2000, at his home on Fritz Cove Road in Juneau. He was 90.

He was born Sept. 26, 1909, in Seattle, Wash., to John William Renshaw and Gertrude LaVake Renshaw. He graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle, and began flying in 1928. By 1929 he earned his pilot's license and an aircraft and engine mechanic's license.

In 1935 he moved to Ketchikan and started Aircraft Charter Service with Herb Munter. Living in the hangar, he repaired airplanes at night and flew during the day.

During World War II, he flew offshore patrols with U.S. Navy and Coast Guard personnel from Southeast Alaska to the Aleutians. He covered for pilots Bob Ellis and Bud Bodding when they were called to active duty, flying for them at Ketchikan's Ellis Air Transport. He met Jeanne Ellis there, and they were married Feb. 14, 1944.

After the war, Shell Simmons invited Renshaw to fly with Alaska Coastal Airlines, and the couple moved to Juneau in 1945. He served as chief pilot until 1969. Their daughter Diana was born in 1953.

In the 1970s he flew with Alaska Airlines for two years, and served as a corporate pilot for Champion International. He served as chief pilot with Southeast Skyways from 1975 to 1979.

His wife Jeanne died in 1973. In 1979 he married Vivian Erwin.

Renshaw was honored by the FAA for his years as a pilot, mechanic and flight instructor. He served on the Juneau Planning Commission and flew with the Civil Air Patrol. He was also very active in the Alaska Miners Association.

He is survived by his wife Vivian (Erwin) Renshaw of Juneau, daughter Diana Renshaw (John) and grandson Tynan Netherland of Ketchikan, grandson Thane Peterson of Boise, Idaho, stepdaughters Linda Androes of Oregon, Marsha Bennet of Juneau, brother Anson LeVake Renshaw of Anchorage and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Jeanne, his brother Jerry Renshaw and mother Gertrude LeVake.

Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Alaska Memorial Chapel.

Nedria Joyce Wence

Former Juneau resident Nedria Joyce Wence died Jan. 12, 2000, in Mount Juliet, Tenn.

She was born Jan. 18, 1952, in Juneau, and she attended Juneau schools. She married Bill Wence on April 12, 1973, and moved to Nashville, Tenn., on July 1, 1973. They divorced in 1992.

She loved gardening and working on the land. Her sister wrote that she had a green thumb, and would sometimes work 8 to 10 hours straight in her garden.

She was preceded in death by her mother Joan A. Haffner, who died in Juneau in 1990.

She is survived by her daughter Tosha Bettis and grandson Billy Lane of Antioch, Tenn., son Christopher Wence of Nolensville, Tenn., father Ralph Mielke (Virginia) of Port Angeles, Wash., sister Nadine (Allan) Culbreath, brothers Max (Charlotte), Bruce, Steve (Lisa), and Roy Mielke, all of Juneau, and numerous relatives in the Juneau area.

Services were held last week in Tennessee. Christopher can be contacted at P.O. Box 39, Nolensville, TN, 37135, and Tosha at 3141 Country Meadow Rd., Antioch, TN, 37013.

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