Longtime Juneau resident John Philip Wacker died Feb. 20, 2009, in Juneau, due to heart and lung complications. He was 79.
He was born May 14, 1929, in Wacker City, a small town just outside of Ketchikan (located above the pulp mill in what is now known as Ward Cove) that his parents founded in the early 1900s. His family created the first bus line system from Ketchikan to Wacker City.
He started school in Wacker City with a class of about 14 students and eventually moved to Juneau in the summer of 1987.
He worked as both a cab and city bus driver in Ketchikan from the late-1960s to the late-1970s. He also worked for many years in cold storage during the summers.
He enjoyed collecting coins and stamps, and loved to drive cars. He loved spending time with family and his dog, Lacey.
"He loved life, people and Hershey's chocolate," his family said. "He loved his wife and family, including his dog, Lacey Elvis Wacker. He enjoyed being victim of his children's and grandchildren's doings. He was Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Hunchback. He will be greatly missed."
The family thanks the doctors and staff of Bartlett Regional Hospital, Wildflower Court and Cornerstone Home Health for all of their help throughout the years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene Wacker and Lillian Imhoff Wacker; and siblings, Victor Wacker, Verna Wacker Lowe, and Myrtle, Eugene Jr. and Eugene Karl Wacker.
He is survived by his spouse, Sara Jane Wacker; children, Rocky Wacker and wife, Bea, Matthew Wacker, Jesse James "Jamie" Wacker, Karla Wacker Mendez and husband, Alex, Gerald "Jerry" Wacker, Leanne Wacker and husband, Wayne, Janelle Wacker Devoid and husband, Jason, Cathleen Bantsari and husband, Kent, Almarene Connor, Sandra Tams and husband, Gary, John Boone, Brenda Boone and spouse, James "Buck" Prabuckie, and Charlotte Aguilar and husband, Jose; 23 grandchildren, plus one due in July; and 17 great-grandchildren, plus one due in August.
Services will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Salvation Army Church, 538 W. Willoughby Ave. A time of fellowship will immediately follow the service. All friends and family are welcome to attend.
Memorial donations may be made to Sara Jane Wacker, 6042 Gull Way, Juneau, AK 99801. For more information, call Leanne Wacker at 635-4620.