Eugene Thomas Specht

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Longtime Juneau resident Eugene Thomas Specht, 84, died peacefully Feb. 22, 2002, at his residence.

He was born Aug. 4, 1917, in Wood County, Wis., to Peter and Dora (LaMere) Specht. He attended schools in Tacoma, Wash., and was captain of the football team for Bellermine Boys High School.

As a young man, he worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and logged in Minnesota. He first came to Alaska with the Army Air Corps during World War II and was stationed at Juneau Airport. He married Irene Berger on Oct. 31, 1944, in Minnesota and the family moved to Juneau in 1948. He was a job foreman for the Polaris Taku Mining Co. and hauled goods on the river to the Tulsequah mine. Later, he worked as a lineman for AEL&P before taking the job as street maintenance foreman for the city. His family said his favorite job was taking the grader from the end of the road to town, plowing snow ahead of morning traffic. They also said he loved to talk about his adventures riding the rails in the Midwest during the Depression; he never lost his love of trains.

His family remembers he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, sharing stories, telling jokes, and picnicking, and he especially loved the Fourth of July parade and festivities in Juneau. They said he loved to travel in his motorhome, and in later years he liked taking drives around Juneau, watching construction projects and feeding the birds at the Shrine and Rotary Park. He was an avid fan of Juneau softball and Little League baseball and was one of the founding members of Gastineau Little League. He was honored last season for his role in starting the league 50 years ago.

He was an active member of the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Paul's Catholic Church and was a lifetime member of the Juneau Elk's Lodge. He was also a member of the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 6 and a Retired Senior Volunteer.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Irene; daughter Barbara Lanz; and longtime companion Flossie Heppler.

He is survived by his daughter Pat Costa, her husband Jim and their daughters Dawn Voss, Prosser, Wash., and Dina Gregg, Juneau; son-in-law Arlen Lanz and his children Kory and Kyle Lanz and Aaron and Brady Wilson, Juneau; great-grandchildren Quinn and Jessie Gregg and Vicki and Sean Voss; and the caregivers of Shattuck Manor, Delores Reina, Isabel, Yanet, Elian and their families.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2002, at St. Paul's Catholic Church. A funeral service will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 1 at St. Paul's Catholic Church, followed by a reception at the church hall.

Pallbearers will be Jim Costa, Dawn Voss, Dina Gregg, Arlen Lanz and Kory and Kyle Lanz. Honorary pallbearers will be Rich Voss, Randy Gregg, Joe Smith, Grant Ritter, John Monagle, Bob Smith, Budge McRae and Zeb Hannah.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bridge Adult Day Program, 419 Sixth St., CCS Wing, Juneau, AK 99801; Home and Hospice Care of Juneau, 3200 Hospital Dr., Suite 100, Juneau, AK 99801; or the American Diabetes Association, 201 E. Third Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.

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