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Stella Mae Fullam, long a well-loved and active member of the Juneau community, died March 8, 2011, at her home by Auke Lake. She was 69.
Adopted by her stepfather, Walter Stout, Stella grew up in the Salmon, Idaho area, living at times on remote ranches and in town. Her early education was in the eight-grade, one-room schoolhouse in Tendoy, Idaho. After high school, Stella worked several jobs in Salmon and subsequently lived with her first husband in communities and Forest Service ranger stations in Idaho and Montana. They moved to Juneau in 1969, to Yakutat in 1973, and to Angoon in 1975.
After divorcing, Stella returned to Juneau but soon moved on to Hilo, Hawaii, to attend the University of Hawai’i. She received her B.A. in Speech and Communication in 1988. She then returned to Juneau to be near her two sons and grandchildren. In 1990, she married Dr. Timothy Fullam, a professor at the University of Alaska Southeast.
Stella liked to say that one of her hobbies was talking to strangers. That led to success in many occupations: waitressing, barbering, orthodontic assisting, banking, secretarial work, accounting, general-store operation, natural hot springs resort management, real estate speculating, freelance writing, tutoring, university instructing, and elections work. She favored writing and, from childhood, was an avid reader and journal writer. She loved gardening and especially nurturing new plants. She gardened everywhere she lived.
An enthusiastic volunteer throughout her life, Stella organized bookmobile service in eastern Montana in the 1960’s and participated in the African Library Project to establish new libraries in Africa. After settling in Alaska, she continued volunteering with, among others, the Juneau World Affairs Council and the House of Wickersham. Stella was most recently a board member for the Jensen-Olson Arboretum and for the Gastineau Channel Senior Center Advisory Council.
In Angoon she served on the Chatham District school board. There she also helped start a recreation lodge on Killisnoo Island, while continuing to own and operate the general store, Angoon Trading Company. Living in Alaskan villages, Stella rediscovered pride in her own Shoshone Lemhi Native American heritage. Greatly honored to be adopted into the Tlingit Shark Clan, she maintained close ties with the Tlingit community for the rest of her life.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two older brothers.
In addition to her husband, Tim, Stella is survived by her former husband, Dick Powers of Sula, Mont. and Angoon, AK, sons Rusty Powers of Juneau and Mark Powers of Kalispell, Mont.; her grandsons Chase Powers and Isaac Powers of Juneau; several step grandchildren; and brothers Buck Stout of Caldwell, Idaho and Otis Stout of Salmon, Idaho.
A celebration of life is planned for the summer, in the Juneau area.