Louis Stanley Heins

Posted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

Juneau resident Louis Stanley Heins died peacefully April 6, 2010, at his home at Wildflower Court. He was 89.

"Louie," as he was known by his Alaska friends and family, was born Aug. 12, 1920, in Billings, Mont. By 1938, he had moved to Seattle, Wash., where he occasionally played his guitar and harmonica live on a local radio station.

The next year, he traveled to Tenakee Springs on a small freighter, the Taku, to visit his sister Dorie O'Toole. He stayed and worked various jobs in Sitka and Tenakee Springs. One of his favorite pastimes was writing for the local nonprofit newspaper called "Home News."

In 1943, he left Tenakee Springs to join the Army. After the war, he returned to the states where he met and married Elaine in Pennsylvania. Soon after they moved to Tenakee Springs where they stayed for almost a year before returning to Pennsylvania, where their daughter, Judith, was born.

He worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years and was at one time the Postmaster in Huntington Valley, Pa. After retirement, he and Elaine enjoyed traveling around the states until she passed away after 45 years of marriage.

He was a member of many organizations. His favorite was the Horticultural Association. He was an outstanding gardener and had more than 1,500 tulips of various species and colors in his garden.

In 1991, nearly 50 years after he had left, he returned to Tenakee Springs where he rekindled an old relationship with Helen (Hill) Merwin. They were married in 1992. Helen passed way in 1994 after a brief illness.

He was very civic minded, serving on the Tenakee Springs City Council from 1994 until 2003, during which he was the Mayor from 1995-2000. In the spring of 2003 he resigned due to health conditions and moved to Juneau.

He loved to read, sing, play his guitar and harmonica, play cards and bingo, watch game shows, and especially make people laugh and smile. He had a collection of humorous hats for every occasion which he wore with aplomb much to the enjoyment of everyone. He will be missed by all who were blessed to meet him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Anna Heins; wife, Elaine Heins; wife, Helen Heins; brother, Jim Heins, of Las Vegas; and sisters, Peggy Brown, of Bremerton, Wash., Dorothy O'Toole, of Tenakee Springs, Martha Stephens, of Juneau, Lucille Foss, of Spokane, and Georgian Heins, of Juneau.

He is survived by his daughter, Judith (David) Cummings, of Huntington Valley, Pa.; brother-in-law, Raymond Foss, of Spokane; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.

A "Remembrance Karaoke Party" in Louie's honor will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 9, at Wildflower Court. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited.

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