Barbara Strandberg


Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2005

Former Juneau resident Barbara Carlquist Strandberg, 88, died March 3, 2005, in Tempe, Ariz.

She was born Dec. 26, 1916, in Leavenworth, Wash., and moved to Anchorage in 1921 with her parents and sister. Her brother was born in Anchorage. Her father, Frank Carlquist, became a well known Alaska jeweler and businessman.

After attending college at the University of Idaho, Barbara moved back to Anchorage in 1935 and became one of the first tellers for the National Bank of Alaska. She met and married Harold David Strandberg, a member of the prominent Strandberg gold mining family.

As her husband and his brothers operated a gold mining company, she spent summers living in or around Alaska mining camps, including Manley Hot Springs and Folger. At the Folger mining camp, she was the camp cook. She was a founding member of the "Berry Picking and Rifle Club" of Manley Hot Springs. She once shot a black bear off of the back porch as it was peering through a screen door, patiently waiting for cinnamon rolls to come out of the oven.

During the winters, Barbara and Harold resided in Anchorage and Juneau, where Harold served eight years in the Alaska Legislature and served as commissioner of Public Works under Gov. Walter J. Hickel. She worked at Juneau-Douglas High School as the registrar during the 1970s.

She loved the social life in Anchorage and Juneau. She also immersed herself in community service. She was a founding member of the Alaska Crippled Children Society (now known as ACCA). When Anchorage decided to move its airport from the "Park Strip" to the outskirts of town, she and other parents led the successful effort to transform the old airport into an urban park, with baseball fields, tennis courts, hockey rinks and picnic areas that continue to be enjoyed today. She was active in PEO and her college sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.

The couple retired and moved to Green Valley, Ariz., in 1978. She moved to Tempe in 1998.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Strandberg, and her brother, Don.

She is survived by her sister, Doris Halaby; her three sons, David, Doug and Steve; six grandchildren, Melissa, Scott, Matt, Tom, Alexander and Stewart; and two great-grandchildren, Kyan and Joshua.

A memorial service was held March 11 in Tempe. Donations to ACCA can be made in her name.

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