Michael Fenster


Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2004

Longtime Juneau resident Michael Joseph Fenster, 57, died April 15, 2004, in Juneau.

He was born Oct. 25, 1946, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Marvin and Teresa Fenster. He moved to Juneau with his parents at the age of 1. He graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1964. During high school, he worked at Channel Bowl, which his parents owned and operated. He was also involved in managing the high school basketball team.

He graduated from Northrop Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He then served in the National Guard for six years. His lifetime passion was aviation, and he learned to fly while attending college. In 1971, he worked as the chief pilot for Southeast Skyways. From 1975 to 1982, he was chief pilot and director of operations for Channel Flying, based out of Juneau and Sitka. He flew to many of the communities in Southeast Alaska and made friends that lasted his lifetime. In 1982, he joined with Bob Jacobsen and Drew Haag to form Wings of Alaska. He was vice president of Wings from 1983 to 1991.

He joined the Juneau Fire Department in 1972 in what was then Company No. 3. He was assistant chief of volunteers from August 1984 until 1998. In 1991, while actively involved in the volunteers, he became a full-time assistant chief for Capital City Fire/Rescue. In recent summers, he flew tourists to the Taku Lodge several evenings each week. In the past several weeks, he had been excited to start flight training with a new Turbine Otter for Wings.

His family said he enjoyed playing golf, attending the opera, hunting, fishing and spending time with his friends.

He is survived by his wife, Dru Fenster of Juneau; daughter, Nicole Pegues of Oregon; brother, James (Vickie) Fenster of Palmer; sister, Susan (Jim Ryan) Redmond of Bakersfield, Calif.; nephew, Sean Sewill of Bakersfield, Calif.; and niece, Jessica Redmond of Ridgecrest, Calif.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25 at Centennial Hall, with a reception to follow at the Wings of Alaska hangar.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association or to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau. The family can be contacted at P.O. Box 020235, Juneau, AK 99802-0235.

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