Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Donald Schmiege

Juneau resident Donald Charles Gustave Schmiege died May 6, 2001, in Juneau. He was 73.

He was born June 22, 1927, in Polar, Wis., the third of four sons born to Jeanne and Arnold Schmiege. He served as an officer in the 11th Airborne during World War II and was a champion boxer on the Army team. He later went to the University of Minnesota, where he met his wife Marjorie, and earned his Ph.D in entomology.

He came to Juneau with his family in 1962 and began working as a research scientist for the Forestry Sciences Laboratory and later served as director.

He fished, hunted, explored and hiked Alaska and loved to sleep outside, watch the northern lights with a friend and eat fried fish for breakfast. He could recite his favorite Robert Service poems, made home-brewed beer and root beer and enjoyed the music of Dr. Hook and Mozart.

His family wrote that he often met arriving ferries and gave money to strangers looking for a start in Alaska. His heart and home were open to people in need and he worked to protect the wetlands, animals and forests of Alaska.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie Wyland Schmiege, son Bret Donald and daughter-in-law Emily Kane, and daughter Lisa Ann and son-in-law Naresh Shrestha, and granddaughters Freya Devi Shestha and Katherine Rose Kane, all of Juneau; daughter Cynthia Jeanne of Idaho, niece Susan Schmiege Knell of Washington, her husband Dale and children Molly and Jenna.

Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Resurrection Lutheran Church. A Scotch-Irish sendoff will be noon Sunday at his home at 1800 Evergreen Ave. Call 586-5808, 586-2514 or 463-3728 for more information.

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