Gustavus resident Phillip Austin Kesterson Jr. died May 3, 2009, in Gustavus. He was 16.
A Juneau resident for 12 years, he spent the last four years in Gustavus. He was a sophomore at Gustavus High School. His family said he was a "kid, boat mechanic and all-around good guy."
"Austin was a father's dream come true, and I've been trying to keep up with him since his first steps," his father added. "He was surrounded by family and friends here in Gustavus, and we will all miss him dearly."
He is survived by his father, Phil Kesterson, of Gustavus; mother, Tammy Kesterson; and sisters, Sonnie Rae and Taylor Kesterson, all of Juneau.
A memorial will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 11, in Gustavus.
Helen M. Hixson
Former Juneau resident Helen Marian Hixson died peacefully on April 21, 2009, in Bremerton, Wash. She was 90.
Born May 8, 1918, in Seattle, Wash., she graduated from Bremerton High School and took bookkeeping classes in Seattle after high school. In 1939, she followed her father, Roy Allen, to Juneau to find work.
Living in Juneau from about 1936 to 2004, she worked as a bookkeeper for Columbia Lumber Co. and soon met William E. Hixson, whom she married in 1939. They raised three daughters, Dorothy Martin, of Anacortes, Barbara Allen, and Christine Hixson, of Bremerton.
The couple loved their life in Juneau and were avid boaters, their family said. They also owned a cabin in Funter Bay for about 15 years starting in the 1980s until 2004. For 20 years, they had a charter boat business, making the 900-mile voyage twice a year from the boat's storage on Lake Union and up the Inside Passage to Juneau.
They enjoyed many adventures, including chartering the boat for a series of Lassie television programs in the 1960s, as well as to Jacque Cousteau and his crew to carry equipment during their study and filming of whales in the 1970s. In 1962, they moved to Honolulu, where they enjoyed 30 years of island life, boating and friends.
According to her family, Helen was an avid reader, gardener and enjoyed cooking, creating a large collection of seafood recipes from Alaska and Hawaii.
She and Bill returned to Kitsap County, settling in Port Ludlow, in 1991 and then to Bremerton in 2002. After 54 years of marriage, her husband died in 2005.
She is survived by her three daughters; and two grandsons, Mark Martin, of Bellevue, Wash., and Shawn Martin and wife, Amy, of Kirkland, Wash., and their three children.
A celebration of her life was held May 9 at the Rills Tribute Center in Port Orchard, Wash. A donation to your local library would be appreciated.