Barbara Jane Fuller


Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Former Juneau resident Barbara Jane (Alter) Fuller, 53, died May 23, 2006, at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Mo., of recurrent cancer.

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She was born March 8, 1953, to Amos J. (Joe) and Catherine Alter in Juneau. She grew up and attended school in Juneau and Fairbanks. She graduated from Lathrop High School in 1971, following a year in South Africa as an American Field Service exchange student. She attended Occidental College and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she received a bachelor's degree in Arctic Anthropology in 1976.

She and Lawrence Anthony (Tony) Fuller were married in 1974, near Talkeetna. Between 1975 and 1978, she worked as an anthropologist for museums in Colorado and Vermont, focusing on documentation of various collections, educational programs and traveling exhibits. Between 1978 and 1991, she lived in Fairbanks, Grayling, Cabool, Mo., and Galena. During that time, she gained several certifications as a teacher, taught in many disciplines at multiple grade levels and gave birth to two sons.

In 1991, she and her family returned to Cabool. She taught in the public schools until 1998, when she began teaching at the Gentry Youth Facility in Cabool.

Family members said, "The success rate of her students consistently exceeded that of youth in other state facilities."

Her teaching skill was formally recognized with awards, the adoption of staffwide instructional programs she had developed and her position as a peer trainer.

"Barbara had a keen interest in music, which she readily shared with others; and she loved theater, beginning with her childhood role in 'Hoochinoo and Hotcakes,' as performed many years ago near what is now Juneau's Last Chance Mining Museum," said family members.

She was also a gardener, reader and activist in Cabool, including the local Church of the Brethren.

She was preceded in death by her father.

She is survived by her husband, Tony of Cabool; sons, Spencer, of Seattle, and Keagan, of Cabool; mother, Catherine Alter, of Juneau; siblings and spouses, Jim (Jean Ann) Alter of Juneau, Jerry (Alice) Alter of Dayton, Ohio, and JoAnne (Larry) Hayden of Anchorage; and 20 nieces and nephews.

A memorial service celebrating her life was held May 28 in Cabool. The family suggests that those wishing to honor the memory of Barbara make a donation to: Gentry Community Liaison Council, Cabool State Bank, Attn: Roger Lindsay, PO Box 800, Cabool, MO, 65689.

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