Lester Weiss

Posted: Friday, August 06, 2004

Former Juneau resident Lester Weiss, 100, died Thursday, July 29, 2004, at the Ocean Crest Retirement Home in Coos Bay, Ore.

He was born Oct. 29, 1903, in Rodgers, Ark., to Herman and Margaret Ann (McQuiston) Weiss. He moved to Juneau in 1916 at the age of 13. He chose Juneau because his uncle, Robert Weiss, lived in Juneau. The recruiters from Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine met the boat that he was on and he was recruited as an electrician. In 1923, he joined the U.S. Navy, traveling to New Zealand and Australia. He frequently reminisced about his adventures in the Navy and of his good friend Hugh Handby.

He met Lorena Bemis of Hoquiam, Wash., while on leave and the two were married in 1924. They moved to Juneau and he went to work at the Powerhouse near the Mendenhall Glacier. In 1929, the couple had a son, Keith Herman Weiss. After the better part of 47 years in Juneau the couple moved to Coquille, Ore., in 1963 to be near his brother, Leo. They loved to travel and fish. After 50 years of marriage, in 1974, his wife passed away. He met Gracabelle Weed of Myrtle Point, Ore., and the two married a year later. In 1996, they moved into Ocean Crest Retirement Home in Coos Bay, where he made many good friends. She passed away in 1998, after 25 years of marriage.

He is survived by his grandchildren, Judi (Alan) Blankenship of Sitka, Lauri (Jim) Ritter and Tony Weiss of Juneau, and Bridget Monahan of Spokane, Wash.; great-grandchildren, Mark and Jeff Davis of Sitka, Mike (Amber) Laudert and Brandilyn (Josh) McDonald of Juneau, Travis and Casey Monahan of Spokane; several great-great grandchildren, a nephew, a niece and numerous great nieces and nephews.

Services were held at Ocean Crest Retirement Home on July 31. The family can be contacted by writing to Judi Blankenship, 104 Ross St., Sitka, AK 99835.

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