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Juneau resident Everett O. "Brack" Bracken died July 31, 2009, at his daughter's home in Auke Bay, surrounded by family and friends. He was 90.
He was born Nov. 19, 1918, in Princeton, Minn., to Mary Everett and Owen William Bracken. Mary and Owen had two more children before Owen's death in 1926. Everett helped his mother and sisters by selling homemade candy and trapping furs including skunk, rabbit and fox. He graduated from Conrad High School in 1937.
Before joining the U.S. Army, he spent two years on timber and survey crews for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and one year at Sacramento Junior College. During the year at SJC, he was talked into taking a mining course - a decision that set the course for his future career in mining and engineering. He joined the U.S. Army in 1940 and was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers Topographic Battalion.
He and his sweetheart, Laura Mae "Larrie" Anderson, were out for a mountain picnic when Pearl Harbor was attacked. When they returned to town, he and his battalion were locked down for several months.
Larrie and Everett were married Feb. 12, 1943, and moved to Jerome, Ariz. He was called back to active service and assigned to the Army's 77th Infantry Division in 1945 and served in Okinawa, Japan and the Philippines.
After World War II, the Brackens moved to Montana where Brack earned a degree in geological engineering from the Montana School of Mines. He worked as a geologist in Park City, Utah, Kellogg, Idaho, Valdez and Juneau. The family grew as they had a baby in each state they lived in.
The family moved to Juneau, their home for almost 43 years, in 1966 when he took a position with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. He completed his master's degree in engineering management in 1970 by taking night courses at Juneau-Douglas Community College. He worked as the state mineral specialist until he retired from Alaska's Division of Economic Development in 1982.
His hobbies included prospecting, collecting, fishing, gardening, skinning porcupines, mushroom hunting, writing, playing cards, recycling and hunting. Brack was a member of American Institute of Professional Geologists, Alaska Miners Association, VFW, RSVP, NRA, CCC Alumni and more than can be listed here.
The Brackens lived at Mountain View Manor in Petersburg for 10 months, until Larrie's death in February.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years; parents; brother, Milo Stordahl; son, Owen "Bill" Bracken; and grandson, Toby Coate.
He is survived by his sons, Barry and Kathy Bracken, of Petersburg, and Bob Bracken, of Spokane, Wash.; daughters, Bonnie Bracken, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Barbara Coate, of Auke Bay; brother, Johnny Stordahl; sisters, Leslie Brandmeir, Nancy Luker and Mary Lou Petrick; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Donations in his name can be sent to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, 419 Sixth St., Juneau, AK 99801; or Disabled American Veterans, 8169 Thunder St., Juneau, AK 99801.