Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2000

Leo Albert Land

Haines resident Leo Land died Sept. 6, 2000, in his home in Haines. He was 82.

He was born Oct. 12, 1917, in Spokane, Wash., to Viva and Albert Land, and he was raised in the area. He joined the army at age 16 to help support his mother. He was stationed at Port Chilkoot in Haines.

He played basketball in Haines and met his future wife, Edna James, at a game. He fell in love and proposed. She accepted, but thought he was joking. On the day of the wedding she went to a Shirley Temple movie instead.

Leo was a chef and an MP at the base. He was adopted by the Tlingit people into the Raven clan and given the name Aakee-eesh, which means "kind father." After being stationed at Port Chilkoot he was stationed at Fort Richardson.

During World War II, he served in the Aleutian Islans as an Alaskan Scout. He received a Bronze Star for his service.

After the war he was again stationed at Fort Richardson and he became an MP. His family wrote that when he used to take Edna for walks down the streets of Anchorage while wearing his MP suit, people thought he was arresting her.

After being discharged from the army he moved his family to Haines. At that time he became a cook. He also helped build the road going toward the tank farm and he helped put in the sewer line in the village. He then became a commercial fisherman.

In his later years he loved to pick on the government, from the president on down to state legislators. His family wrote that he was an advocate of the Native people and helped people who needed his help.

He was preceded in death by two of his children, Ralph Albert Land and Leona Land.

He is survived by his wife Edna Land and his children Jenny Johnson, Vivian Stevens, David and Donny Land and numerous friends, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His funeral was held Friday Sept. 8, at the ANB Hall in Haines.

Michael Skrzynski

Former Juneau resident, Michael Skrzynski died Sept. 11, 2000, at his home in Craig.

He was born Jan. 12, 1954, in Juneau, the oldest of seven children born to Martin and Jessie Skrzynski.

He attended high school at JDHS, and later worked as a gillnetter, occasionally taking construction jobs.

His family said he loved to fish and portrayed a tough exterior, but hiding beneath was a sensitive, compassionate man, always the one to tell mom, "I love you."

He is preceded in death by his father and grandmother, Jessie Barlow.

He is survived by his daughters, Sherice (Skrzynski) Ridges, Joni Skrzynski, and Angel (last name not given), mother Jessie, brothers Mark, Dave, and James Skrzynski, sisters Stasza and Carol, all of Juneau, sister Susie of California and nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 16, at the Cathedral of the Nativity.

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