Mary Paddock


Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2005

Haines resident Mary Helen Clayton "Chickie" Paddock, 67, died Sept. 17, 2005, at her home. The lifelong resident was a leader in the Tlingit community as well as the Yukon's Southern Tutchone. She was an advocate for Native people, land and values.

She was born to Mae and Charles E. Clayton on Feb. 18, 1938. She was the sixth of nine children in a family filled with nicknames like "Snookie" and "Midge." Her nickname was short for chickadee, because she was a small child. She was also known as "Tugboat Mary" for the time spent with her husband on his boat.

She graduated in 1956 from Sheldon Jackson High School in Sitka. She and her husband of nearly 48 years, Charles "Snuffy" Paddock, were married Oct. 5, 1957, and raised five children. They lived in Haines, Juneau and Pelican.

She was part of a delegation that traveled to Colorado to repatriate a Raven blanket that belonged to the Frog House, of which she, a Raven, was a leader. For many years she danced and sang with Gei Sun dancers, and made sure all her children were part of the Chilkat Dancers.

Her family said she especially enjoyed the Yukon, where as a child she lived in the cabin at 106 mile near Dalton Post. She enjoyed picking berries, and cooking and preserving foods the traditional way. She beaded traditional regalia and once worked as florist.

She was a member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, a delegate to the Tlingit and Haida Central Council and a representative of the Champagne Aishihik First Nations. She served on the SEARHC board.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Walter, Roy and Midge Clayton; her sister, Katherine Engstrom; and her son, Charles Paddock Jr.

She is survived by her husband; her siblings Murray Clayton of Fairbanks, Nellie Pettit of Eagle River and Dorothy Meyers and Pat Philpott of Haines; her children Joseph P. Paddock of Juneau, Midge McClellan of Yakutat and Jessie Grant and Alden Paddock of Haines; 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Haines ambulance crew or the Sheldon Museum.

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