Gene Wallace Waid

Posted: Sunday, November 09, 2008

Juneau resident Gene Waid died peacefully on Oct. 31, 2008, in Juneau. He was 87.

Born Dec. 14, 1920, to Fred Waid and Bertha Holloway Waid in Wagoner, Okla., he was the middle of three brothers. Their parents raised them in Wagoner, where they had many aunts, uncles and cousins.

He told stories of great family potluck suppers with square dancing, while his dad played fiddle. He graduated from eighth grade and worked with his father, who was a sharecropper, until World War II, when he and his two brothers joined the Navy.

He met his wife, Adelia Isaacs, while on shore leave in Seattle, Wash., and they married on Feb. 11, 1945. After the War, they lived in Wagoner and then Klawock.

The family story is that Gene fell in love with Klawock, but Ada preferred city life; so they compromised on the Juneau-Douglas area. Together they raised four children. The family spent many summer days salmon fishing on the south end of Douglas Island. He took quickly to fishing, clam digging and gathering gumboots, and he was already an old hand at berry picking. His family said he thought Southeast Alaska was God's Country.

The couple became active members of Memorial Presbyterian Church, which shared the same community spirit and family potluck tradition he had grown up with in Oklahoma, his family said. According to his family, good food and good company made him happy. They also said he loved a good joke.

He worked at the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store and West Coast Grocery Wholesale for years before becoming a property officer with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. He retired in 1980, and Gene and Ada enjoyed being snowbirds for many years, living half the year in Juneau and half the year in Everett, Wash. They took pleasure in visiting their grandchildren in both places. They loved getting corn on the cob fresh from the farmers in Everett, and king crab and salmon in Juneau.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ada in March, this year; and earlier by his sons, Mike and John Waid; older brother, Clyde Waid; and younger brother, Guy Waid.

He is survived by his son, Gary Waid and wife, Kirsten; daughter, Linda Waid Mercer; grandchildren, Mike Mercer, Wendy and Stephanie Perry, James and Delana Mercer, Katy Waid, Eldri and Vince Sierra, Jake Waid, Tanya Swafford, and Raven Waid and Amanda Burrous; and great-grandchildren, Lance Moore, Alica and Kaylie Mercer, Jaden and Karsten Sierra, Jessica and Cheyenne Mercer, Mia Waid and Jake Perry.

A memorial service will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at Northern Light United Church. Following the service, there will be a potluck supper in the reception area of the Church. All are invited.

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