Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2000

Bertha Marie Dawson

Former Douglas resident Bertha Marie Dawson died Nov. 17, 2000, at her daughter's home in Camas, Wash. She was 81.

She was born in 1919 on her family's farm in Larson, N.D., the youngest of six children born to Petra and Kristopher Anderson of Lofoton, Norway.

Her family was uprooted by the Great Depression and moved to Petersburg, where she grew up. She served as a nurse's aide during World War II. She met her husband, Thomas, during the war. They married in Juneau and settled in Douglas and raised seven children.

She worked for many years as a cook at Mike's Place in Douglas. In 1959 her family moved to Kirkland, Wash., and she cooked for 30 years at Frosty's Cafe in Juanita, Wash.

She enjoyed sewing and quilting for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas, in 1999. She is survived by her brother Everend, her children Pat Moore of Truth or Consequences, N.M., Jim (and Renee) Dawson of Seattle, Tommy Dawson of Juneau, Serene (and Russ) Randall and Frances Geerhart of Kirkland, Wash., Beverly (and Carson) Knight of Camas and Kevin Dawson of Washington, 17 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

A private family memorial service will be held. Remembrances may be made to a charity of choice.

Jolie Sasseville

Former Juneau resident Jolie Lynne Sasseville, 41, died Nov. 26, 2000, in an automobile accident with her husband, Drey Alzheimer, and daughter Chelsea in rural Otter Tail County, Minn.

She was born in November 1959 in Bloomington, Minn., where she grew up. She attended the University of Alaska Juneau and graduated in 1989 with a degree in communications, and lived in Juneau for 14 years in the 1980s and early 1990s. She served as editor of the UAJ ( now UAS) student newspaper, Whale Song, and contributed the literary magazine Explorations. She worked at the Alaska State Museum. She was also active in student groups, and was involved in efforts to acquire funding for a childcare program and center at the university. She married Claude Epperson in Juneau and they had a daughter, Elise.

She left Juneau to earn a master's degree in journalism at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where she had her daughter Chelsea. She returned to Juneau and wrote features and theater reviews for the Juneau Empire.

She left Juneau and moved to Fergus Falls, Minn. She was active in women's rights issues, the American Association of University Women, and the Business and Professional Women. She organized poetry readings and worked on a regional festival as well. She worked as the public information officer for the city of Fergus Falls.

She published two books of her prose and poetry, and her work was published in numerous small poetry journals.

In 1997 she quit her job to work as a freelance writer and poet. In July 1999 she married James Drey Alzheimer. They launched a nonprofit publishing company, Stone House Press, to promote the works of regional writers. She also served as the executive director of the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in New York Mills, near Fergus Falls.

Her family wrote that she was generous, dedicated and creative, with the ability to inspire creativity in others.

She is survived by her daughter Elsie Epperson of St. Louis, Mo., her mother Kati Sasseville of Fergus Falls, her brothers and sisters David (Mary) and Jon (Tina) Sasseville of Bloomington and Laramie Sasseville of Minneapolis, Melanie (Jim) Lesh of Juneau, Andrea of Fairfax Va., nieces and nephews John and Carter Lesh of Juneau, Natalie, Madeleine, Julia, Erika and Gabrielle Sasseville of Bloomington and dozens of cousins, aunts and uncles.

Services will be held Saturday in Fergus Falls. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Jolie Sasseville Memorial Fund at New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, 128 Washington Ave., East, Fergus Falls, MN, 56537.

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