Former Juneau resident Maurice Hartwell "Ted" Tidwell died Nov. 28, 2007, in Tacoma, Wash., after a year-long struggle with cancer. He was 69.
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Born July 27, 1938, in Nashville, Tenn., he graduated from Central High School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa. He brought his young family to Alaska to make his fortune in the early 1960s, when he first started working for Paul's Floor Service.
He started his own carpet business in 1970 which eventually became Arctic Carpet, which continues to this day. He built a retail store that now houses a gunshop and the building that now is owned by St. Vincent DePaul.
In 1979, he married his wife Lucile and they owned and operated various businesses in Skagway, including Irene's Inn, Sgt. Preston's Lodge and the infamous Dr. Fun Tours. Ted and his wife retired to Arizona in 1997 and relocated to Haugan, Mont., in 2003.
His family said he was the world's best salesman and storyteller. To this date, even his former employees at Dr. Fun Tours cannot say whether the "facts" he gave to tourists were real or made-up, his family said. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, panning for gold and travelling with his family. He was known as a quiet and gentle person and had a way of making everyone around him feel comfortable, his family said. He was a member of the Skagway Elks Lodge.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Alice Smithers; father, Maurice Hartwell Tidwell Sr.; stepfather, Charles W. Smithers; and stepdaughter, Alexandria Woods.
He is survived by his wife, Lucile of Haugan, Mont.; son Steve Tidwell (and Alice Albrecht) of Juneau; daughter Lisa (and Haynes) Tormey of Yuma, Ariz.; daughter Lori (and Joe) Croteau of Juneau; stepdaughter Carla (and Kevin) Keely of Tacoma, Wash., Sheldon (and Stephanie) Winters of Juneau, Brent Woods (and Beverly Scoffield) of Sacramento, Calif., and 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and sister Donna (and Robert) Coss of Nashville, Tenn., and brothers Grant (and Dedra) Smithers of Nashville, Sean (and Angel) Smithers of Nashville, and Andy Smithers (and Daniel Green) of Phoenix, Ariz.
He died in the presence of his wife and family members. Services and the grave site dedication were held on Dec. 3 at the Tacoma Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the New Tacoma Cemetery. Being a wartime veteran, he was given a military burial with Honor Guard and taps.
A memorial celebration will be held in Juneau in the future at a date to be announced. The family asks that any donations be made to your local Hospice organization.