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Bodding, Olaf and Anna

by Gerald "Bud" Bodding

My parents, Olaf K. and Anna M. Bodding were married in Douglas in 1915, and resided in Juneau until November 1961. My dad was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1887, and came to the United States in 1905. He went to Cordova in 1911, and arrived in Juneau a year later. He was first employed by the Alaska-Juneau Mines, then by Morgan’s Transfer. In 1925, he purchased the business, renaming it Bodding Transfer. He sold the business in 1946. The next eight years, he served as caretaker at Evergreen Cemetery. In 1955, Olaf and Anna moved to the “lower 48,” later taking up residence in Mt. Vernon, Washington.

Anna Bodding was born in Tomalila, Sweden, in 1888. She was mostly a homemaker but also a bookkeeper for Bodding Transfer. She was very active in the Lutheran Church at which both her and Olaf were charter members.

They raised four children: Thelma, twins Gerald and Geraldine, and Lynn, all of whom graduated from Juneau High School. During their stay in Juneau, the Bodding’s built and resided in a home at 822 B Street.

For myself (Gerald), I had an interesting life in Juneau. Having a twin sister named Geraldine, I was nicknamed “Bud” apparently to avoid confusion. The name stuck. At a very young age, I became an aviation “bug.” At 12 years of age, I had my first airplane ride in a World War I Jenny-type airplane. The field was the flats adjacent to Kendler’s Dairy.

On graduating in 1935, I was asked about future plans. I advised I wanted to become a pilot. I drove truck for a while then got a job with Alaska Air Transport. I joined the Gastineau Flying Club and built up 75 hours flying time. I attended Ryan School of Aeronautics in San Diego, California, in 1939. After receiving my commercial pilot license, I returned to Juneau.

In March 1940, I accepted a job flying for Ellis Air Transport in Ketchikan. I received a commission in the U.S. Navy in 1942. Was a pilot of Naval Aircraft in the Aleutians through the end of World War II. I then returned to Ketchikan as pilot and Vice President of Ellis Airlines.

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