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Stewart, Fred and Beda (Clauson)

by Fred Stewart

In 1950-51, Fred, then 16, got a job at the Alaska Daily Empire and worked in the job printing department with Jimmy Barcus as well as in the newspaper department from time to time. His friend and classmate, Harvey Clauson, worked in the pressroom and the two became better acquainted. Fred was particularly interested in Harvey because of Harvey’s sister Beda. During the summer of 1951, Beda and Fred started “going together.” That fall Beda was a junior and Fred a senior at Juneau High School. In 1952, during Beda’s senior year, Fred attended the University of Washington and then in 1953, while Beda went to Oregon State College, Fred again worked at the Empire and then went into the Army at Fort Richardson in Anchorage. In 1956, Fred got out of the Army and went back to school at the U. of W. Beda was in her third year at Oregon State. In December 1956, they were married and returned to Seattle and both attended the U. of W. so that Beda could graduate
and Fred could finish pre-law.

In 1957, they returned to Juneau where Fred again worked at the Empire and Beda worked at City Hall and later in the Alaska Dept. of Vital Statistics. In 1958, Tammy was born at St. Ann’s Hospital and Fred got in trouble with his employer for putting a birth announcement on the front page of the paper without the editor knowing about it until it was too late.

Fred and Beda then returned to Seattle to finish law school. When Fred graduated in 1961, he found that the State of Alaska had adopted a one-year residency requirement as a prerequisite to taking the State bar exam. When Alaska had become a state in 1959, the State of Washington changed its policy of allowing Alaska residents to attend with only the payment of resident tuition. Unable to afford the tuition charged non-residents it was necessary for Fred to establish Washington residency. On graduation, however, he was considered a nonresident in Alaska and was not allowed to take the Alaska bar and having no choice, found a job in Washington.

Notwithstanding a career in Washington, Fred and Beda always considered Juneau to be “home” and when they retired in 1997, they decided to return to Alaska at least for the summer months. They are now cruising on their sailboat Billikin in the South Pacific.

Fred Stewart, Harvey Clauson and Bob Thornton leave for college, 1952.

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