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McCrea, Harry & Charlotte (Hallenburg)

by Sandra McCrea Perkins

Harry William McCrea was born March 13, 1907, in Missoula, Montana. His father, George William McCrea, was born in Postdam, New York, Aug. 20, 1879. His mother, Harriett Catherine Adams, was born in 1884, in Red Bluff, Montana. They were married in Missoula, Montana in 1906. In 1918, they moved to Sheridan, Montana, and resided there until their deaths.

Charlotte Eva Hallenburg was born on Aug. 22, 1908, at Butte, Montana. Her father, William Hallenburg, was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1877. Her mother, Alice M. Calligan, was born in Marquinta, Michigan in 1889. They were married June 26, 1907, at Neegaunce, Michigan.

Harry and Charlotte were married in Dillon, Montana, in 1930, where they were graduated from Montana State College.

They had three children: (Sally) Alice Catherine (McCrea) Prevatt born April 2, 1932, in Sheridan, Montana, died Oct. 24, 1995; Sandra Alwilder (McCrea) Perkins born Oct. 31, 1933, in Sheridan, Montana; and Fredrick Hugh McCrea born Jan. 7, 1943, died Dec. 15, 1984.

For six years at Sheridan, Harry worked as a boiler engineer at the sawmill. Next three years, while living in Whitehall, he owned his own Electric Appliance Store. War years took he and his family to Anaconda, Montana, to the Anaconda Copper Mine. At the close of the war in 1945, he went to Juneau where his family joined him three months later.

Next 15 years, he worked for the Alaska Light and Power Company. He was a supervisor for the Snettisham Dam. He had a pet bear that had lost his mother so Harry took it in, but few years later he had the Forest Service come and air lift him miles away. The bear was helping himself to the cook shack. He would walk up with one paw and take the door off (locks and all).

After this project came to a close, Harry supervised on the building of the Visitor Center at Mendenhall Glacier.

From 1965-1975, he oversaw government projects at Greely and Cape Lisburne. After returning to Juneau, he supervised on the new Court House Building (where the old Methodist Church used to be), until 1977, when he retired at 70.

He was active in community affairs: 25 years on the Selective Service board; Secretary for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; in 1959, went to Chicago as a delegate for Alaska; active in Eagles, Moose and Masonic lodges. Died April 3, 1981.

Charlotte taught school in Montana before coming to Alaska. I remember the first time mom saw a halibut. We had been downtown shopping when we arrived home on 10th Street up on Starr Hill. She found a fish in the bathtub in water. She thought it was deformed so she threw it out in the garbage can! Poor dad had to retrieve it as the Cooks from across the street had sent it over as a welcome gift.

Mom enjoyed all the beautiful scenery and photographed most of it. Flowers were her passion. She was always planting flowers at their home on Loop Road by Montana Creek in Auke Bay or any place else that needed “brightening up.”

She was a member of Eastern Star. She died Nov. 2, 1994, in McLoud, Oklahoma, where she resided last 5 years of her life with her daughter Sandra. She is buried in Juneau Evergreen Cemetery with the rest of the family.

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