Parks and Recreation Image


Juneau-Douglas City Museum


Harju, Joan Kassner

by Joan Kassner Harju
UID=1072


I was born in Seattle, Washington, on March 24,
1935, to Art and Esther Kassner. I came to Alaska in early April 1944, with my mother and two sisters, Ardyne and Linda to join my dad, who had come to Juneau in January. My brother Dan was born in Juneau.

I went to school in Juneau until we left in February 1947, on the North Sea. The ship hit the rocks outside Bella Bella, B.C. We were taken off by fishing boats and taken to Bella Bella. From there we went by steamship to Vancouver, B.C. and then by train to Seattle.

We returned to Juneau early September 1949, in
time for school. I graduated from Juneau High School in May 1953, and went to work for the Territorial Department of Health on 3rd and Seward.

On August 27, 1954, I married Leonard John Harju
in Juneau. We lived in Juneau and Douglas where we
raised five children, George, Frank, Doriann, John and David. John died in 1977; George died in 1995.
Leonard died in 1999. I also have five grandchildren; two in North Pole, two in Oregon and one in Illinois.

When we were first married, Len was a fisherman.
He also worked for the post office, Erwinís
Supermarket on South Franklin, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the City of Juneau and as a carpenter. He was working part time for the Douglas Breeze In at the time of his death.

I went back to work in October 1966, for the State
until the late 1980ís. I formally retired from the State of Alaska in 1990. After I left that employment, I went to work for Lamontís, a clothing store at the Nugget Mall.

I took accounting and paralegal classes at the
University of Alaska in Juneau in the 1970ís. I now volunteer for the Juneau-Douglas City Museum and for the Visitor Information Center at the Davis Log Cabin.