Tucker, Albert and Alica
by Alberta Tucker Means
Albert Francis Tucker was the third son of Walter and Emily (Newton) Tucker. He was born in Ponca, Nebraska, on July 22, 1886. The family moved to Marysville, Montana, where his father worked in the mines.
In 1911, Ira Tucker (our “Uncle Tuck”) and Barney Brannin (mother’s brother) went to Alaska. Barney returned to Montana. Uncle Tuck stayed and several years later his brother Albert made the trip north to “check things out.” Ira and Albert worked for the Alaska Gastineau Mine for a time and then Albert returned to Montana and ranch work. He married Alice Mae Brannin, on April 10, 1918, in Big Timber, Montana. In the next six years, Albert worked on ranches in the area and Alice Mae (a.k.a. “Tooie”)helped her mother on the ranch and began the raising of their first four children: Shelby Elton, Luella Mae, Mary Elizabeth and Alice Frances. The family returned to Juneau by steamship in April 1926. They lived in a house on West 11th Street that Tuck owned, later moving to a house up on Dixon. Albert worked for a time at Rice and Ahlers. Albert and Tooie moved to Thane in 1928. Albert was working at the Alaska-Juneau Mine.
Albert and the kids were skating in the gym the day the big snow slide came down. They remember hearing a loud rumble and then the lights went out. They ran out to see what it was. One car, belonging to the Kilohs, was caught in the slide - the people got out okay. Thane school closed at the end of the school year in 1934. The Tucker kids rode the bus into Juneau for school during the 1934-35 school year and then the family moved back to Uncle Tuck’s house on 11th Street in 1935.
Ira Tucker married Edith Sherrill on December 30, 1933. Edith was a school teacher from North Carolina and had come to Alaska on vacation the summer before. At that time, Tuck worked for Rice and Ahlers Plumbing and they lived in an apartment above the shop. Tuck finally started his own plumbing shop on West 12th Street and he and Edith had their living quarters at the back of that building. After WW II, it was hard to get supplies, so Uncle Tuck sold out and moved to Seattle. He died in the late 40’s, and Edith passed away in 1990, at the age of 93.
Uncle Tuck helped his nephew, Leon (Casey) Tucker and his family make the move to Juneau. Casey worked in Juneau and then traveled to Seattle for medical reasons. He passed away in Seattle due to a brain tumor and is buried in the Juneau Cemetery. His wife, Lois, went to work and Albert and Tooie took care of the girls, Ida Jean, and Betty.
Albert’s baby sister, Emily, married Ernest Stender on April 12, 1933, in Juneau. They had five children: Erna, Walter, Raymond, Phillip and Judy. All were born in Juneau. We had wonderful holiday and birthday celebrations together before the Stenders moved to the Lower 48 about 1950. I was born on my dad’s 50th birthday, and cousin Walt’s first birthday.
Shelby Tucker had worked at Rice and Ahlers as an apprentice for five years and earned his journeyman’s license. He and Doris Doxin were married in Juneau. They moved to Anchorage where he worked in the plumbing trade on the Westward Hotel. Shel served four years in the Army during WW II in the South Pacific. After the war, he and Doris settled in their home on Steel Lake (Federal Way), Washington. They have a daughter, Sydney and a grandson, Greg.
Luella Tucker worked at the theater when she was in high school. After she graduated, she worked in the office for Grover Winn. She worked in several other offices before she left Juneau. She married Arthur Ruben Ramberg at the Resurrection Lutheran Church on May 13, 1940. They had three sons: Donald, Robert and James. When she and Ruben divorced, he and Donald returned to his hometown in Minnesota. Luella later married Maurice (Mickey) Clifford and they moved to Kodiak. After six years, they moved to California where she still resides in Riverside with her husband Richard and son, Jim.
While working at the Baranof Hotel, Beth Tucker met Frank Winters. They were married and continued working at the hotel until after Frank’s death. He was a talented artist and one of my treasures is a pencil sketch he did of me when I was six. Beth moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1945, where she met and married Ralph Miller. They have a son, Mike, and a daughter, Kay. Beth married Sandy Solosabal in 1975. We were all saddened at his death July 24, 2000 - one day before his 85th birthday. Beth has a granddaughter and a great grandson and still resides in Boise.
Alice Frances Tucker stayed mainly in the Seattle area after leaving Alaska. She retired in September 1998. Fran married Gerald Fresonke. She has two daughters, Carol and Ann, and twin sons, Clark and Kent. She also has four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. They all live in the Seattle area.
My parents had the opportunity to raise my nephew, Bob Ramberg. It was great to have another “kid” in the house!
After the A-J Mine shut down, Albert went to work for the City of Juneau with the Street Department. He worked there until his retirement in 1956. We were on an Alaska Steamship boat when Dutch Harbor was bombed. I remember being very frightened at all the news and chatter about it, but I did not really understand what was happening.
In 1956, my parents and Bob Ramberg moved to Boise, Idaho. Bob started junior high school in Boise and graduated from high school there. He also attended the University of Utah in Provo. Bob is currently a research biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He has been there almost thirty years. He and his wife, Judy plan to retire in the near future and split their time between homes in Seattle and Phoenix, Arizona.
I graduated from Juneau High School in 1954. Now it was my turn to leave home! I attended Boise Junior College and lived with my sister Beth and her family. After receiving my AA Degree, I taught second grade for two years at Garfield School in Boise. I met and married Leaborn Edgar Means in 1958. We moved to Mountain Home, Idaho, where Lee was a telegrapherclerk with Union Pacific Railroad. I taught one year and then our first daughter, Lezlea Anne was born. We had three more daughters: Alona Lea, Leaberta Thane and Shellea Morene to join brothers Jerry and Larry. I taught five more years and then Lee bid on a job as Station Agent for the railroad in Burns, Oregon. We lived in Burns for 23 years. I taught school for 19 of those years. Our youngest child, Marylea Mae was born in Burns. We realized our “retirement dream” in 1987, when Lee retired from the railroad and I accepted a job in Newport teaching kindergarten. I retired from teaching in 1993, and we enjoyed being “retired folks” on the beautiful central Oregon coast! We have 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
I lost Lee to a heart attack on July 5, 1999. We celebrated 41 years of a great and rewarding marriage. I still miss Juneau very much at times and am thankful for the years spent there.