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Juneau-Douglas City Museum


Eubanks, Herbert & Lola

by Cleonne Eubanks Compton
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Herbert and Lola Eubanks and their daughters, Cleonne and Beverly “Jo” arrived in Juneau in 1953, via the steamship Alaska from Olympia, Washington. Herb and Lola had purchased stock in the Plywood Plant in Juneau, which later went bankrupt and eventually the plant burned. After the plant was no longer in operation, Herb went to work for Nicholson Welding and then the City of Douglas. Lola worked as a waitress at Percy’s Cafe for many years. She later went to work for the State Dept. of Education. Herb was active with the Douglas Lions Club, setting off the opening and closing bomb in Douglas for the Golden North Salmon Derby, a Little League baseball umpire, and organized and coached a girls fast pitch team in 1954. Herb worked in dismantling equipment from the Juneau mine. He also had a little bicycle shop in their home, fixing and building bikes. They both supported their children and grandchildren in Little League as well as high school sports and functions. Herb and Lola retired in 1977, returning to the Olympia area, making it easier to travel more in their motor home. Lola died of cancer in 1981, in Lacey, Washington, and Herb died of complications from a blood clot to his lung in 1984 in Olympia.

Cleonne Eubanks graduated from Douglas High School in 1954. She was a Managing Editor for the school paper, The Gastineau Breeze, in 1954, and Jo Eubanks was managing Editor of the Breeze in 1955. Jo graduated from the first combined Juneau-Douglas High School class in 1956. Both the Eubanks girls were active in high school sports.

Cleonne married Gerald “Jerry” Kelly in 1956, in Juneau. They have two children, both born in Juneau at St. Ann’s Hospital. Marianne Marie born in 1959, and Michael Edward born in 1960. Cleonne and Jerry were divorced in 1968. Jerry’s parents, Edward and Marie Kelly, owned a delivery service in Juneau in the 1940’s. Jerry’s grandmother, Marie Hayes, owned a gift store, The Hayes Shop, on the corner of Seward and Third Streets, now the home of Shattuck and Grummett. Mrs. Hayes also worked for Leota’s Dress Shop, retiring and returning to Seattle in 1959. Her husband, Jack Hayes, worked for the Bureau of Public Roads and helped to build the original Glacier Hwy.

Cleonne Kelly married William E. Compton in 1968, in Douglas. She worked for the Territory and State of Alaska for 30 years retiring in 1986. She was active with the Beta Sigma Phi sorority for several years. Cleonne won second place in the Golden North Salmon Derby in 1962. William Compton first arrived in Anchorage in the early 1960’s with the U.S. Air Force and later was transferred to Juneau. He worked for the City of Juneau, Department of Corrections and retired from the Alaska Marine Highway System in 1990. Cleonne and Bill moved to Shelton, Washington, in 1992.

Jo Eubanks married Robert Leo Whistler in 1957. Robert Whistler came to Alaska from Oroville, Washington, in 1949, with his parents, Leo and Alene Whistler, sister Donna and brother Jim, at first living in Tenakee Springs, later moving to Juneau. He graduated in 1956, from Juneau-Douglas High School and attended one year at the Washington State University in Pullman. Jo babysat for many years at their Douglas home and later worked for the Department of Public Safety. Jo died of cancer in 1985.

Naturally Juneau and Douglas were much smaller in 1953, and fishing was a large part of the economic industry as was the Alaska Steamship Line. Prostitution was still legal in 1953! The arrival of the Alaska Marine Highway System was a big boon to the area. The Juneau, Douglas, and Auke Bay areas have changed tremendously during the years we lived in the two communities. All enjoyed the sport fishing and the hiking trails in the area.