Parks and Recreation Image

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Meyer, Marcus & Alice (Attwell)

by Carol Meyer Anderson

Marcus Willard Meyer was born in 1907, in Quilcene, Washington, and died September 22, 1995. He was married to Alice Attwell in 1933, and she was born in 1904, in Portland, Oregon, and died September 12, 1995. their children were: Marcus “Monty” (1934-1999), Carol (1936), Merrill “Bobby” (1942) and Alice Elaine (1943).

In April 1930, Mark was detailed to the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and assigned to the Port Moller and Aleutian Island Districts. In July 1934, he resigned and accepted the position of Superintendent of the Boc de Quadra hatchery in Southeast Alaska operated by Pacific American Fisheries. He remained there until they closed down the station in July 1936. Getting groceries shipped from Ketchikan was sometimes a problem as they didn’t necessarily fill it as ordered. One time the only baby food that came was carrots. Monty ate so many of them that Alice was sure he had some type of a jaundice because of his yellow skin!

Mark was again back with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in 1941, and this time the family moved to Wrangell. One of his duties was to keep an eye out for foreign submarines while he was out on boats doing enforcement work. He also did a lot of stream surveys.

Bobby and Elaine were both born while in Wrangell, each of them arriving earlier than expected which turned out to be a good thing because WW II was going on and the hospital was on the verge of closing because of manpower shortages. The family didn’t find out what rationing was until Alice and kids went stateside for the summer of 1944, and found out that if you didn’t send in your coupons, you could not get your shoe order filled without them. You also needed coupons in order to purchase coffee, sugar and gasoline. Fortunately, Alaska didn’t have rationing.

In June 1944, Mark was transferred to Kodiak where he worked with salmon and herring fisheries for the BCF. He was then transferred to Juneau in 1949, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and was involved in putting in fish ladders at Petersburg and Ketchikan, and channels were cut in other streams to make it easier for fish to get over obstacles. The family remained in Juneau while Mark was on assignment in other parts of Alaska. He was usually away from home by mid-April and if they were lucky, he would be home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Alice kept the home fires burning and the kids in line. She was involved with the Juneau Potter’s Club. They had a couple of rooms up above the Purity Bakery where the members would play with clay and fire their works of art. Because Alice was so successful with her art and sold several pieces, she was invited to join the Pen Women of America—this was quite an honor.

Monty graduated from Juneau High School in 1954, Carol in 1955, and Bobby and Elaine in 1964. Mark retired from the USF&WS in 196l. Following that, he worked for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game until after the 1964 earthquake. Mark and Alice left Juneau in late 1964, headed south to Washougal, Washington, and help take care of his parents.

Monty moved to Los Angeles, California, and worked for Hydro Air developing anti-skid systems for airplanes. He retired after 20 years because of ill health. He married Wanda “Chris” in 1974, and they lived in Skamania, Washington, for a number of years. They enjoyed living in their home with a lovely view of the Columbia River.

Carol’s first paying job, following high school, was with the Juneau-Douglas Telephone Company as an operator. She then joined the U.S. Public Health Service and was stationed in Juneau, Anchorage, Washington, D.C., back to Alaska at Kanakanak Hospital in Dillingham, Anchorage and finally back to Juneau in 1973. In 1980, she joined the National Marine Fisheries Service and worked for them until she retired in 1995.

Carol married Andrew Anderson in 1961, in Dillingham. He had two children from a previous marriage and they had three more. They now have ten grandchildren living all over the states. Andy retired from the USF & WS in 1989, so he has the opportunity to travel. He belongs to the Pioneers of Alaska in Anchorage.

Bobby left Juneau after graduation. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1964-68, and really had a great tour of duty. He was able to see the North and South Poles by way of ice breakers.

Elaine married Michael J. Patterson shortly before graduating from high school. Mike was in the U.S. Coast Guard and they were stationed on both the East and West Coasts. They were stationed in Alaska one time at Seward. They both still feel that Juneau is “home.” Mike retired from the Coast Guard in 1975, and they moved to Washougal to keep their grandparents company. Elaine became a registered nurse in 1981.