EARTH DAY – Pacific High School freshman Hailey Kane plants a Tlingit potato in a garden next to the U.S. Forest Service District office building on Halibut Point Road, Friday. More than a dozen Sitkans, including several from Pacific High's gardening class, helped plant the heirloom potatoes as part of local Earth Day events. This was the third year for the program which is a collaboration between the USDA Forest Service Ranger District and Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Program organizer Michelle Putz said the low-maintenance potatoes originated in Mexico or South America and have been planted in Tlingit gardens for more than 200 years. Last year the garden yielded 90 pounds of spuds. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Louie Howard Sr.

Louie Howard Sr.

Louie Howard Sr., a Sitka resident for most of his life, passed away in Eagle River this past Thursday, December 14. He was 81.
Louie was a funny and caring man who was born in Sitka on October 29, 1936. He grew up on the waterfront next to the Howard family’s boat shop, in the northern end of Katlian Street. His father, George, was a renowned boat-builder in town, and his mother, Helen, was a wonderful homemaker, caring for nine children.
Growing up, Louie loved to hunt and fish, and in this way helped provide for his large immediate family. He met his wife, Bonnie Grigsby, at Sheldon Jackson High School, and soon after they were wed and had six children of their own.
He loved basketball and played for several years in the City League, with several of his brothers.
While raising his family he worked diligently at several jobs, including the building of the Alaska pipeline and the O’Connell bridge, maintenance at Shee Atika, and carpentry, and was a general handyman. But as a father of five girls, he used to joke that “I can fix anything but a broken heart.”
He was involved in state politics, serving as the chairman of the Democratic party in Sitka during the Gov. Bill Sheffield era.
He was passionate about volunteering and served the City of Sitka by building the booths used at the 4th of July parade, coordinating several parades, and extending a helping hand where needed.
After raising their family of six children, Bonnie and Louie decided to enjoy their retirement years in Hawaii, and in 1999 made the move to Hilo. There they lived for the next 17 years, where Bonnie passed away in August 2016.
After the passing of his wife, Louie made his final move back to Alaska, residing in Eagle River with his son Louie Howard Jr.
He is survived by five siblings, Glenn Howard and Shirley Howard, both of Sitka, Diane Howard of Seattle, Wash., Georgina Lundy of Bremerton, Wash., and Ruby Lanham of Boise, Idaho; and all six of his children, Louie (Marla) Howard Jr. of Eagle River, Janet (Dan) Evans of Sitka, Mary (Rick) Henley of Roanoke, Va., Barbara (Ronald) Scott of Ferrum, Va., Veronica Reynolds of Klamath Falls, Ore., and Linda (Ed) Schauwecker of Juneau.
He is also survived by nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
At his request there will be no service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Sitka Salvation Army, http://sitka.salvationarmy.org/.

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