BACK AT WORK – Mary Miller, center, gets a round of applause Wednesday after speaking at a reception at Sitka National Historical Park where she is again the superintendent. Miller's return to the head position at the park has come after an eight-year legal odyssey. She was superintendent of the park from 2008 to 2010 when she was reassigned to a new position in Anchorage that she rejected and was fired. After filing suit she was reinstated in 2013 and served until 2015 when an appeal filed by the U.S. Park Service reversed the earlier decision and she was again terminated. She filed a new suit and a trial was set for 2019, but Congressman Don Young and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke stepped in on her behalf and Miller was re-instated. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sonja Caroline Lindsey Teas

Sonja Caroline Lindsey Teas

A memorial service for Sonja Caroline Lindsey Teas, 80, will be held 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the Sitka Pioneers Home chapel.
All who knew her are welcome.
Sonja was born in Texarkana, Texas, July 26, 1937, to Henry and Phern Martin Lindsey.
She attended high school in Roswell, New Mexico, where she met and on June 4, 1955, married John Teas.
That fall they moved to Lubbock, Texas, where she went to nursing school and then worked as an RN in an obstetrics ward while John obtained his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech.
In 1961 the couple and three sons traveled the Alcan Highway to Fairbanks, where they homesteaded on land granted by the government on the condition they “made a go of it” for five  years. Homesteading was Sonja’s idea.
They built a one-room log cabin, had their fourth son, added another room, and added a daughter to the family. The cabin burned down in December 1969, so the family roomed in town with friends for the winter. At spring thaw they moved back to the homestead to live in a 20-man Army tent while rebuilding. They never had running water on the homestead but did have electricity and telephone service.
After 14 years, of rearing her children on the homestead, the last few of those also spent as a school nurse at University Park Elementary, the family  drove to Haines in 1975, boarded the new state ferry Columbia and headed for Sitka.
John and Sonya bought an old church building on Katlian Street where they opened Sitka Electronics Lab.
In 1980 Sonja pursued renewing her nursing license and then went to work at Sitka Community Hospital, during which time she often escorted patients to Anchorage. After several years there she moved to Sitka Medical Center as Dr. Robert Hunter’s nurse, and then to Moore Clinic.
After retiring from private nursing she spent a few years nursing for Sitka District schools and volunteering at Pregnancy Aid.
Sonja was preceded in death by her parents, her husband John, and a son, Robert Walter Teas Sr.
She is survived by sons Bill Teas of Clatskanie, Oregon, and Dan and Dave Teas of Sitka, along with daughter Phern (Teas) Ballard of Denver, North Carolina.
She also is survived by 11 grandchildren: Missy (Teas) Hendrickson, Nichole (Teas) Padgett, Robert Teas Jr., Kory Teas, Jesse Teas, Lisa (Teas) Conaway of Sitka; Jason Abbott of Anchorage, Kyle and Stefani Ballard of Greensboro, N.C., and Yoshee and Elricc Ballard of Denver, N.C.
Her 16 great-grandchildren reside in Alaska and North Carolina.
Sonja enjoyed many things, among them studying and discussing the Bible, nursing, playing piano, and volunteering.
After suffering for five years from dementia and Alzheimer’s, Sonja peacefully passed away at the Sitka Pioneers Home on Feb. 1, 2018.
“We will all miss her very much, but we know her suffering is over, and she is at home with her Lord, waiting for us,” her family said.
In lieu of flowers at the memorial, the family request donations be sent to: Christian Relief Fund, P.O. Box 19670, Amarillo, TX 79114-9955.

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