Franklin Guiles Roth Jr.

Category: Obituaries
Created on Thursday, 10 May 2018 15:11
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Franklin Guiles Roth Jr.


Franklin Guiles Roth Jr., longtime Sitka resident, went to be with his Savior on Saturday, April 28, 2018, surrounded by family.  He was 90

Frank was born to Gertrude (Edwards) and Franklin G. Roth Sr. in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Dec. 29, 1927.  

He graduated from John Harris High School (in Harrisburg) in 1946 and then served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and later a master’s from the University of Oregon.

He moved to Glenallen, Alaska, in 1955 where he taught high school and met his future wife, Ruth Virginia Ott.  The family always laughed that Frank and Ruth (from Philadelphia) who grew up 100 miles apart had to come more than 4,000 miles to Alaska to meet.  They were married in 1956 and enjoyed 62 years together.

Their daughters are Christian Williams (Stanley Schoening) of Sitka, Gwendolyn Roth of Anchorage, and Jessica Roth, Sitka. Their sons are Franklin Roth (Susan) of Powell, Wyoming, and Joseph Roth (Brenda Taylor), Juneau.

Their grandchildren are Peter Williams, Benjamin Roth, Trevor Schoening, Abigail Taylor-Roth, and Clem Taylor-Roth.  

Frank taught high school in Glenallen, Wasilla, and California before moving to Sitka in August 1964.  Sitka was his home for the rest of his life.  He taught at Sheldon Jackson High School and College from 1964 until 1994.  He was dean of students and taught a variety of classes throughout his tenure.

Dedicated to his students and the school, he was voted teacher of the year by his students numerous times.  

An avid outdoorsman, Frank enjoyed hiking with his family, Boy Scouts, and his students.

In 1969, he and Ruth took their family over the Chilkoot Trail, and in his late 60s he went again with his grandson Peter. In 1976, they took their family on a tour of Europe, staying in youth hostels and traveling by train and foot.   In 1978 he crossed Baranof Island with his son Frank and friend Alfred Gray.

He started the hiking club at Sheldon Jackson, which was a key piece of the college’s outdoor program.  In retirement he took several trips on the Appalachian Trail. Later in life he could be seen walking all around Sitka up until a few months before his death.  

He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church and served as an elder on several occasions. He was also a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the American Legion.

An avid reader he was a frequent user of the public library.

He enjoyed ice cream and Ruth resorted to many tricks, such as hiding it in butter tubs, to save the family supply for special occasions. She said he was eating it three meals a day and in the end that is about all he would eat.

A favorite story is when Ruth asked him why he was using the family credit card for a non-emergency at the Shee Atika restaurant. He quipped, “It was an emergency. I had to get ice cream for Peter.”

A friend to many and a listener to all, he will be missed.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and his only sibling Phillips E. Roth.  He is survived by his wife Ruth, children, grandchildren, and numerous nephews and nieces.  

Frank was buried with military honors on May 1, 2018, at the National Cemetery in Sitka.

A memorial service will be held at the Sitka Presbyterian Church 4 p.m.   Saturday, June 9, 2018.  A time of fellowship, eating, and sharing of stories will follow.  All are welcome.


In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to a charity of  choice in honor of Frank.