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)

Joan Johnson

    Joan Justine Johnson, who first came to Sitka in 1960, passed away at Sitka Community Hospital on April 29. She was 89.
    She was born Nov. 28, 1922, in Hollywood, Calif., the second of three children of Lee and Edith Jewell.

    While living in National City, Calif., she lost her father at an early age. It was during the Depression, and because of her love and devotion to her family, Joan went to work after school to help support the family. Through her determination and hard work, she graduated from high school in 1940 as valedictorian of her class.
    In 1941, she met and married Glen W. Hardcastle. After he returned home from serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, the couple and their two children, Doug and Glenda, settled in Torrance, Calif. Joan was a dedicated PTA president, Girl Scout leader, caregiver and homemaker.
    In 1960, the Hardcastles had an opportunity for a partnership to operate and manage Tri-Ways Marina on Katlian Street. So the family left the only life they knew and moved north to Alaska.
    In 1961, Glen and Joan divorced, and at first Joan didn’t know if she was going to like her new life in Sitka. But shortly afterward she met and married “the love of her life,” Earle Johnson. She often said that was when her life began.
    Earle and Joan were to remain by each other’s side for 50 years. Their life together took them to logging camps, small communities in Southeast, and then to Tenakee Springs for five years, where their love for fishing led them to buy their first troller, in 1969. They fished together for 10 years before Joan retired from fishing to become a full-time homemaker and devoted grandmother in Sitka.
    She supported her children and grandchildren in all the many activities in their lives. She loved sports, and volunteered and helped coach baseball teams – she became known as “Grandma” to an entire generation of Sitka baseball players.
    She loved her family, fishing, sports, sewing, crafts, entertaining, and staying up until all hours of the night playing cards and board games.
    Joan is survived by her husband, Earle W. Johnson; son Douglas D. (Gracia) Hardcastle; and daughter, Glenda L. Boddy, all of Sitka.
    She also is survived by five grandchildren, Philip (Katie) Hardcastle of Renton, Wash., Jamie Kelly of Manhatten, Mont., Scott (Teresa) Boddy of Anchorage, and Christine Boddy and Kevin (Kelly) Boddy of Sitka; several great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; loving nieces; a nephew; and cousins.
    The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Sitka Little League.

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