Gertrude Peters

    Gertrude Austin Peters, beloved mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away on Nov. 1, 2012, at the home of her son in Tacoma, Wash. She was 83.
    She was born in Hoonah to Lucille and Jack Austin on Aug. 28, 1929. She was Eagle, Woosh Kee Taan, Fort House.
    She attended boarding school in Skagway and was in the nursing program at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital for a time. She also worked in canneries.
    Over the years she lived in several Southeast communities. She had two homes, one in Alaska and one in Duncan, British Columbia, and traveled extensively to see her children, wherever they were, from Alaska to Chicago. She had lived in Tacoma off and on for the past several years. She made friends everywhere she traveled.
    She loved to gather food. Her favorite was clam digging – it was always an effort to get her off the beach because she wanted to get that last squirt. She loved making her yearly journey to Sitka in the spring to gather herring eggs.
    She taught her family well about gathering food from the beaches, and the knowledge is still being passed on to her great-grandchildren today – a legacy that will continue.
    She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl Peters; children Earl Peters Jr., Carol Albert and David Austin; and siblings Jack Austin, Gene Austin,  Wilmer Austin, Joyce Austin Wallace, Leadia Austin-Peterson, Marie Austin Shodda and May Hobson.
    She is survived by her children, John Austin of Chicago, Ill., Lester Davis of Tacoma, Jeff Elisoff of Tacoma, Patrick Elisoff of Juneau, Joni Roberts of Sitka, Jackie House of Sitka, Rose James of Tacoma, Lorrissa Peters of Duncan, B.C., Leadia Abeyta of Palmdale, Calif., Tina Peters of Tacoma, and Starla Williams of Fairbanks.
    She also leaves 40 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Her Duncan, B.C., extended family is as extensive as her American family. A special mention was given to Dora and Emory.
    Gertrude was laid to rest in Duncan on Nov. 9, next to her husband Earl Peters and son Earl Peters Jr.
    Honorary pallbearers were Herman Davis, George House, Wade Martin, Gail Johanson-Peterson, David Ness and Robert “Rabbit” Davis.
    Her 40-day party will be held in Juneau at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Tlingit & Haida Hall.

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