FIT FOR DUTY – Thirty-seven recruits graduating from the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy's Law Enforcement Training Session 1802 take the oath of office this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. The audience was told that during the rigorous 16-week session recruits lost a combined 200 pounds of body fat. The graduates will be taking law enforcement positions around the state from the North Slope Borough Police Department to statewide Alaska Wildlife Troopers to the Ketchikan Police Department. Speaker at the ceremony was DPS Deputy Commissioner William Comer, who graduated from the academy in 1985. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Hettie Rodgers

Hettie Irene Rodgers, 80, died on Nov. 22, 2012, with her family gathered at her bedside at SEARHC-Mt. Hospital in Sitka, Alaska.
Born on April 7, 1932, to Dwight H. and Lois L. (Allen) Pierce in Aberdeen, Wash., Hettie was raised in Hoodsport and attended Irene Reed High School in Shelton, Wash.
She married her high school sweetheart, Darrel Rodgers, on July 23, 1949, and together they forged a life that was filled with love, laughter and adventure.
In 1960, Hettie and Darrel moved their family to Sitka.  There the young “cheechako” family was quickly welcomed into Sitka’s small, friendly community where lifelong friendships were formed.
Hettie worked and played side-by-side with her husband fishing their troller, the F/V Cheri-D, living for a few years in Clear Creek Logging Camp at Rodman Bay, hunting and enjoying the outdoors, and later traveling in the winter months in their RV.  She was a dedicated volunteer at the White Elephant for the past 20 years and also a member of the Sitka Emblem Club 142.
A talented and beautiful woman, Hettie loved her family, friends, art, traveling, a good laugh and people both young and old.
Writing, though, was her special passion. She was especially proud of her stories which were published in 1962, 1964, and 1968 in the “Alaska Sportsman Magazine.”  One story recounted the ill-fated Yakatat moose hunting trip by husband Darrel, Barton Sollars, Marvin Kinberg Jr, Lauren Loucks, Odie Hethcock, and Larry Marler on Sollars’ boat, F/V Bertha R.   At the end of the successful hunt, the Bertha R was crossing the Ahrnklin River bar, heavily loaded with meat in the hold, when a rogue wave swept over and swamped the 40-foot fishing boat. Her story describes not only the hunt but the ordeal the men experienced in their survival and the salvaging of the Bertha R.  It was a classic Alaskan adventure account.
Following the death of her husband in 1990, Hettie met William “Bill” Konoske.  They were devoted companions until Bill’s death in 2005.
Hettie is survived by her son Randal (Jan) Rodgers, daughter Rene Rodgers, 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and great-great twin granddaughters, as well as one brother, Dwight Lee Pierce.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Darrel, and daughter Cheryl Lee Rodgers.
Hettie’s family is honoring her wishes and a memorial will be held for her in the spring of 2013 in Shelton, Wash., where she is to be buried beside her husband.  In lieu of flowers, the family would like to suggest donations be made in her honor to the White Elephant Shop.

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