EMERGENCY RESPONSE – Members of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood this week organized a city-wide food drive for residents of Angoon and other villages affected by the lack of Alaska Marine Highway System ferry service. Hundreds of pounds of food were collected at Sitka High School and other drop off sites. Thursday night about three dozen people attended a meeting at ANB Founders Hall to discuss the ferry situation and prepare food for shipping. Laurie Serka, outstation manager for Alaska Seaplanes, said Alaska Seaplanes, Sitka Custom Marine and Dr. Sul Ross Thorward donated shipping costs for the perishable food donated by AC Lakeside. Tom Gamble is planning to take a load of food to Angoon aboard his boat. Donations for shipping food to Kake are currently being sought. Contact for the donations is Nancy Furlow, ANS Camp 4 president, 907 227-9102. PHOTOS: clockwise from top left, Laurie Serka, Steve Schmidt and Marjo Vidad of Alaska Seaplanes load food bound for Angoon this morning. Tom Gamble and Chad Titell  deliver boxes of food from Sitka High School to ANB Founders Hall Thursday night. Paulette Moreno, ANS Grand Camp president, addresses volunteers Thursday night. Sitkans gather in a circle at ANB Founders Hall Thursday to brainstorm responses to the lack of state ferry service. (Sentinel Photos by James Poulson)

Leo Kondro

Leo Kondro was born Sept. 11, 1950, in Longview, Wash., to Bernard and Helene (Graunitz) Kondro. He died March 18, 2014, at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle with family and friends by his side.
Leo grew up in Washington state in the Toutle/Castle Rock area, where he graduated from Toutle Lake High School in 1968. He was class president and lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He found a love of hunting, fishing and gathering at an early age.
Leo attended the University of Washington his first two years of college where he became part of a “band of brothers” called the “Whizzies.” Their flag football team won the university title during his time there.
In 1970, Leo transferred to Central Washington State College, in Ellensburg, Wash., where he graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in English and his elementary teaching certificate. He did his student teaching at Barnes School in Kelso, Wash., and continued to teach there for five years.
In spring 1971, while playing with friends in Wenatchee, Wash., Leo met fellow CWSC student Mary Ann Benson. They married on June 22, 1974, and made their home in Castle Rock, Wash. Mary Ann joined Leo as a Kelso School District teacher.
In search of a new adventure in spring 1977, Leo and Mary Ann applied to every school district in the state of Alaska. An interview with the Kake City Schools superintendent, on a bench outside of a University of Washington building, began their adventure. Their plan to teach in Kake for two years turned into 37 years.
Kake was a perfect match for Leo. He continued his love of the outdoors and added halibut, moose and grouse to his hunting quests. Often his classroom teaching reflected his love of the outdoors.
In 1979, daughter Karen Mae was added to the Kondro family. Benjamin Paul arrived in 1982.
  In July 2002, Leo became very ill and became a patient at the University of Washington Hospital. In the days that followed, he survived tularemia, began hemodialysis, then peritoneal dialysis. The latter allowed him to return to his Kake home. Preparations for a possible kidney transplant began, but living in an Alaskan village did not allow him to be on the transplant list. Mary Ann’s donor kidney in 2003 provided new life and gave Leo 10 more adventure-filled years.
Leo retired from teaching in 2004, still loving Alaska and the adventures retirement allowed him.
Leo is survived by Mary Ann, his wife of 39 years, daughter Karen (Jacob) Hynning of Ridgefield, Wash., son Ben (Stefanie) Kondro of Kodiak, granddaughters MacKenzee and Addyson Hynning, Emma and Stella Kondro.
His surviving siblings are William (Cindy) Strange, Margo Bouchard, and Edward (Dona) Kondro, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents Bernard and Helene Kondro.
Donations in Leo’s memory can be made to the Northwest Kidney Center in Seattle, Wash.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, May 10, at the Kake Community Building in Kake.

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