Jim Crockett, who passed away this year, was a dedicated community advocate for Anchorage’s homeless population, serving on the board and later as the executive director of Bean’s Café.
After 38 remarkable years of service to education, Carol Comeau retired from her post as the superintendent of the Anchorage School District. She served as superintendent for 12 of those years, and was also a principal, teacher, and attendant.
The 2012 champion of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, Dallas Seavey is the youngest on record, inspiring Alaskans young and old with his win. Dallas was also competing against his father and grandfather in the 2012 race.
Mary Jane Fate
The 2012 recipient of the Governor’s Shirley Demientieff Award, Mary Jane Fate was a founding member of the Fairbanks Native Association, Tundra Times Newspaper, the Institute of Alaska Native Arts, first woman co-chair of AFN, and is past president of the North American Indian Women’s Association.
Lt. Dave Parker
The long-time spokesman for the Anchorage Police Department, Lt. Dave Parker is one of the most recognized police officers in Anchorage. Known for always helping others, Parker has been with APD since 1995, in a variety of positions, including patrol officer and detective.
Kathleen “Mike” Dalton
Kathleen “Mike” Dalton, of Fairbanks, a very active community volunteer, has dedicated countless hours to refurbishing the Big Stampede Theater in Pioneer Hall at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, with its many historic murals.
Brenda Crim came to Alaska as a missionary, and has continued to work across Alaska, helping people who have experienced life traumas restore and recover their identities. She has been working with women in Nome to create a women’s conference that will take place in January, 2013.
Air Force Band of the Pacific
With their great melodious rhythms heard at community gatherings across Alaska, the Air Force Band of the Pacific is a beloved institution in Alaska. The band will decommission in the summer of 2013.
A community leader and mining historian, David Stone will be remembered for his public service and his heart for the people of Juneau and Alaska. He served as a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly for nine years, as well as deputy commissioner for the Department of Labor for the past year and a half. David, kind and thoughtful to everyone he met, passed away in 2012.
An extraordinary Alaska athlete who brought home three Olympic medals from the London Paralympics in 2012, Shirley Reilly was born in Barrow. She attended the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Paralympics for Team USA.
“Piper” Dan Henderson
US Army veteran “Piper” Dan is commended for his thoughtful gesture after a windstorm destroyed the flagpole that once stood at the Veteran’s Memorial on Anchorage’s Delaney Park Strip. Working with a local construction company, Piper Dan fastened a flag to a boom truck - assuring that the memorial had an American flag flying for the Veterans Day ceremonies.
Marvin Hadenfeldt has been volunteering in the Anchorage community for more than 25 years. During the day he is a special education aide at Gladys Wood Elementary School, where he is beloved by his students, and he volunteers at an after-school program.
Jim Cedeno is a driving force for change in Old Harbor. As a Village Public Safety Officer, Jim works to ensure the safety of children and the village, but his personal commitment goes much deeper than his job. Jim supports and encourages community events, such as the Fourth of July celebration and community dances.
Lisa Topping works behind the scenes at the Ketchikan VFW Hall. Her compassionate heart reaches out to people who are in the hospital or homebound. She and her husband Gene bring sandwiches, flowers, reading materials, and friendship to those who are unable to move about on their own. She brings cheer to her community with her smile.
Teisha Simmons has dedicated her life to inspiring Interior Alaskans with her passion and determination. In addition to serving on many boards and committees, Teisha has taught rural human services at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is the director of the Interior/Aleutians Campus. She inspires others with her zest for life and passion to end the epidemic of suicide in rural Alaska.
Tracy Golly volunteers with Challenge Alaska in Girdwood to teach persons with physical, developmental, or emotional disabilities how to ski. He has taught ski lessons, run instructional clinics, and trained other volunteers to work with Challenge Alaska.
Donna Anthony recognized needs in her community while on patrol as a Palmer Police Officer. More than 10 years ago, she encountered seniors who were alone during the holidays and started the Santa Cop program to help any senior who does not have family or the resources to celebrate Christmas.
Ryan Ray and Philip Licht
Ryan Ray and Philip Licht have both dedicated themselves to helping others free themselves from addiction. As founder and executive director respectively of Set Free Alaska, these men have helped change hundreds of Alaskan lives for the better.
Singer/songwriter Dave Stancliff is passionate about Alaska. Since his retirement as a legislative assistant, Dave spends much of his time promoting Alaska through his music. Dave appears regularly at festivals both in Alaska and down south. A resident of Tok, Dave helped bring the Tok Biomass Fuel Project to fruition and serves on the Tok Chamber of Commerce.
A decorated Vietnam veteran, Walter Sampson was born in the village of Noorvik. He is the Vice President for Land and Regional Affairs at NANA Corporation. He works to fulfill the vision of the department while protecting the environment and subsistence culture. He is president of the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly, chair of the Kobuk Valley Resource Commission, treasurer of the Alaska Village Electric cooperative and commander of the Kotzebue Squadron Civil Air Patrol.
Al Adams was a masterful legislator with a legacy of advocating for Kotzebue and rural Alaskans. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1981 - 1988 and in the Alaska Senate from 1989 - 2000.
As a legislator, we knew we could count on Representative Carl Gatto to do what was right and to honorably serve Mat-Su residents and the larger Alaskan community. Representative Gatto brought decency and selflessness to the table. He never forgot who he served while in Juneau.
Alaska lost a great friend with the passing of Romer Derr. A firefighter for many years and active with the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Historical Commission, Derr was a beloved civic leader and icon in the Juneau community. (Photo by Michael Penn/Juneau Empire, January 27, 2012)
To all of Alaska’s service members who are or have been deployed, and their families, we thank you for your service.