Bertha Juanita Starr

Posted: Thursday, May 04, 2000

Bertha Juanita Starr died Monday, May 1, 2000, at the Wesley Rehab and Care Center in Seward, where she had lived for the past five years. She was 73.

No services will be held. In response to her wishes, after cremation, her ashes will be scattered over the Kenai Mountains and into the Copper River.

Known as "Juanita" to her family and friends, she was born Jan. 22, 1927, in Towanda Township, Butler County, Kansas, near Wichita, to Ivan and Ethel Starr. She lived in Kansas, Alabama, Texas and Arizona and worked in the shipyards of San Francisco during World War II. In 1963, she moved to Anchorage, where she worked at Don's Green Apple, Peggy's Airport Cafe, Two ten Too and other restaurants around town. In 1963, she moved to the Kenai-Soldotna area, where she worked at the Royal Redoubt Hotel, the Elk's Lodge and the Riverside Inn.

After suffering a stroke in April 1995, she spent the last five years at the Wesley Rehab and Care Center in Seward.

Her hobbies were sewing, cooking, painting, writing and poetry, and she was an Alaska Poet Laureate.

She is survived by brothers Ralph and Ivan of Fresno, Calif.; sons Jon of Hilo, Hawaii, Dan of Seward and Jim of Fairbanks; daughter Desiree Butcher of Anchorage; grandsons Wayne, Aaron, Levi and Corbin; granddaughter Sheridan; great-grandson Alexander; and many close friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the activity fund at Wesley Rehabilitation Center, P.O. Box 430, Seward, AK 99664.

Arrangements were by Witzleben Family Funeral Homes and Crematory in Anchorage.

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