Cooper Landing

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Maggie Morgan died Oct. 11 in Anchorage where she'd been living the past few years. Maggie's niece, Heidi Thrasher, encourages everyone who wishes to share memories about Maggie to do so at her memorial Friday at 2 p.m. at the community hall. You can call Heidi at 595-1344.

Katie Thomas is organizing a potluck to follow the memorial service. If you would like to provide a dish e-mail or call her, at 595-1643 so she can keep track of what is coming in. Salads, hot dishes, desserts and beverages are needed.

Maggie moved to Cooper Landing before there was a road to Anchorage. She was active in the community club from the beginning and served as secretary in 1954. Her husband of only a couple years, Dyton Gilliland, was killed in a plane crash on Montague Island in 1955. In 1957 Maggie met Wayne Morgan while she was waiting tables at Gwin's Lodge and they married.

Maggie and Wayne continued to live in the house on Kenai Lake that Dyton built and always returned to that special place during Wayne's career with the Federal Highway Commission, which took them to Fairbanks and Juneau. After the Cooper Landing Community Library was constructed in 1983, Maggie became involved in librarian work, becoming the library's first director. With Wayne helping with maintenance, Maggie devoted much of her time to running the library over the next 10 years.

This year's addition to the library, which doubled its size, was dedicated to Maggie and Wayne. Maggie's nieces Heidi Thrasher and Joyce Anderson stood in for her at the dedication ceremony. Maggie's brother and his wife, John and Frances Kuhn, are living in Anchorage now, but also have been part of the community off and on in the past.

Katie Thomas wrote, "Maggie made a significant contribution to our community and our library. It is important that we honor her memory at the service."

Arlene Knock, Cooper Landing Community Library's second in command, asked me to remind you that the library sweepstakes are coming up Nov. 6. "We still have a few tickets for sale and would hate for anyone to be left out.

If interested in buying, they can call me or stop by the library." Arlene's number is 595-1431.

Cooper Landing Senior Citizens Corp. Inc.'s queen-size quilt also will be drawn for that night. It also is offering a second prize a guided fishing trip for two on the Kenai River with Alaska Wildland Adventures. Jane McConnell spends weekends selling tickets with the quilt at Fred Meyer in Soldotna. Funds raised will help keep the library in good shape and help the seniors fund programs such as their quest for housing.

From Caroline Kleineick's friends and the Cooper Landing Chamber of Commerce comes an invitation: "We invite you to join us in the celebration of Caroline Kleineick's 100th birthday Nov. 7, 12:30 p.m., with a potluck luncheon at the community hall.

We plan to present her with a basket of gift certificates from businesses, friends and neighbors. Don't let her age intimidate your choice of certificate. The effort is to show her community involvement in making her 100th celebration a thoughtful one. You can bring your certificate with you to place in the basket or send it to: CLSCCI, P.O. Box 552, Cooper Landing, AK 99572.Put Caroline's name on the envelope."

For more information, call Carla Britton at 595-1600, Theresa Norris at 595-1200 or Jan Mitchell at 595-1273.

The story about Caroline and the bear was in the September 2004 edition of the "Senior Voice" publication under the heading, "Go ahead, make my day," over the story and picture of Caroline in her easy chair with a rifle in her hands. You probably remember the story about the brown bear trying to get in the Kleineick house Aug. 7 when Caroline was home alone and thought the noise was being made by her son, Ernie, so she hollered at him.

Jane Behlke and I believe Caroline is the Cooper Landing's first resident centenarian. Caroline is well known for her community service work with the Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners and CLSCCI.

Next week I will continue the story about the proposed road from Lawing to Kenai. Inspector Ralph Guthrie wrote in his 1928 report to the Alaska Road Commission that the length of the road would be approximately 120 miles. Almost 20 years later, a shorter route was found.

Mona Painter can be reached by phone at 595-1248 or by email at

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