The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Maude L. Harris


September 7, 2017 | View PDF

Maude L. Harris

Maude Louise (Larsson) Harris ("Maunie" to family and friends) died August 26, 2017, at the age of 101. A small-business owner, freethinker, family woman and a loyal friend, Maude's most defining quality was her fiercely independent spirit. She lived her life to the fullest every day with a great sense of humor and keen wit. Her extensive family now spans five generations and her life reflected the growth of Alaska as a territory and a state.

Born July 30, 1916, in LaTouche, Alaska, to Lars Ludvig and Maude Elizaveta (Allen) Larsson, Maude was a true Alaskan pioneer. Her father, a Swedish immigrant, and her Alaska-born mother were well-known and respected in Seward, where the family lived for most of Maude's childhood.

At the age of 18, Maude married Fay Gentry "Ted" Wright; they had two daughters, Arlene Louise and Terry Ann, and lived at 725 "K" Street in Anchorage, an apartment building built by Ted.

In 1942, Maude was employed by the military-run telephone company, Alaska Communication Systems, for which she worked for 13 years. Her entrepreneurial spirit led to a side career selling Susitna Ceramics and Winfield China at McKay's Hardware. She then purchased Irene's Dress Shop on Government Hill, which she owned for more than 20 years. Maude's outgoing personality, her wonderful sense of humor and love of dining and dancing were shared with many friends, customers, acquaintances, and family. If you really wanted to get to know Maude, you needed to sit back, open a Miller Lite and spend an afternoon listening to her Alaskan adventures. Those long chats over a beer (or two) will be missed by all.

To honor her 100th birthday, Maude was presented with a proclamation from the city of Anchorage and personally given an Alaska flag from Governor and Mrs. Walker.

Maude is survived by her daughter Arlene Stephl; grandchildren Matt and Barbara Stephl, Dan and Angela Stephl, Chris and Carmen Stephl, Marnee Evans, Ken Evans, Brian Evans, Steven and Mickey Allen, Gary Allen, David Allen; great-grandchildren Chloe Allen, Jamison Allen, Korri Allen, Lincoln Allen, Maxwell Allen, Joshua Bie, Natascha and Jake Cabrales, Jennifer Evans, Jerianne Evans, Raina and Jake Mitchell, Jake Stephl, Rachel Stephl and Ben Arnold, Rebecca Stephl, Wes Stephl; and great-great-grandchildren Elliott Stephl Arnold, Nova Mitchell and Maverick Mitchell. She was preceded in death by her daughter Terry Ann Allen and her great-grandson, Zane Stephl.

A Celebration of Life is planned for the end of September in Anchorage. Maude's ashes will be buried at the Larsson family plot in the Seward City Cemetery.


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