Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Badgley brought style, Southern hospitality to Lutak


Evelyn Badgley

Seasonal resident Evelyn Badgley, 95, died in Baytown, Texas, on Nov. 19.

She had been in hospice care for several age-related ailments. A memorial service was held Nov. 27 at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Baytown.

Evelyn and husband Babe spent summers at Lutak Inlet during their retirement years, along with Babe’s twin brother Abe and wife Nowyta Badgley. Evelyn was a regular visitor at Haines Senior Center lunches and her recipe for baked beans became a staple at the annual Fourth of July fireman’s barbecue.

Friend Doris Ward said Badgley had a “jolly smile” and wore “classy” and “elegant” clothes, even on informal occasions. “She had lots of friends and was a nice person to be around.”

Badgley also attended the Presbyterian Church. Pastor Ron Horn said, “Up until a few years ago, she was very active, outgoing, and very much a part of our congregation. She was such an influence on (son) Al (Badgley). That’s the way she was, so open and generous to everyone.”

Evelyn was born on Jan. 20, 1917, in Fayetteville, Texas, and moved to Baytown when she was nine years old. She helped her mother, Jenny Menking, operate a boardinghouse there, including cooking and cleaning. In 1937, she married Babe Badgley.

She worked as the registrar at Robert E. Lee High School for 39 years and former students continued to greet her and share their stories of their years at Lee for many years afterward, family members said.

Babe Badgley was working as a pipeline inspector in Alaska in the early 1970s when he heard of Haines from a co-worker. He came to town on a visit and a few years later bought a lot at the head of the inlet, and one for his brother, during an auction. The family hosted Texan friends and family members, who enjoyed catching and eating local seafood.

Tim McDonough remembers meeting Evelyn and Babe when he and wife Ann Myren moved here in 1984. “They were gracious, welcoming people and they were like the vanguard of Lutak.”

Evelyn also traveled widely. The family said that a tour of Southeast Asia was most memorable, as she visited Thailand and Burma, where her husband had been stationed during World War II.

Badgley was one of the longest standing members of St. Mark’s Methodist Church. She was an active member of the Eastern Star and the Pilot Club of Baytown and held several offices in both organizations. She enjoyed playing bridge, working puzzles and crocheting, family said.

“Every grandchild got a crocheted blanket, potholders and placemats. My kids have a whole set of all of that,” said Al Badgley. His mother accommodated herself to what others wanted. “She just enjoyed being with her family a lot,” he said.

Besides Al, surviving family members include daughters Carol Williams of Kennett Square, Pa ., and Jennie Hogan of Winnipeg, Manitoba, five grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Donations in her memory may be made to St. Mark’s Methodist Church, 3811 North Main Street, Baytown, Texas 77521.