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


Sloan a key volunteer at church


Pat Sloan

Resident Vivian Lou “Pat” Sloan died at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage on Saturday, Jan. 5. She was 89.

Sloan was born in Fort Thomas, Ky., on April 21, 1923, to the late William and Anna Hockenberry. She married the late Fred Sloan in 1941 and moved to Juneau in 1950 where they managed the Fosbee Apartments for 10 years.

They also lived in other locations around Alaska as Fred Sloan worked as an engineer on government construction projects, friends said this week. In 1975 they moved to Haines.

Pat Sloan was a charter member of Alaska Pioneers; a member of Catholic Daughters of America, the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Juneau, and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Haines. 

Friend Ramona Martin this week said Sloan served for decades as a key volunteer at Sacred Heart, including caring for vestments and linens requiring special handling.

“She did every job at the church for years. She was always there, doing what needed to be done, and having the priest out for dinner or breakfast or whatever. It was very time-consuming,” Martin said. “You wouldn’t see her. She stayed in the background and did her thing. She was just always there.”

Sloan was also a benefactor to many local residents and charities in the Haines community, family members said.

“She was my very first, regular customer. She helped me buy the shop and encouraged me to do so,” said Hair Shop owner Judith McDermaid. “She had the first appointment on Friday every week and said the rosary under the drier.”

“She was a lovely lady. She was very generous, very thoughtful and very traditional. She believed in sending thank-you cards. She held dearly to that,” McDermaid said.

Sloan made it a point to keep up old friendships, gave generously at community auctions and for years brought the main dish to church potlucks, she said.

Longtime church member Dick Flegel said Sloan’s chili relleno was famous at church gatherings. The recipe for it she shared with him only on the condition that he not bring his version to events where she was bringing hers, Flegel said.

One of Sloan’s favorite hobbies was to share her handmade knit and crocheted items with family and friends.

Sloan is survived by her three children: Jodie Clarke of Anchorage, Fred Sloan, Jr. and wife Nancy of Haines, and Janet O’Malley and husband Joe of Juneau. 

She is also survived by five granddaughters, six great-grandchildren and several nieces, as well as by companion Ed Fabeck and friends Ted Vadman, Marge Haag, Darlene Tyson and Jan Burke.

Donations in Sloan’s memory can be made to Haines Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 849, Haines, 99827.

Funeral arrangements are pending.