Friends, patients, and neighbors were saddened to learn of the untimely death of dental practice manager Francis Smalley. Francis died of organ failure at Providence Hospital in Anchorage Saturday afternoon with her loved ones at her side, husband dentist Patrick Smalley said. She was 53 and had been medevaced to Anchorage on Thursday. Dr. Smalley said he planned to have a memorial service at Evergreen Chapel there this week and one in Haines after the family returns. There will be a full obituary in the next week’s Chilkat Valley News.

Keva Shull

Christine Hansen


Haines friends were saddened to hear of the death of Jane L. Utiger in Fort Collins, Colo. She was 56. Utiger lived in Haines in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with husband Bob Kienzle and son Seth. Bob, who’s retiring from the ferry system April 1, said he’s planning to spend summer and fall in Haines.

Dave Nanney

A generation of Haines cousins and friends met up in Phoenix over the holiday. Among those at the celebration were Lauren Clark, Carlee Heinmiller, Riley Erekson, Ben Egolf, Will Egolf, Keeley Falcon, C.J. Erekson, Dee Dee Erekson, and Jasmine Phair. Dan and Joanna Egolf and Judy Erekson also made the trip. Judy made a side trip to Sedona, Ariz. to visit former KHNS manager Sean Donovan.

John Etheridge

Linnus Danner

Chilkat Valley News reporter Krista Kielsmeier returned home to Iowa over the holidays and enjoyed the intense national media attention of the Iowa caucuses. “Highlights” included driving past Michele Bachmann’s bus and being kindly directed to the overflow room at Mitt Romney’s post-caucus party. She and her father, Jerry, then drove around Des Moines to try to catch a glimpse of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, but were “sadly unsuccesful.”

spent the Christmas holiday in Weisbaden, Germany with daughter Jamie, son-in-law Jimmy Buckley and their sons Luke, 4, and Elias, 2. Daughter Dr. Robyn Barlow also visited. They enjoyed shopping and train excursions, and Christmas markets serving hot cider and spiced wine. and Jenny Moisl are back in town and staying at the home of Jerry and Diana Pyle. John and Jenny are former campground hosts at Chilkat State Park. says kiting is really taking off. Dave’s Aurora Sky Dancers performed in the Christmas parade and the Holly Jolly Christmas Follies. He also has been test-flying some models in the high school gym, and flies some off fishing poles. The new generation of kites are lighter and easier to fly than those of a generation ago. “They’re very smart kites.” Dave is interested in stimulating interest in kiting in Haines. To chat with him about it, call 766-2763.and Lexie Dewitt are back from a six-week holiday visit to Richland, Wash. to visit Lexie’s parents, Steve and Carrie Conley. Lexie said the trip was mostly about relaxing and her mom babysat son Charlie, allowing Lexie time to visit high school friends. Stuart, assistant coach of the Glacier Bears girls’ team, also went to Richland High School boys’ and girls’ basketball games. Stuart made a side trip to Orafino, Idaho where he helped friend Scotty Tondebold with his trap line. The pair even trapped a bobcat, Lexie said. is taking a break from the cold winds that blow off Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee campus of Marquette University. For her final semester, Christine will be off to Cape Town, South Africa through a Marquette program that will have her taking classes and working with a community service organization. Christine is studying physical therapy and graduates from Marquette in May. and her family thought their cat Tinker, a two-year-old calico, was gone when she disappeared from their Small Tracts home in April. Calls to neighbors and flyers around town yielded no clues to her whereabouts. Seven months later, while vacationing in California, the Shulls got the word that Tinker was home. She was found scratching on the door of their former apartment on FAA Road. The Haines Animal Rescue Kennel posted a picture of Tinker on its website, and the Shulls rushed back to their hotel in Disneyland to confirm her identity. “Keva was so happy, we were all in the lobby cheering,” said Keva’s mom Liana. After Tinker’s disappearance, the Shulls adopted a chocolate lab from HARK and also have added a kitten to their family. Tinker wasn’t overjoyed by the additions, so the Shulls are seeking a new home for their kitten, eight-month-old Diva, who is “beautiful,” according to Liana, and happy indoors and out. If you’d like to meet Diva, call Liana at 314-0594.