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Obituary, Martha Louise Reid, age 90


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Martha Louise Reid

Martha Louise Reid was born on December 6, 1923 in Bellingham, Washington. She was the 1st of six children born to Petersburg, Alaska residents Edgar (Ted) and Caroline Hungerford. Martha passed away, at the age of 90, on August 21, 2014 in Sitka following a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Caroline and baby Martha returned to their home town of Petersburg from Bellingham in the spring of 1924. They joined Martha's father, Ted, and logging partners, Bill and Elvina Stedman with infant son Bill, at their logging site near Kake. Within a few years the Hungerford's closed the logging operation and built a house in Scow Bay, just south of Petersburg. One day a handsome new high school senior boarded the school bus. His name was Alex Reid. He and his parents had recently moved from Chester, Montana to join five older brothers who had come to Petersburg to find work. As the story goes one day, soon after Alex and his parents arrived, Helen, the youngest of the Hungerford sisters came running down the sidewalk shouting there are more of them, there are more of them, and there were! That is how Martha met Glenn Wesley Reid and began a relationship that would last a life-time. Martha enjoyed her growing up years in Petersburg and was Valedictorian of the class of 1942. After high school Martha attended business school in Bellingham, Washington then continued to live and work there.

Martha and Glenn Reid were married in Bellingham on February 11th, 1945. It was World War II and Glenn was serving in the Aleutian Islands as an Army Sergeant. Following the wedding Glenn was transferred to Nyssa, Oregon where Martha joined him for the last six months of his military duty.

Following the war, they returned to Petersburg and started a logging operation with Glenn's brother Alex and his wife Mary (Martha's sister). They named the new company Reid Brothers and on May 26, 1946 all of their possessions, including Alex and Mary's eight month old son Jimmy, were loaded aboard a log float and towed to the south end of Rocky Pass. They had built a house on skids that could be towed off the log float and up onto dry land. The house had a kitchen / dining area, two bedrooms (one for each family) and a ladder to the attic for the logging crew. They soon built a bunkhouse for the crew but the two families continued to occupy that one small house until there were four children in Alex and Mary's room and two in Glenn and Martha's. They were very isolated with only a 16-foot skiff for transportation. No radio and no airplane services were available. When a new baby was due the mother-to-be was taken by open skiff to Petersburg a couple of weeks prior to the arrival date. Martha became the camp cook and bookkeeper. She continued as bookkeeper of their various businesses until 2004 when she handed the job over to daughter-in-law Karilyn.

In 1968 the logging outfit divided in two, Alex and his family moved to Ketchikan and logged in that area. Martha and Glenn stayed in Petersburg and started the first crushed rock and ready-mix cement plant in Petersburg.

Glenn and Martha observed the two pulp mills in Southeast Alaska, (Ketchikan Pulp and Sitka's Alaska Lumber and Pulp) taking over or putting out of business the many independent logging outfits in Southeast. In 1973 they sued both Ketchikan Pulp and Sitka's Alaska Lumber and Pulp, accusing them of antitrust price-fixing. In 1983, following 10 years of litigation, the Reids prevailed. At trial it came out that Glenn and Martha Reid were the last Independent loggers in S.E. Alaska. The descendants of Alex and Mary Reid now own Reid Brothers Construction Inc. thus continuing Reid Brothers in Petersburg.

In 1946 Glenn and Martha bought a large portion of the Arness waterfront homestead number 38 in Scow Bay. Martha spent almost her entire life living in Scow Bay. The Reid's home, warehouse, barge landing facility and gardens were located on a portion of this land.

In the mid 50's Reid Brothers purchased the old one room schoolhouse from Pt. Agassiz. They moved the schoolhouse, bell and all, onto one of their log floats and towed it from campsite to campsite, becoming the summer home of the Alex Reid family. In later years Glenn and Martha purchased a homestead at Pt. Agassiz and pulled the schoolhouse ashore not far from its original location.

Martha enjoyed many things including: travel, opera, live plays, bridge, reading, cooking and entertaining guests. She traveled frequently to Seattle to attend the Opera to which she held season tickets. She was a classy lady who liked being impeccably dressed and always presented herself well. Martha served as chair, vice-chair and secretary of the Republican Party of Alaska. She belonged to the Toastmistresses, a group that got together weekly and gave impromptu speeches. She enjoyed acting and had a star role in several community plays. Martha served many years as Secretary of the Salvation Army Board. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church serving as an Elder, Deacon and Church Treasurer.

Martha is survived by her daughter Jean Ellis, son Glenn (Karilyn) Reid Jr., daughter Celia (Dave) Carlson. Grandchildren Patrick (Kelly) Ellis, Mary (Nathan) Midkiff, Jennifer Reid, Jessica (Josh) McKay, Cameron O'Neil, Stacey O'Neil, Jordan Reid, Derek (Heather) Carlson, Brittany (Nick) Robinson. Great grandchildren, David and Lilly Ellis; Martha and Rebecca Midkiff; and Austin Morrison. Martha is also survived by her brother Edgar (Ted), sister Helen Best and a great many nieces and nephews and their families.

A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Petersburg at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 20th with a reception at Mountain View Manor from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Her ashes will be buried at the Petersburg cemetery in a plot between her husband Glenn and sister Mary. Memorial donations may be made to the new

door fund of the First Presbyterian Church in



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