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Dorothy G. Page

Iditarod Trail Committee founder Dorothy G. Page, 68, a Wasilla resident, died Nov. 16 at home of natural causes.  A visitation will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Kehl's Palmer Mortuary. A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Wasilla with Dr. Joseph Bettridge officiating.

Mrs. Page was born Jan. 23, 1921, in Bessemer, Mich.  She graduated from high school in Minneapolis in 1939 and moved to Albuquerque, N.M., and then to Los Alamos, N.M. She worked at the Los Alamos Hospital in the medical records section as chief telephone operator.  In 1950, Mrs. Page went into business in Pojoaque, N.M., where she operated Dorothy's Cafe. She and her husband opened the Camel Rock Trading Post in New Mexico until they left for Alaska in 1960.  In 1965, while chairwoman of the Centennial Committee in Wasilla, she came up with the idea of reopening the Iditarod Trail and having a long-distance sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome.  Since 1966, she had been writing for local newspapers. For many years, she had a weekly column. She then changed to feature articles and historical writing. She was a longtime member of the Alaska Press Women's Association.

Active in politics since coming to the MatSu Borough, she served four terms on the Wasilla City Council from October 1976 to July 1986. She was mayor of Wasilla in 1986 and 1987, and had been the Republican Committee Woman in Wasilla since 1968. She also helped incorporate the city of Wasilla.

Mrs. Page was one of the founders of the Wasilla and Knik museums and the Musher's Hall of Fame. She was president of the Wasilla-Knik-Willow Creek Historical Society and for many years had been curator of the museums. She had been active in improving the exhibits at both museums since 1965.

Mrs. Page also served on the library board in Wasilla for 20 years. In 1984, she was the recipient of the Governor's Volunteer Award. In December 1986, the MatSu Borough Assembly passed a resolution recognizing Mrs. Page for distinguished service to the community and awarded her a volunteer recognition award.

She was a lifetime member of the Board of Directors of the Iditarod Trail Committee Inc. and was serving as its treasurer and a member of the executive committee.  Mrs. Page had written, edited and published the Iditarod Trail Annual since 1973, many of which have won state and national awards. She was also editor of the Iditarod Runner.

She is survived by her husband, Vondolee, of Wasilla; her stepdaughter, Marie Ann, of Wellington, Nev.; her sister, Mary Grabowski, of Minneapolis; her brother, Arcole Guzzi, of Minneapolis; two nephews and one niece. Burial will follow the service at the Aurora Cemetery in Wasilla.

Source: Anchorage Daily News November 18, 1989




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