Gov. Tony Knowles ordered state flags lowered to half-staff through sundown on
Thursday, November 7, in memory of Peter Reader. The former Nome resident and
miner was a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention. He died November
6, in Silverdale, Washington, after a lengthy illness. He was 89.
Peter L. Reader was born in Grand Rapids, North Dakota on August 31, 1913. He
moved to Alaska in October of 1934 and worked for a mining company in Candle. He
moved to Nome the following year and worked on claims on Sunset Creek, Iron
Creek and Benson Creek in the Nome area until World War II. During the war, he
was an equipment foreman for the Corps of Engineers.
After the war, Reader joined the North Fork Dredging Company, and mined on North
Fork and Harris Creek in the Kougarok district of the Seward Peninsula. In 1950,
he moved permanently to Nome and became a general contractor. He also operated
the Pioneer Water Company and owned rental property.
Reader served as a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention in 1955 and
1956. In 1958, he and four other investors formed the Nome Telephone Company,
which bought the previous telephone company and upgraded the equipment to a
modern dial system. He was an officer of the corporation, and also handled all
the outside lineman and installer duties. In 1965, the telephone company was
sold and Reader and his wife moved to the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington, where
he remained until his death.
Peter Reader is survived by his wife, Borgny; a son, Peter L. Reader, Jr. of
Portland, Oregon; a daughter, Helen M. Reader-Chapman, of Yelm, Washington;
three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. A second son preceded him in
death in 1948. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by sisters
Yvonne Klein, of Suquamish, Washington; Pat Gallegher, of Seattle; Mary
Morgenroth, of Port Angeles, Washington; Ann Brusse, of Portland; and Donna Mae
Cole, of Seattle. Surviving brothers are Paul Reader, of Sequim, Washington, and
Charles Reader of Nome and Anchorage, Alaska; as well as numerous nieces and
No services are planned, at his request. Donations may be made to the Nome
Cemetery Fund, care of his niece Cussie Kauer of Nome, Alaska, 99762, or the
Nome Volunteer Fire Department.
Source: Nome Nugget, 14 November 2002