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Theodore G. Smith

Theodore G. (Ted) Smith, 82, died Jan. 1, 2012.

He was born Nov. 9, 1929, and moved to Sitka after graduating from the University of Washington in 1958.

In Sitka he met the love of his life, Joyce. And after a long courtship, Ted and Joyce were married Nov. 18, 1966.

Ted served the state of Alaska for most of his life, starting with the Alaska Pulp Co. in Sitka. In 1960, he was hired as an inventory forester for the state and moved to Anchorage. He advanced to area forester in 1961, and was promoted to parks and recreation officer in 1963. In 1967, Ted was named chief of Parks and Recreation, and promoted to director of the Division of Parks in 1970.

Ted ran for the Legislature in 1974, and was elected to the House of Representatives. As a representative, he chaired the Labor and Management Committee and served as vice chair of the Resources Committee. He was named chair of the House Majority Caucus. Ted sponsored bills to create nine state parks, including Nancy Lakes State Recreation Area and Chugach State Park, of which he was most proud.

In 1976, he was appointed Director of Land and Water Management. He held this position until his retirement in 1982, when he moved to Willow. Retirement for Ted was defined as a continuation of his community service. He was appointed to the Mat-Su Resource Conservation and Development Board, and in 1988 was elected to the Mat-Su Borough Assembly.

Ted also volunteered for many organizations. A partial list includes president of the Willow Area Community Organization, chair of the Mat-Su Loggers Association, executive committee of the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau, board of directors of the Alaska Historical Society, the Upper Susitna State Parks Advisory Board, the Mat-Su Borough Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Board and many others.

Surviving are his wife, Joyce; sons, Mike (Donita) and Steve (Kathy); seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; brother, Fred; and sister, Cathy.

A celebration of Ted's life is at 2 p.m., Jan. 21 at the Willow Community Center.

Donations in Ted's name can be made to the Alzheimer's Association online at

At the family's request, there will be no service.

Source:  Frontiersman, 12 January 2012



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