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Rozella (Drew) Spires

Longtime Alaska resident Rozella (Drew) Spires died Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003, at the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Wash. She was 81.

Mrs. Spires was born March 20, 1922, in Benton, Ark., the first daughter of Ted Gann and Martha Lee Byrd. She graduated from Humbolt State College and eventually earned her master's degree.

She was a school teacher for 26 years. Her first year was in a one-room school at Kasaan Village in Southeast Alaska. In her second year, she taught in Kodiak and the next four years she taught in Montesano, Wash.

She moved back to Alaska, where she taught school in Kenai for the next 20 years, retiring in 1983.

"Mrs. Spires will be remembered for her strong spirit of adventure and for the lives she touched as a teacher," her family said. "She was a true pioneer of Alaska, having lived here for 42 years. She will be missed by those who loved her and counted her their friend and by the many friends whose lives she touched."

She was preceded in death by her son, Jessie Milford Brewer, and daughter, Rozella Brewer O'Dell.

She is survived by her husband, Billy Spires of Kenai; brothers, William (Bill) Byrd of Oregon, Dewell Byrd of California and Paul Byrd of California; sisters, Martha Snyder of Alaska and Frances Yates of Oregon; daughter, Rozelea Brewer Gallatin of Washington; four grandchildren, Ricky Marvin O'Dell of Washington, Rozella Renae Williamson of Washington, Nicki Lynn Porter of Texas and Michael Edward Gallatin of Washington; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Source: Peninsula Clarion, December 18, 2003



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