Joanne S. Alsup

Joanne S. Alsup, 80, died on Sept. 8, 2021, in Ketchikan, with her family by her side.

She was born Aug. 13, 1941, in Ketchikan. Her father, William Chiabra, was from Peru, and her mother, Helen (Hauge) Chiabra, was from Canada.

“She loved her life in Ketchikan and enjoyed all it had to offer,” her family writes.  

In 1959, she married Axel C. Svenson Jr., an Aleut whose family was relocated to Ward Lake from Akutan during World War II.

“They had four children and were happy until his death in 1968,” her family writes.

She raised their children by herself until 1985, when she married Billie Alsup Jr.

She worked many years with the Ketchikan School District, and finished her career with the Alaska State Troopers as a dispatcher.

She enjoyed reading, gardening, cooking and baking, designing, building and creating a family home.

“It gave her great joy and happiness to be surrounded by her family, children and grandchildren,” her family writes, adding that “it was the joy of working in her gardens that prompted Joanne and Billie to start North Shore Gardens.”

She was a member of Clover Pass Community Church “and lived her life in accordance with her Christian beliefs and looked forward to reuniting with loved ones who had gone on before her,” her family writes. “Joanne was a very kind hearted, selfless and welcoming person. She was clever with a smart sense of humor.”

Joanne Alsup was preceded in death by her father, William Chiabra; husband, Axel C. Svenson Jr.; mother, Helen Chiabra; sister, Donnalee Temple; son-in-law, Timothy W. Brown; husband, Billie Alsup Jr.; and grandson, Ian Christiansen.

She is survived by her sons, Mike (Kim) Svenson of Sitka, Axel III (Kathleen) Svenson, Martin (Darlene) Svenson; daughter, Janice Bersvendsen (Marco Palomino,) all of Ketchikan; grandchildren, Michael Svenson Jr. of Sitka and Nels Svenson of Mount Vernon, Washington, Axel Svenson IV of Ketchikan, Rosemary Svenson of Hungary and Leif Svenson of Anchorage; sister, Helen (Tom) Selfridge; 12 stepchildren — Stephen, Sherry, Marcy, Starla, Don, Pam, Melodi, Serena, Sonya, Angelina, Elaina, and Melissa and families; and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 13, 2021, at the Lighthouse Church of God, with a reception and visiting at the family home at 14903 North Tongass Hwy.