Olney Wheeler Webb Jr.

Olney Wheeler Webb Jr., 80, died April 20, 2020,  peacefully in his sleep at Ketchikan Medical Center.

He was born to Margaret "Grace" Webb and Olney Wheeler Webb Sr. on June 16, 1939, in Kodiak, where his father worked as a civilian for Simes-Drake Puget Sound on fortifications for the Kodiak Naval Base.

He grew up in the Queen Anne District of Seattle, where his family moved during WWII.

“He remembered watching the B29s coming in and out of Boeing Field,” his friends write. “He also remembered his grandmother driving him around the neighborhood in an old 1946 Ford four- door sedan.”

Mr. Webb enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1957, and served as PFC 54th Transportation Company through 1960. While at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, he was a skydiver.

After returning home from the Army, Webb met Alice Thomas at Dag's Burgers. They were married from 1963 to 1969. Although their marriage was short, they remained friends until her passing in 2017, his friends write. They enjoyed spending time together in Alaska, Texas and Washington, and traveled together through Europe.

Mr. Webb worked briefly with Pacific Air Motive at Boeing Field.

“He became fed up with city life and answered a newspaper ad and became the caretaker of Yes Bay Lodge in 1970,” his friends write. “He had many adventures there and realized his love of wildlife, Alaska, fishing, boating, and cooking. He worked with many great people at the Yes Bay Lodge and spent many years there.”

Ketchikan was the main port for supplies, and Mr. Webb “fell in love” with Ketchikan while working at Yes Bay Lodge, his friends write.

He bought a home on Pennock Island and resided there for more than 40 years, traveling back and forth from his Pennock Island home to Thomas Basin in a 14- or 16-foot Lund skiff.

“His favorite stories included those ditching the Coast Guard,” his friends write.

Mr. Webb was a familiar face in the Thomas Basin Boat Harbor, and helped many people with electronic repairs on their boats, Mr. Webb acquired his 100-ton license and enjoyed working on boats and chartering fishing adventures. One of his favorite boats was the 40-foot Tollycraft, the MyTime. He also had many adventures working on the Stimson.

He enjoyed food, cooking, travel, collecting books and sharing knowledge, often bringing dishes to potlucks.

“He loved a good party and enjoyed sharing food with friends,” his friends write. “He loved nothing more than to BS at the Potlatch and was a daily fixture there.”

Mr. Webb also appreciated Alaska history. He often would share slide shows at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and Tongass Historical Society of images taken by his maternal grandfather, Dr. Hall Young (1847-1927), an adventurer, photographer, boat builder and pioneer missionary who organized and built many churches in Alaska — including Wrangell's first protestant church.

Mr. Webb is survived by his many friends.

“Olney was a good friend and a good neighbor,” his friends write.

No services are planned. However, there will be a potluck at the Potlatch when it is safe to gather in groups.