Together

Published: June 11, 2007

Last Modified: June 11, 2007 at 03:48 AM

JUNE 11, 1937

Maxine and Frank Reed

Pioneer Alaska residents Maxine and Frank Reed celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary June 9 below the public stairway on West 12th Avenue near their home. Mayor Mark Begich proclaimed that the stairs will be named the "Maxine and Frank Reed Family Staircase" because of their 70 years of community service and neighborhood involvement.

Host of the anniversary barbecue was their daughter, Pauline Reed of Mercer Island, Wash., assisted by her son and daughters, Scott Mackay, Shelley Buhler and Carrie Scull; her brother's daughter and sons, Tracy, Travis and Ryan Reed, and their families; and Maxine and Frank's nephew John McGary and his wife, Kay, all of Washington state.

The Anchorage "Downtown Old Man's" Lions Club and the Anchorage chapter of PEO women's philanthropic organization as well as neighbors were involved in planning the celebration.

The Reeds were married June 11, 1937, at the University of Washington Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority House in Seattle, shortly after their graduation.

In 1936, Frank knocked on the door of the student residence where Maxine and her brother were living. He wanted to inquire about boarding for himself and several friends living next door. Maxine, alone in the house, was trying on a bridesmaid dress for a friend's wedding but answered the door. Later, Frank suggested to a friend from Juneau who was taller than Frank that he should meet Maxine, who was almost 6 feet tall. But Maxine and Frank ended up dating through the school year, announced their engagement in March and were married in June.

After their commencement ceremony, they sailed for Alaska on the steamship Baranof. Their first home was at the original Eklutna Power Plant, where Frank at first worked a 12-hour shift as operator. In 1942, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserve, going on active duty in Anchorage until he was discharged as a lieutenant senior grade after the war.

Frank was active in building management and banking. He also was active in public service, including chairmanship of the original City of Anchorage Charter Commission in 1958 and the Municipality of Anchorage Charter in 1975. His awards include the Alaska Press Club Hall of Fame in 1967, Alaska Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Alaskan of the Year in 1976, and Alaskan of the Year in 1990. He was elected to the City Council and later the School Board and served on the state Board of Education and the Governor's Investment Advisory Committee. He enjoyed a term as "Lord Trapper" of the Fur Rendezvous.

Maxine mainly has been a homemaker, supporting Frank's activities. Her volunteer work has included board membership of the Alaska World Affairs Council. She has been active in a junior high PTA, Mental Health Association, Anchorage Woman's Club, American Cancer Society and Anchorage Health Board. She co-founded the Cotillion Club in 1958 and considers it her largest contribution to Anchorage.