Photo Journal


of the war (they got married in Wales in January 1945 and remained separated until the end of the war), they packed a trailer full of a few household belongings, drove the newly built Alaska-Canada (Alcan) Highway from Texas (with a few detours), and arrived in Alaska, the land of the midnight sun,  in the summer of 1946.

From the time of their arrival in Alaska until his untimely death in 1961 at age 55, he built a church and left a church under controversy; built a family and left eight children without a father to be raised by our mom, a stalwart Christian woman with a strong faith who “walked the walk” and “talked the talk”; and left a lot of stories. Some of these stories I’ll capture in these pages.

This photo journal also documents quite a bit of my mother’s 91+ years, beginning in 1916. She was born in Silver Creek, Wisconsin, an incorporated town three miles west of Random Lake, which is 40 miles due north of Milwaukee. She was the eldest of five children, became a nurse, met and married my father during WWII, moved to Alaska to work first as a pastor’s wife and then later as a nurse and correctional officer, and remained there until her death in 2008 at age 91.


Dad (Orland Cary) & Mom (Mabel Risse): 1906 - 2008

* * * *

This photo journal documents some of the bits and pieces of my father’s life before he met my mother in California during World War II, the war years, their life together until he died in 1961 at age 55, and her continued work in Alaska until she died in 2008.

Dad was born in 1906 in Snyder, Coleman County, Texas as the third of 10 children. He was born into a line of Methodist “men of the cloth,” and he, too, became a minister (among other things) and had always longed to go to Alaska. Within a year after he and my mom were reunited in the states at the end