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My Grandmother was a True Alaskan Pioneer
by Tanna Moddison
Irene Moddison Preston
This is about my grandma, Wilma Irene Moddison Preston. She was an Alaskan pioneer, very involved in the community.
In 1955, she drove the Alaska Highway to join her son and daughter in Anchorage.
She worked for Anchorage Telephone Utility from 1956 to 1960.
She found time to expand her interest in hobby ceramics by starting the Mud Hut, a ceramic studio, in 1956.
She also pursued a longtime dream of learning to fly and flew solo in 1959.
Mrs. Preston was also active in the Elurets Homemakers and Fur Rondy. She established the ceramic exhibit at the Fur Rondy, sometimes working almost single-handedly.
She was a founding member of the Ceramic Association of the North. This association increased awareness of ceramics by putting on the ceramic exhibit at the Fur Rondy.
Mrs. Preston attended the Church of the Salvation Army, serving in the Sunday School program, Home League and League of Mercy.
She was active in many fund-raising ventures including International and Harvest Festival dinners and often supplied cookies for daily Vacation Bible School.
She was an active member of REACT (Radio Emergency Association Communications Team) where she served at checkpoints during the Walk for Hope and other activities, and served coffee at highway coffee stops during holidays.
Mrs. Preston was a member of the Anchorage Senior Center and Mid-Valley Senior Center.
In 1985, she joined the organization, Alaskans, and attended their conventions in 1985 and 1986 in Las Vegas.
She became of a member of Pioneers of Alaska Auxiliary #4 in 1988.
Mrs. Preston enjoyed making and dressing dolls and crocheting. She sometimes crocheted dresses for the dolls.
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