Palin has spoken excitedly in interviews about meeting with the writers of Alaska’s constitution in order to hear their interpretation and reasoning for what they wrote.
I just received a message from Justice Carpeneti that Tom Stuart passed away tonight at Bartlett Hospital. I think he was 88 years old. It made me think of the comment you made the other day to the ADN Editorial Board about how young Alaska is and how lucky we are to be able to talk to those that were part of the constitutional convention. We lost another historic figure tonight.
I can work with Beth and Sharon in the morning to get additional information and prepare a statement for you.
Oh shoot! That is sad – and you’re right I was referring to him also wth ADN. He kept inviting me and my family to go to dinner… I thought we’d really be burdening him, even if we had him over here, so I kept putting it off and putting it off. Shoot- another lesson learned and I could kick myself for not.
Yes- we need a presser on this. He was so sweet and wise and every time I spoke to him he was a wonderful counselor. We lost a wealth of Alaskan knowledge last night, but can forever hold on to his Alaskan spirit and his guidance for the future if we abide by the constitution he helped create.
Also, when interviewing Morgan Christian for Supreme Court, she mentioned he is the reason she ended up staying in Alaska for her career, if anyone wanted to incorporate her in the presser.
Article on Stewart here:
Stewart, who would have turned 89 on New Year’s Day, was the secretary of the Alaska Constitutional Convention, the man who plotted a road map for a document that has been lauded over the decades.
“He’s kind of like Alaska’s Ben Franklin,” said state Supreme Court Justice Bud Carpeneti of Juneau, who took Stewart’s Superior Court seat in 1981 when Stewart retired. “He was there at the founding of the state and played a very important part in it.”
Stewart served in the territorial House of Representatives, was a senator in the first State of Alaska legislative session and spent 15 years as a Superior Court judge.
It was Stewart who spearheaded legislation that created a constitutional convention in the years leading to statehood. It was Stewart who steered the convention out of Juneau and onto the University of Alaska campus in Fairbanks. It was Stewart who pushed for the elected delegates to be nonpartisan.
He was awarded bronze and silver stars for valor during World War II, during which his skills as a skier landed him in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Decades later he was still skiing and climbing.
“He went to Seward in the 1950s and bought a used rope tow from the Army for $50, and that was (Juneau’s) first rope tow,” Steve Stewart said.
He recited long narrative poems from memory and was a natural storyteller, Carpeneti said.
“I kick myself for not recording everything the man ever said to me,” he said. “He had such an amazing life. It’s hard to express in five minutes. You need a book.”