Jonna Hope Weed (Martin), died Wednesday, April 15, 2020, of complications of mesothelioma. She passed away at home, surrounded by her family.
She was born January 6, 1948, in Seattle, Washington, to John C. and Beverly Coughlan Martin.
At six, her family moved from Seattle to Fairbanks to take advantage of the booming construction industry. In her youth, Mrs. Weed was a member of Rainbow Girls, and was popular in school. She was a mother-figure to her siblings all of her life, a glimpse into her future self.
Jonna graduated from Lathrop High School in 1966.
Mrs. Weed worked at the Lacey Street Theater for a year during high school before moving on to Alascom, where she was a switchboard operator for several years. She was employed there, working in the multi-story building, when the flood occurred in 1967.
In the early 70s, she went to work for Laborers’ Local 942, where she spent the rest of her career, before retiring in 2013. Working at the hall defined her life for 37 years. Jonna and her husband Carl met at the hall, where he was a field representative for the Union. After dating two years, they married at the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Mrs. Claus officiated the ceremony. She retired as an office manager, but she was so much more to so many people. Not only was she an office employee, she was a friend and mentor. She became a mother to all, helping anyone she could. She arranged flights for the laborers going to work, took care of families when they needed help, and cared for older members as they neared the end of their life. Jonna worked at the hall during the height of the pipeline era, thousands crossed her path. She was involved in so many aspects of the Laborers’ Union; elections, daily call, yearly parties, retirements, births, deaths. She was involved in local politics, working on the campaigns of several elected officials over the years. At her retirement, she was presented with a Legislative Citation, naming April 17 as Jonna Weed Day. Mrs. Weed was a member of the Fairbanks Northern Star Borough Health and Social Services committee. She was also an officer of the Laborers’ Retirees Association. Even after retirement, she helped with the Apprenticeship program at the pipeline training center and stayed involved with the Union in general. She ran the hall. Jonna Weed was the face of Laborers’ Local 942. The Alaska Laborers’ Facebook page has a moving tribute to Jonna available.
In her limited spare time, she enjoyed knitting, embroidery, travel, reading, and spending time with her family. As an International traveler, she visited many other countries, and enjoyed the local cultures. She liked taking cruises, and fishing, despite a fear of the water. Jonna was an active member of the Elks Emblem club, and was generous with her embroidery skills.
Jonna is survived by her husband Carl Weed, daughter Becki Grady and husband Sean; son C.Ja Weed and wife Sarah; daughter Jordan Weed; in chronological order, sister Peggy Martin; brothers Patrick and Mike Martin; sister Vicki Martin-Alexander; grandchildren Jordan Chandler; Ashlee Elmore; Ryan and Cade Weed; great-grandchildren Eden and Ivy Elmore; brothers-in-law Mark, Wayne, Charlie, David, John Jay Weed, their spouses and families, sister-in-law Joan McCan, her spouse and family; and honorary daughter Kaitlyn Reeves. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mrs. Weed enjoyed acupuncture services during her final years. The staff at Asian Acupuncture provided immense physical and emotional comfort during a difficult time. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Asian Acupuncture, PO Box 81128, Fairbanks, AK 99708. Credit card donations can be made by calling 907 456 4521. Email email@example.com, or call for additional information. A fund in Jonna’s name has been created to benefit others.