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Governor & First Lady Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary


August 28, 2004

Ketchikan, Alaska - Congratulations to Alaska's Governor and First Lady who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today. On August 28, 1954, Frank and Nancy Murkowski

jpg Murkowski Ketchikan, Alaska 1954

August 28, 1954
Frank & Nancy Murkowski
One of the photos displayed on the family's 2004 parade float.
Photographed by Carl Thompson
were married in Ketchikan in a double ring ceremony. Almost fifty years later, members of the Murkowski family surprised the couple during the Fourth of July parade in Ketchikan by displaying Happy Anniversary signs. Photographer Carl Thompson was present to capture the moment.

In remembrance of that special day 50 years ago, an article written by the Ketchikan Alaska Chronicle was obtained from the Ketchikan Museums. The article is as follows:

Ketchikan Alaska Chronicle
Monday, August 30, 1954

Pioneer Families United In Gore-Murkowski Rites

A pretty autumn wedding took place Saturday morning at 10, before the flower-banked altars of Holy Name church, when Nancy Rena Gore, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Lester O. Gore, was married in a double ring ceremony to Francis Hughes Murkowski, son of Mrs. Frank M. Murkowski and the late Mr. Murkowski.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father John Concannon, S.J., pastor, who was also celebrant of the nuptial mass which followed. Before the ceremony, Mrs. Claude A. Robinson sang Gounod's "Ave Maria," and "O Perfect Love." During the offertory, she sang Cesar Franc's "Panis Angellicus," accompanied by Mrs. Clyde Henley, organist who also played softly during the entire ceremony. Two altar boys, Michael and Patrick Selfridge, lifelong friends of the bride, assisted during mass.

The bride, escorted by her father, wore a gown of imported Chantilly lace and ivory pleated tulle, fashioned with a fitted bodice, and a very bouffant three-tiered skirt. Her veil of ivory tulle cascaded in graduated tiers, and was fastened to a clover-leaf shaped cap of antique rose point Belgian lace, bordered with pearls and sequins. She carried a bouquet of butterfly orchids and stephanotis. For something "old" Nancy carried a lace handkerchief over 100 years old, the gift of a cousin in California. For something borrowed, she wore her sister's pearls, which came from London from the bride's aunt. For something blue, she wore a lacy flowered garter, lined in blue, which she later tossed with her bouquet at the close of the reception. Her sister Diane, who served as maid of honor, caught the bouquet, and Hart Otterlei was the lucky man to catch the garter.

jpg family Ketchikan, Alaska

July 4, 2004 - Family members surprise the Governor & First Lady
with Happy 50th Anniversary Wishes early...
Photo by Carl Thompson

Her other two attendants were Margaret Anne Daly and Mrs. Allen Bentson (Charlene Gallagher), also a recent bride. All three wore identical ballet length silvery blue taffeta gowns, matching petal hats, white kid wrist-length gloves, and carried arm bouquets of American beauty roses. Mrs. Murkowski wore a Frank Gallant honey colored silk shantung suit with hat and accessories to match. A pleasant surprise was provided by the arrival of the bridegroom's aunt, Mrs. T.T. Cunninghom, who flew in from Los Angeles for the event.

Mrs. Gore wore a Carnegie navy blue silk shantung suit with white jeweled hat and accessories.

John Daly was best man and the ushers were Peter Ellis, Ralph Dale, Hart Otterlei, Gary Emard and Robert Gore, the bride's brother.

Immediately following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Elks club rooms. Shades of pale pink, graduated thru rose to burgundy were used in the flowers and decorations for the tea table and the bride's table. Carnations in five shades of pink rising from burgundy vases formed French-type bouquets on the pink damask draped tables, which sparkled with crystal candelabra. Toasts were proposed to the bride and bridegroom by John Daly, served by Mrs. Jack Tibbles and Mrs. Milton Daly.

Pouring at the tea table were Mrs. Percy G. Charles and Mrs. Robert L. Jernberg, Mrs. Jack Mendenhall and Mrs. Arthur N. Wilson. Cutting the lovely pink wedding cake were Mrs. Walter Anderes, Mrs. Joseph Blazek, Mrs. Edwin Elliott and Mrs. Wilfred Stump. Assisting at the tea table were Mrs. Ernest Bailey, Mrs. Robert H. Ziegler, Mrs. Charles Cloudy, Mrs. Clifford Emard, Mrs. Edward F. Ginger and Miss Janet Hodgman. Hostesses were Mrs. Edward Steffen and Mrs. George McKay.

Audrey Stump was in charge of the guest book and her sister, Pamela Stump, distributed boxes of the cake. Both are daughters of Mr. & Mrs. Wilfred Stump.

jpg Murkowski Ketchikan, Alaska

July 4, 2004 - Nancy and Frank Murkowski...
Photo by Carl Thompson


Nancy was graduated this summer from San Jose State college taking her degree in business and secretarial science. She attended Willamette university for two years where she affiliated with Delta Gamma sorority. She is also a member of the Oregon chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Nancy also attended the Convent of the Madames of the Sacred Heart in Menlo Park, California, and Holy Names in Seattle. Frank attended Bellarmine prep and Santa Clara college in California for three years. Both young people returned to graduate from Ketchikan high school.

The bride wore a navy blue going away suit, with white accessories, including pearls, the gift of the bridegroom. The newlyweds left Saturday for Hawaii by Pan American plane where they will spend three weeks before returning to Seattle where the bridegroom will attend Seattle university for his senior year.

The wedding joins two members of pioneer families of Washington and Oregon. Both grandfathers were connected with early maritime history of the Pacific coast. Nancy's grandfather, with his brothers, Captain John and Captain George Gore, sailed the Columbia river and the coastal waters as far as Alaska as early as 1870, bringing one of the famous "Beaver" steamers to Wrangell where it was wrecked on the shoals of the Stikine river. Frank's grandfather, Captain Huges, sailed his own schooners in the lumber trade out of Greys Harbor to the South seas, and took his bride, Frank's grandmother, on one of his voyages, for their honeymoon.


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