OCTOBER 12, 2018 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker today ordered that Alaska state flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of two former Alaska state legislators: Henry Springer and Ed Willis.
Heinrich “Henry” Springer served Nome and Northwest Alaska as a representative to the 15th State Legislature from 1987-1988. He was a longtime state employee, and worked at the Alaska Department of Transportation across three decades, managing bridge projects like Nenana Canyon and Hurricane Gulch. During his 15 years as Transportation Director for the Western Region, he helped modernize many roads and airstrips in rural Alaska. He served as the executive director of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska from 1990-2000, and received the Hard Hat award for his lifetime contributions to Alaska’s construction industry. He passed away in Anchorage in late September.
Ed Willis represented Chugiak-Eagle River in the Alaska Legislature as a Senator from 1975-1978, and as a Representative from 1993-1996. He worked in Alaska as a power plant operator, building on his service as a boiler room mechanic in the Merchant Marines during WWII. He served three terms on the Anchorage Borough Assembly, and was a passionate advocate for children with special needs.
Willis lobbied to bring special education classes to the Anchorage School District as president of the Eagle River Elementary PTA, and was an early member of the group that would become Arc of Anchorage. He passed away this week in the Palmer Pioneer Home.
Alaska flags should return to full staff at sundown on Monday, October 15, 2018.