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Elizabeth Rowland "Betty" deCourcy Annis
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Birth: Feb. 9, 1925
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: Oct. 2, 2011
Alaska, USA

Former Juneau resident Elizabeth Rowland deCourcy Annis, 86, known to her local friends as "Betty," died October 2, 2011, in Sitka from complications related to esophageal cancer.

She was born February 9, 1925 in Washington, DC, and grew up in Somerset, Chevy Chase, MD. Hoping to become a journalist, she worked on the copy desk of the Washington Post while studying at George Washington University.

In 1946 she traveled to Germany and became a reporter for Stars and Stripes, the US Army newspaper, stationed outside Heidelberg. She met her husband, Robert J. Annis in Heidelberg and they were married there. Returning to Washington, D. C., she worked at a settlement house, helping disadvantaged children, while her husband attended GW law school. Following graduation he accepted a job with the territorial Attorney General's Office in Juneau, and in 1955 they came to Alaska. Later he became associated with the Juneau law firm, Robertson, Monagle, and Eastaugh.

In August, 1958, when Alaskans cast their ballots for statehood, Betty joined a small staff organized by Associated Press correspondent, William J. Tobin, to assist him in the tabulation of the territory's votes, unofficial at that point, and telephoned to the AP office from precincts throughout Southeast Alaska, or forwarded by wire from newspapers in Southcentral Alaska by the Anchorage Times and from the Interior and Bush precincts by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The group also tabulated votes for the general election in November when Alaskans, for the first time, elected a governor, lieutenant governor, two U.S. Senators and their lone House member to Congress.

In years following, Betty worked as a reporter for the Juneau Empire, and later as secretary for the Church of the Holy Trinity, and also in the office of Clark Gruening when he represented Juneau in the State House of Representatives in the 1970s. In the mid 1960s she was active in the formation of the Juneau League of Women Voters, and during all her years in Juneau enjoyed participating in political campaigns, and in campaigns to keep the capital in the capital city.

An ardent Democrat, she frequently wrote tart letters to newspapers expressing opinions on various subjects, taking a progressive stance against what she saw as irresponsibility or often downright silliness. Her sense of humor sometimes got the best of her and that, too, would show up in her letters. She loved the out-of-doors, especially hiking, and spoke often of the Chilkoot Pass climb she had made with friends one summer. Her passion, though, was writing. She took numerous writing classes and was working on her memoirs during her final illness.

Following her husband's death in 1977, she moved to Anchorage, and on to Sitka in 1995. She was in constant contact with friends throughout the country and overseas, for she treasured her friendships which, since childhood, had been an integral part of her life. Having made dear friends in Alaska, she said, "I tried to leave three times but always came back. I love it here."

In addition to her husband, Betty was also preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Margaret deCourcy; and a brother, Harold R. deCourcy. She is survived by her sister, Patricia Barlow of Corvallis, OR; a brother, John Spencer deCourcy, of Leesburg, VA; four nieces and four nephews; and three grandnieces and one grandnephew.

At her request, there was no service, but her sister, Patricia, asks that friends send memories of Betty to Pat via email at patdbarlow@gmail.com. Please make subject: Elizabeth. Betty's ashes were buried at her husband's grave in Juneau's Evergreen Cemetery. Published in The Juneau Empire from October 26 to November 1, 2011
 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Robert J. Annis (1923 - 1977)
 
Burial:
Evergreen Cemetery
Juneau
Juneau Borough
Alaska, USA
 
Created by: Ms. Clyde
Record added: Nov 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 80490296
Elizabeth Rowland Betty <i>deCourcy</i> Annis
Added by: Ms. Clyde
 
 
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