Mom was born 11/17/29 above Fort Yukon at Salmon River, the second child of Mary Elizabeth “Abbie” & Philip Peter. In her early years, the family would travel by dog sled to/from Fort Yukon for supplies & schooling. Mom enjoyed these trips. All the kids would be tied into the warm moose skin toboggan under skins & canvas. Mom went to public school up until 4th grade. She had no further schooling after that so she could help take care of her younger siblings & help her mom & dad. One year the marshall came to town to take kids to boarding schools. Philip Peter met him at the door & told them his kids were not going anywhere. We know now that they were all very fortunate that Philip sternly sent them away. They stayed & attended school in Fort Yukon
At the age of 17 mom went to work at the old Hudson Stuck Memorial Hospital. She worked 12-hour days & got paid a dollar a day. She shared a lot of memories of working with very sick patients. In 1949 Fort Yukon had a devastating flood. Mom remembers the river water rolling over the banks towards the hospital. Patients & workers watched from the roof of the hospital as houses floated away. Mom said it was scary & sad.
Mom attended St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Her Father Philip was the ordained minister. One Sunday morning at church during announcements Hannah Solomon stood up & announced Mom & Mardow will be married in August of that year; This is how mom found out she was getting married. When they wed, Mardow had $4 to his name. They were poor but with support from family, they made do. Mom took odd jobs around town as they came by to help support her family, always working to keep herself busy. Two years after they married Bentley was born; almost every year after that another child was born; Diane, Grafton, Mardow Jr., Veronica, Phillip, Kevin, then Georgianna. Cloth diapers, no running water, wood stove, no TV just a radio, life was good & always busy.
Mom & Mardow had a tough marriage. Mom loved deeply but the struggle got to be too much. Mardow joined the carpenters union & they moved to Fairbanks, Mom worked two jobs at a time. She worked at the old St Joseph Hospital & at Model D Café sometimes after working all day she would come home & Hannah would take her to bingo way out by Anderson AFB. She was tired but never said no.