Katie Hurley, clerk of Alaska’s Constitutional Convention, has passed


Katie Hurley, who served as the chief clerk of Alaska’s Constitutional Convention, has died at age 99.

She was born Olga Katherine Torkelsen in Juneau on March 30, 1921 and was raised in Juneau, living in “the flats” area of downtown, and graduating from Juneau High School. She worked as the secretary to Territorial Gov. Ernest Gruening, and then became Chief Clerk to the Constitutional Convention, which convened at the University of Fairbanks in 1953.

She then became secretary to the Alaska Senate for five terms.

A diehard liberal Democrat, she ran for State House as a Democrat from Wasilla, and was elected in 1984, but was defeated in 1986 by Curt Menard, a Republican. For many years she lived in her home on the shores of Wasilla Lake, close to the big Fred Meyer that was eventually built nearby.

Sen. Jesse Kiehl read a tribute to Hurley on the floor of the Senate on Feb. 22, 2021, a day after her passing:


  1. Besides the good luck she had climbing the political ladder, Hesse Kiehl’s tribute makes her life sound holier, like all she done was work without any personal interests that benefitted her spouse, child, community of Wasilla, and God. I am sure her life was more interesting than her father’s concern for her safey having a foot bridge built and her employments. He could had focused more on how personality charmed the people working around her, I am sure that charm played a role that elevated her bringing people of that day to believe in her enough supporting and promoting her. Democrats are going to have to do better than Kiehl’s tribute memorializing her. Put some life into it! After all, Katie could be singing with the Angels, giving her Glory to God, so her death could really be a celebration!

  2. Apparently her position as secretary to Gov Gruening made her the natural choice for Convention Secretary.
    Don’t know any more about her.
    I suspect that Vic Fischer is now the last significant official remaining from the Convention, so he gets to open the old bottle of wine.
    Them was the days!

  3. I knew Ms. Hurley sort of in the old days. She was unabashedly a Democrat a tilted left. However she was one who cared deeply for her state and the people around her. She was not like the new breed of Democrats who seem to feel all should be equal but in poverty except those running their lives and power should be in ideology that is abhorrent to the average citizen. Rest In Peace Katie.

  4. I did some electrical work for her at her home on the lake years ago. The place was like a museum, lots of history. Sure hope her treasures were saved

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