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: