People from across Alaska and the Lower 48 assembled in Fairbanks today to bid final farewell to former Territorial Governor Mike Stepovich.
Stepovich died February 14th at the age of 94 in California. His body was returned to Fairbanks where he was buried today. Stepovich was born in Fairbanks and spent much of his life there raising 13 kids with his wife Matilda, while working as an attorney and politician. He’s being remembered as a pioneer and public servant who dedicated his life to Alaska.
After serving three terms in the Territorial Legislature,
Stepovich was named Alaska’s final territorial governor in 1957 by President Dwight Eisenhower.
In 1958, Stepovich resigned from the governor’s office to run for the U.S. Senate. He was defeated that year by Ernest Gruening, and by Bill Egan two years later.
In 1966, Stepovich ran for governor, but lost to fellow Republican Wally Hickel in the gubernatorial primary.
Stepovich is survived by all 13 of his children.