Creating Alaska

John A. McNees

Name: John A. McNees

City: Nome

District: 9

Occupation: Meteorologist, Businessman

Born: May 26, 1917 - Idaho

Death: October 26, 1995 - Spokane, Washington

Burial Location: Unknown

Alaska Resident: 1942 - ? Convention Posts:

  • Chair, Committee on Ordinances and Transitional Measures
  • Member, Committee on Preamble and Bill of Rights

Education: Willamette University

Quote from the Constitutional Convention:

"I would like to point out three things very briefly. In the first place the executive article has developed a very strong executive in which I am in favor. However, we must in conjunction with that also have a strong legislature, and I do not feel that can be accomplished in biennial sessions. The trend of the other states in recent years is back toward annual sessions. Originally most of your legislatures, in fact all of your original legislatures in the states, were set up on the basis of annual session. When your legislatures reached a new low in the thinking of the people in the mid-nineteenth century, we found the trend became away from the annual sessions and toward the biennial sessions. In the twentieth century we find the swing back toward the annual sessions, and I feel we would be making a big mistake in a state as large as this one is, to have a strong executive and not have annual sessions of our legislature.

I am firmly in favor of a strong executive, but I also want a strong legislature. Furthermore, you are going to have the best reflected thinking of your populace of Alaska as a whole in your legislature rather than in your executive. You are going to have that because your legislator constantly goes back among his constituents, and he in turn will carry that thinking into the capital city, wherever it may be, and it will be reflected in turn in your executive thinking as it should be."

-Delegate John A. McNees, Day 62 of the Constitutional Convention, speaking in favor of annual (yearly) sessions for the Alaska State Legislature. The Territorial Legislature met once every two years.

       

Obituary - John A. McNees

John A. McNees, 78, died October 26, 1995 in Spokane. He was the son of John A. McNees and Margaret Rose Von Levern McNees born on May 26, 1917 at St. Anthony, Idaho.

He received his early education in the Methow Valley and graduated from Twisp High School in 1936. He attended Willamette University. John married Loretta (Retta) Salmon October 29, 1943 at Wenatchee, WA. They moved to Nome where they both worked for the United States Weather Bureau. He owned and operated the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in Nome. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club and a past president. John became a territorial senator and was instrumental in helping Alaska attain statehood. He was one of the signers of the State constitution.

John and his family moved to Leavenworth, WA, where he was active in the remodeling of the town to its Bavarian theme and its achievement of an All American City award. John worked for the City of Seattle managing a 72 unit retirement center until his own retirement.

He is survived by his wife Retta; son and daughter-in-law Roger and Mary Ann McNees; three grandchildren Eric, Tiffany and Christina of Cheney, WA; two brothers Richard McNees of Seattle, WA and Donald McNees of Bothell, WA; two sisters Mary Rawlings of Bothell, WA and Grace Rawlings of Spokane, WA.

Source: Nome Nugget – November 2, 1995