Our Story

In 1949 the clubs formed a state council (Alaska Home Demonstration Council), and in 1955 the State Council joined the National Council. State membership peaked at over 1,000 member clubs during that decade. Our name changed to National Extension Homemakers Council in 1963, and in 1992 the State Organization agreed to change its name to Alaska Association for Family and Community Education to comply with the changes on the national level.

Our organization begins with the individual grass roots member, who belongs to the national organization and may also belong to a club or be a member-at-large. Clubs form the basic link in dissemination of information from educational lessons and programs to the membership (and beyond). Each club may belong to a District Association. Each District Association belongs to the Alaska Association for Family and Community Education (Alaska FCE) and it in turn belongs to the National Association for Family and Community Education (National FCE). It is also associated with several other national organizations and the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). 

Our founder Mrs. Fohns-Hansen's service for the University of Alaska, the Cooperative Extension Service and the people of Alaska spanned more than 30 years when she retired in 1959. The University granted her an honorary doctorate degree, the first woman so honored. We are very fortunate to have had the support of CES all these years.

Recommended Reading List

  • 25 Year History, Alaska Homemakers University Days Short Course, 1974, compiled by Kay Estle
  • An Official History of National Extension Homemakers Council, Inc. 1930-1990, compiled by Charline J. Warren
  • Education for Action: A Thirty Year History of the National Extension Homemakers Council, 1936-1966, by Eunice Heywood
  • Ellen Swallow, the Woman Who Founded Ecology, 1973, by Robert Clark
  • The Life of Ellen H. Richards, 1912, by Caroline Louisa Hunt
  • Voices of American Homemakers, 1985, by Eleanor Arnold
  • Memories are Made of This-- Recollections, Recipes & Household Hints, 2000, by Jody Waterman
  • Mama Bear, the Reader and Mama Bear and the Purple Honeybee are two books that were written and illustrated by FCE member Kay Love. These books are published by the Mat-Su FCE District Association for use in any Books for Newborns Literacy Programs.

Our Past Presidents

YearName (partner)Council
1949-1951Justine Parks (Cloyce)Anchorage
1952-1954Anna Hansen (Homer)Anchorage
1954-1956Marjorie Brewer (C.A.)Mat-Su Valley
1956-1957Lucky Stevens (David)Anchorage
1957-1958Jean Jollye (Lester)Anchorage
1958-1960Bev Witherup (Victor)Kenai Peninsula/Kodiak
1960-1962Maxine Johansen (R.A.)Anchorage
1962-1964Marge Hagglund (Paul)Tanana Valley
1964-1966Gussie Mumey (Red)Kenai Peninsula/Kodiak
1966-1968Trudy Sherman (Carter)Anchorage
1968-1970Gerry Lewis (William)Tanana Valley
1970-1972Hazel Hurd (Tom)Kenai Peninsula/Kodiak
192-1974Marzieh Miller (Richard)Mat-Su Valley
1975-1976Kay Estle (Paul)Kenai Peninsula/Kodiak
1976-1978Melody Kelsey (Winston)Tanana Valley
1978-1980Charlotte Jensen (John)Anchorage
Year(s)Name (partner)Council
 1980-1982Wynola Possenti (Richard)Tanana Valley
 1982-1984Nancy Rowland (Kenneth)Mat-Su Valley
 1984-1986 Margaret Guldseth (Mark) Kenai Peninsula
 1987-1988 Sharon Bodensteiner (H.K.) Anchorage
 1989-1990 Margaret Guldseth (Mark) Kenai Peninsula
 1991-1992 Bonnie Dinkel (Don) Mat-Su Valley
 1993-1994 Elizabeth Rettke (Steve) Anchorage
 1995-1996 Rosie Burgess (Erless) Kenai Peninsula
 1997-1998 Anita Harry Kenai Peninsula
 1999-2000 Barbara Thomas (R.L.) Mat-Su Valley
 2001-2002 Sharon Bodensteiner Anchorage
 2003=2004 Arlene Cavanaugh (Jim) Northern
 2005-2006 Lucille Reese Northern
 2007-2008 Elizabeth Rettke (Steve) Anchorage
 2008-2009 Patricia Thurman (Mike) Northern
 2009-2010 Patricia Thurman (Mike) Northern
 2011-2012 Patricia Thurman (Mike) Northern
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