Latest advertisement for the Days of 98 Show With Soapy Smith
om Biss passing.
|Tom Biss as "Soapy" Smith|
(Click image to enlarge)
Long time friend, Ken Erickson, notified me that Thomas B. Biss, age 61, has passed away on March 28, 2014. Tom is one of the creators of The Soapy Smith Show in Skagway, Alaska, which later bought out the Days of 98 Show and became The Days of 98 Show With Soapy Smith. I met Tom in 1974 when I went to Skagway for the first time. He was still playing Soapy in the Eagles Hall. I saw Tom again previous to 1987 during the grand opening of his restaurant Soapy Smith's in Seattle, Washington.
Ken Erickson sent along the link of telling of Tom's passing in the online Stroller's Weekly.
It is with sadness that I note the “voice” of Strollers Weekly, Tom Biss, passed away today. He went painlessly and peacefully. After several years of dealing with a number of debilitating illnesses, he’s found his rest.
Tom was one of the four individuals who made up the collective voice of Strollers. For now, Strollers Weekly will quietly go into archive status.
Condolences for Tom may be sent to his mother at:
PO Box 364
Arivoca, AZ 85601
PS: The Anchorage Daily News published Tom’s obituary 04/03/14
Thomas B. Biss died March 28th peacefully at Our Lady of Grace Home in Anchorage. His ashes will be spread at Pt. Woronzof where he often enjoyed the view of Sleeping Lady’.
Tom was born August 23, 1951 in Ithaca, N.Y. and moved to Alaska at age 9 months. He graduated from Anchorage East High in 1969. Tom was a gifted storyteller and actor. In the early 70s, along with Judy and Jim, he created the Soapy Smith show in Skagway. He was often heard reciting Robert Service to a captive audience. In the 80s, among his culinary achievements were the Great Alaska Salmon Bake in Anchorage and Bubba’s Steak House in Almira, WA. In the 90s Tom returned to Alaska, pursuing his passion for politics and public policy in Juneau.
Tom is survived by his mother, Donna and stepdad John Leibole; sister, Lee Ann Poro; nephew, Fran Byerly; half brother, Alison Biss; auntie, Anne Dalzell,; cousin, Bob Flansburgh; two step sisters, two step brothers; several nieces, nephews and cousins for whom Tom, ever the actor, loved playing Santa. Arrangements by Cremation Society of Alaska. Words of comfort can be shared with Tom’s family at www.alaskacremation.com
I have seen American citizens deliberately plundered before the marshal’s eyes in dens kept for that purpose…. I had to pay the marshal $20 after he had recovered stolen property, before he would make a return to the court commissioner, as he threatened to turn it back to the thieves unless I did so. [Lewis Levy, commissioner for parks, Tacoma, Washington.]
—Alias Soapy Smith, p. 512.
1614: American Indian Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia.
1621: The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, Massachusetts, on a return trip to England.
1792: President George Washington casts the first presidential veto, against a measure for apportioning representatives among the states.
1806: Isaac Quintard patents the cider mill.
1827: James H. Hackett becomes the first American actor to appear abroad as he performs at Covent Garden in London, England.
1843: Queen Victoria proclaims Hong Kong to be a British colony.
1859: The unofficial state of Jefferson is formed by residents in the western part of Kansas Territory (present day Colorado).
1863: 140 cavalrymen route 200 Indians during the Battle of Spanish Fork in Utah.
1869: Outlaw Benjamin Bickerstaff and his men ride into Alvarado, Johnson County, Texas, firing weapons into the air and some store windows. Irate armed citizens shoot and kill Bickerstaff and several other members of the gang.
1869: Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the U.S. Revolutionary War, dies at the age of 109.
1872: The first Cypress Hills Massacre occurs as American wolfers and Assiniboine Indians fight in the Sweet Grass Hills, Montana Territory, near the Canadian border.
1879: Frank Loving, a faro dealer in the Long Branch Saloon, Dodge City, Kansas, shoots and kills Levi Richardson. Levi fires 5 shots at Loving, missing all 5 times. Loving fires hitting and killing Richardson with three shots. It is ruled as self-defense. Loving is shot and killed about a year later in Trinidad, Colorado.
1887: Anne Sullivan teaches a blind and deaf Helen Keller the meaning of the word "water" as spelled out in the manual alphabet.
1892: Walter H. Coe patents gold leaf in rolls.