James W. Growden Award

This item from an Alaskan newspaper mentions the James W. Growden award.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – entry Lathrop honors top students =:

At the Lathrop Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony Wednesday night, Keegan Severns received the James W. Growden Award, which goes to the top student athlete at the high school.

In recent years, former Lathrop basketball coach Joe Tremarello has made the presentation, including a description of Growden’s achievements. Growden was a star Fairbanks athlete in the 1950s who became a coach in Valdez. He died, along with his two sons, in the 1964 earthquake.

I believe there is also a Growden Memorial Park in Alaska, presumably also named after him.

James Wilson Growden was born in 1935, the youngest son of William Nelson Growden. James was my fourth cousin. I believe that his daughter Ronda survived (it was not the earthquake that killed James and his sons, but they had gone down to the harbour to watch the fishing boats land their catches, and were drowned by the resulting tsnunami).

William Nelson Growden was born in Tennessee, and worked in government service in Alaska. He was the son of Arthur Matthew Growden, who was born in Dunedin, New Zealand. Much of this information I got from Monica Louise Deragowski of New Orleans, who was a first cousin of James Wilson Growden, and was very interested in the family history, and corresponded with Growdens all over the world. I’ve been trying to continue her work, and see if I can find links between all the Growden families, so I’m very interested in news items, like the one above, that mention the Growden family history.

9 Responses

  1. Hi I am the daughter of Amy Growden. My Grandpa is Andrew Growden. I have no idea if I could contribute to this blog at all or what I could learn about my family from you. Thanks feel free to email me if I could help you

    • Hi Jordan,

      Thanks for visiting our blog. If you’d like to contribute to the Growden family history, please visit our mailing list site, where you can subscribe to the Growden discussion forum. I’ve also sent you e-mail. If you are who I think you are, your grandpa is my 4th cousin!

  2. Jim Growden was in my 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade classes at Fairbanks Elementary School. He was always the best student in the class, and got along with everyone. I still remember his steady, friendly, intelligent demeanor. What a loss to Alaska.

  3. Arthur Matthew Growden was my great grandfather. His son, Jesse W. Growden is my mother’s father. Family history is very interesting to me. I will be adding my name to your mailing list site.

  4. This is Ronda Growden, daughter of James W. Growden, who lost his life in the 1964 Alaska Earthquake along with my two young brothers. I was so surprised to stumble upon this website! AND to learn I have relatives in New Zealand! Sadly, I never had the opportunity to know my wonderful father personally, or my darling brothers, as I was just 3 months old when mother and I lost our family in the quake. We both live in Fairbanks still and I go by the last name of Boswell now. A big howdy to my newfound kin! 🙂

    • Nice to meet you, Ronda! My GG Grandfather Was Arthur M Growden, Who should be your G Grandfather. We have always wanted to come to the Midnight Sun game at Growden Park. If we ever are able to make the trip, I will be sure to look you up.

    • Ronda,
      I would love to connect with you and compare notes on our families. Your grandfather, Nelson, was the brother of my grandfather, Jesse. I’ve been obsessed with genealogy for several years and and currently working on trying to connect our family with the Growden family of Trevose, PA. Please email me here or directly any time at Sherri.McBrien@gmail.com. Can’t wait to hear from you!

    • Hello Rhonda! Welcome to your extended clan. I’m Granddaughter to Thomas Arthur Growden, My great aunt Louise was always telling me stories about the family, and how far flung we are. I have a few of the Goldpanner’s baseball cards. =) It’s wonderful to virtually meet you!

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