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The Ketchikan Daily News

Ketchikan, Alaska, Monday, December 3, 1956

Radonich Dies of Injuries

    Thomas Gerald Radonich, 87-year old Alaskan pioneer, died shortly after midnight Saturday from injuries received when he was struck by a car Friday night at the intersection of Main and Dock streets.
    Radonich was born September 19, 1869 in Dalmatia. He came to the U. S. as a young man and first came to Alaska about 1891, going to Juneau. He was in Skagway and Dawson, Y.T. in the days of the ‘98 gold rush.
    In Dawson where he operated a cafe he was known as "Carnation Tom" because despite difficulties of transportation he had regular shipments of fresh carnations and always wore one in his lapel, a custom he followed until recent years. It was in his Dawson Cafe that "Swiftwater Bill" Gates bought up the entire fresh egg supply at $ 1 each to spite his lady fair, whose favourite food it was, an incident made legendary by Jack London.
    In the early 1900’s Mr. Radonich returned to Juneau and operated the Alaska Grill, for many years Alaska’s biggest restaurant. He was active in civic affairs through those years and was a president of the board of trade, forerunner of the chamber of commerce. He was mainly responsible for instigating league baseball series between Southeastern Alaskan towns and Whitehorse, Y.T. and for a number of years was manager of the Juneau team.
    Interested in mining, he had grubstaked prospectors in the Yukon and Southeastern Alaska and had a prospect on Gravina Island in which he was still interested.
    Radonich came to Ketchikan in 1 92 1 and operated a fresh oyster business and cafe and other interests here until the early 30’s when he returned to Juneau to make his home. He returned here this past September for the winter with his stepdaughter, Dorothy Pegues of the Daily News staff and her son Bill. Mrs. Radonich whom he married in 1914 died in 1950.
    Radonich was a member of a landed family of Dalmatia. His brother is the mayor (governor) of a Dalmatian province. He was a member of the Catholic Church.
    Survivors are a stepdaughter and her seven sons, including Don and Bill Pegues of Ketchikan, a sister and brother in Dalmatia and nieces and nephews.
    Memorial services will be held at the Catholic Church at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Radonich’s body will he taken to Juneau for burial.

Thanks to Mrs. Marion Sim for this obituary - if you know anything else about the life of "Carnation Tom", please drop her a line at msim@mail.v-wave.com.

To 'Swiftwater Bill' Gates & the Klondike Eggs

To more Yukon/Alaska Pioneer Biographies