Alaska history is the heirloom inherited by Laurel Downing Bill

Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 4:59 PM AKDT
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Aunt Phil’s Trunk – “Bringing Alaska’s History Alive.” Laurel Downing Bill went into retirement like most people wondering what to do with all that "time." It was an inheritance from her Aunt Phil that steered her in the right direction to know more. Her aunt left her newspaper clippings, research, and rare Alaska history books. Aunt Phil was an award-winning journalist and Laurel knew she had to bring them to light in the world. So, for the past 17 years, Laurel has dedicated her life to writing and reviving the history of Alaska the way Aunt Phil saw it. And she went all in! She returned to college, earned a degree in journalism in 2003, and began the long journey of putting her passion to paper in the form of Aunt Phil’s Trunk series of Alaska history books which are now being taught in schools across the state and country, and her books and persona have garnered her national attention and major awards. She dresses in period costumes when she visits schools and at various fairs and festivals across Alaska. But like most Allgood News stories... There's more. There is Don, Laurel’s husband of 50 years who supports her 100% and even dresses us up in costume sometimes with his wife! Don and Laurel are loving their new life in retirement and they love Aunt Phil’s Trunk … but what do they love the most? Each other. Nobody does it alone and this couple proves it, thanks to an inheritance and a dream.