Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Lee Saylor

Lee Saylor

Lee Saylor was born in 1941 and grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. At age eighteen, he joined the Army, and came to Alaska in 1964 where he was stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks and Fort Greely near Delta Junction. He married Stella Healy from Healy Lake, Alaska in 1966. They had two sons, Patrick and Benjamin Saylor and he became step-father to Stella's daughter, JoAnn. Lee worked as an instrument man on survey crews for the Alaska Department of Transportation for over thirty years, and ended up running the survey crews in the northern part of the state. Stella Healy Saylor died in 1971. Her mother Jeany Healy lived in Healy Lake during the summers and in North Pole with Lee and his children during the winters until her death. During those times, Jeany shared her memories, stories and traditions with Lee and her grandchildren. She left her pictures including names, stories and histories in his care;  Lee has generously shared these with the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Later, Lee married Rita Paul from Tanacross who died in January 2000.  Lee was an attentive listener when his mother-in-law, Jeany Healy, and other elders of the Upper Tanana region shared their stories and memories; he remembers what he heard and is interested in sharing it with others. So although Lee is not originally from the area, he continues to be a great resource about the history of the Upper Tanana region and the geneaology of its people. As of 2014, Lee was living in North Pole, Alaska. He maintains close ties with his children and grandchildren and the Native community, and actively assists Healy Lake in whatever way he can. His stories appear in Mendees Cheeg Naltsiin Keey': An Oral History of the People of Healy Lake Village (annotated and edited by Donald G. Callaway and Constance A. Friend, Revised June 2007).

Lee Saylor appears in the following new Jukebox projects: