Engagements & Weddings

Longtime Eagle River residents Richard and Donna Firmstone recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. The couple was married Oct. 4, 1963 in Seattle, and they moved to Eagle River shortly after.

The Firmstones, who now live in Palmer, raised seven children. They have 10 grandchildren — with two more on the way — and three great-grandchildren.

After a small reception, the Firmstones went on a second honeymoon to the Cook Islands.

Megan Metcalf, of Eagle River, will wed Patrick Hoefler, of Kiel, Wisc., during a ceremony July 5, 2014 at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Eagle River. A reception at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage will follow the ceremony.

The bride-to-be is the daughter of Tim and Jody Metcalf. She graduated from Chugiak High in 2003 and went on to earn a degree in journalism and public communication from the University of Alaska-Anchorage. She works for Thompson & Co. Public Relations as an account coordinator. She enjoys yoga, hiking, running and good wine.

Taylor Larson, of Eagle River, will marry Kari Hockett, of Burlington, Wash., during a ceremony Aug. 10, 2013 in Anacortes, Wash.

The groom-to-be is the son of Chris and LaAnn Larson. He graduated from Chugiak High in 2003 and from Washington State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In 2008, he obtained his master’s degree in Accounting from WSU. He is currently employed as a CPA with Raich Ende & Co. PLLC in New York City.

Kate McCay, of Eagle River, and Joshua Scullen, of Lynchburg, Va., were engaged to be married Sept. 14, 2012.

The bride is the daughter of William and Connie McCay. She is a 2007 graduate of Chugiak High School, where she served as editor-in-chief of the school’s yearbook. She attended Liberty University, where she graduated in May 2012 with degrees in Graphic Design and Advertising. She is currently the Senior Graphic Designer at a marketing company in Lynchburg, Va.

Eagle River’s Ted and Leslie Dirkes celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on March 13, 2013. The couple met while stationed at Fort Ord, Calif. in 1977 and married the following year while living in Pacific Grove, Calif. The couple moved to Germany, where their first two sons were born, then spent four years in Denver, where their third son was born. Ted’s last duty station was in Washington, D.C. (where a fourth child was born) before he retired and the couple returned to Alaska — where Leslie had two more children. Leslie currently serves in the Alaska National Guard.

Chugiak’s Twyla Burger will marry Jonathan Koerber, of Kasilof, on July 25, 2013 in Libby, Montana.

The bride is the daughter of Rich and Gail Burger. The groom is the son of Mr. Koerber and Ms. Nicolet.

The wedding will be held at the Historic Hotel Libby, and the couple plans to return to Alaska and live in Wasilla.

Amber Van Ryn, of Eagle River and James Skokan Jr., of San Jose, Calif. were engaged to be married on Nov. 28, 2012.

The bride-to-be is the daughter of Cameron and Wendy Van Ryn and a 2010 graduate of Chugiak High School. She is an Administrative Assistant for the Alaska Army Recruiting Company and is studying Mathematics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She enjoys hiking, camping, playing with her pup and spending time with family.


Emily Geppert, of Chugiak, will marry Kevin Hammond, of Eagle River, on July 13, 2013 at Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows in Girdwood.

The bride is the daughter of Steven and Kerri Geppert of Chugiak and a 2011 graduate of Chugiak High. She currently studies architecture at Savannah College of Art and Design.

The groom is the son of R.C. Hammond and Joellen Kirk. He works for MV Transportation.

Amanda Finch, of Eagle River, married Chris Johnson, of Peters Creek, in a ceremony July 14 at the home of friends Mike and Mary Yorke on Florence Lake in Willow.

The bride is the daughter of Becky and Steve Finch of Eagle River. She is a 1999 graduate of Chugiak High who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from UAA in 2005. She currently teaches at Homestead Elementary.

Kayla Brady and Chuck Berry were engaged to be married on Sept. 1, 2012 at Matanuska Glacier. The couple plan to wed on May 4, 2013 in Niles, Mich.

The bride-to-be is the daughter of Michael and Theresa Brady of Edwardsburg, Mich. She attends college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., and plans to graduate in April 2013.

The groom-to-be is the son of Chuck Berry of Edwardsburg. He is an Airborne Ranger currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Chuck proposed while on a hike with friends.