Dale Hudson holds his phone showing a photo of him and his late wife, Suzanne, dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Dale is in the process of liquidating his wife’s store, Nana’s Attic, after her recent death in late February. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Dale Hudson holds his phone showing a photo of him and his late wife, Suzanne, dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Dale is in the process of liquidating his wife’s store, Nana’s Attic, after her recent death in late February. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Unique downtown Juneau antique store to close following owner’s death

Family expressed gratitude for community support of Nana’s Attic

The beloved and quirky downtown antique store Nana’s Attic is expected to close at the end of this month. The closure follows the death of Suzanne Hudson, the store’s namesake “Nana.”

Suzanne died unexpectedly from a heart attack while asleep at her Juneau home Feb. 21, said her husband of 54 years, Dale Hudson. She was 75.

For more than a decade her store located on Seward Street sold items ranging from antique wigs to vintage salt and pepper shakers to handmade ray guns, and is now in the process of being liquidated and closed down at the end of the month or after the majority of items are sold.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
The sun partially shines on the Nana’s Attic sign hanging outside the store on Seward Street.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
The sun partially shines on the Nana’s Attic sign hanging outside the store on Seward Street.

Dale said ever since the family shared the news of her death, dozens of people in Juneau have stopped by the store and sent messages expressing condolences and sharing their memories of her.

“I think she was just a joy for people who came in that needed a place different from the others around here — she was friends with everyone,” he said. “I think she would be amazed by the outpouring of love and messages of people sharing their condolences — she’d be amazed.”

Suzanne grew up in the Midwest around the Chicago area, Dale said, and throughout her life, she and he bounced around from place to place looking for different career opportunities after meeting in college. He recalled the week they met and how after only a few days of knowing each other they decided they wanted to marry one another. Less than a year later, Dale said, it was official.

“I thought she was intelligent, she was funny, she liked my jokes — and her looks were a bonus,” he said, laughing. “I always thought she was way out of my league.”

The pair, who share two daughters, moved to Alaska in 200,1 and in 2009 Suzanne opened Nana’s Attic on Seward Street after driving by one day and seeing it empty. She chose the name Nana’s Attic after the nickname that was given to her by her three grandchildren.

Dale said Suzanne always had a love for antique furniture and seemed to stop at every garage and estate sale she saw. He said most of the hundreds of items scattered across the many shelves and bins in the store were collected from both garage and estate sales in Juneau and the Lower 48.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Various antiques and collectables are on sale at Nana’s Attic after it was announced the store would be closing following the recent death of the owner, Suzanne Hudson.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Various antiques and collectables are on sale at Nana’s Attic after it was announced the store would be closing following the recent death of the owner, Suzanne Hudson.

Beyond the store, the two may also be known by residents as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, as they often would dress up as the characters during the holidays and at events like the annual Gallery Walk.

Now that the store’s time on Seward Street is coming to a close, Dale said he is sad to see it go, but is happy to know that Suzanne’s impact in Juneau reached further than just her owning the store, that she was loved by people because of the person she was.

“I guess I’ll miss her connection with other people, especially the ones I didn’t know about,” he said. “There have been people I’ve never met before coming in to tell me how much they loved this store and gave their condolences. I had no idea.”

Dale said per Suzanne’s request, the family isn’t planning a funeral or a celebration of life. Dale said he plans to continue creating and selling ray guns after the store closes, a hobby he started five years ago, which became a popular commodity at the store.

He said the past few weeks have been hard on the family, and it’s tough for him to go home to an empty house, but said he finds comfort in knowing how loved his wife was by the community.

“It saddens me, but I hope people realize how proud she was to be a part of Seward Street,” he said. “She was the nicest person, and she loved this store.”

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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