DeeDee Jonrowe lives in Willow, Alaska with her husband. She is the only musher who competed in both the Alpirod and Iditarod for 3 years straight (1992, 1993, and 1994). Her best place in the Iditarod was 2nd in 1993. She has consistently placed in the top ten for the past.
She grew up loving dogs, though she had no idea what a dog musher was. She was born December 20, 1953 in Frankfurt, Germany. Her father was in the army, and the army brought her family to Alaska when she was in high-school. Growing up she had many pets, dogs, a cat, a horse, and guinea pigs that she used to play with instead of dolls. She had a younger sister named Linda.
DeeDee went to college at UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks), and studied wildlife management. Her first introduction to dog sledding and the Iditarod was in 1978. Her college basketball team was visiting in Nome to compete in a tournament, while they were there she got to watch Rick Swenson win the Iditarod.
Seeing Rick win the Iditarod inspired her to get into mushing. She had her first race that same year. She begged a friend of hers, Walt Palmer, to let her drive five of his dogs in the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Women's World Championship. She didn't do well on this, her first race. But that was soon to change.
In 1977 she married Mike Jonrowe. Later she and Mike bought some dogs and DeeDee began mushing. By the fall of 1979 she had 25 dogs. She registered for her first Iditarod in 1980.
|"It's my goal to always do better. Only one spot in the standings would allow me to say I had done better - first place."|
In October of 1996, she was severely injured in an automobile accident near Fairbanks. Having spent weeks in the hospital, DeeDee was nonetheless ready to face the challenge of "The Last Great Race" again and finished 4th in 1997, in a very close race.
© Copyright 1997 Elizabeth Beckett and Sarah Teel
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