Homer resident Martha Bernice Visger, 92, passed away June 28, 2013 at South Peninsula Hospital Long Term Care in Homer.
A memorial service will be held Aug. 18 at the Moles Family Funeral Home in Bellingham, Wash.
Martha was born in 1921 in Anchorage to a pioneer Alaska family. Her father was Evan Jones, the father of Alaska coal mining. A mining engineer, Jones established mines throughout Southcentral Alaska, including Homer, where he founded the Homer Coal Corporation in the 1940s. He died in Homer in 1950.
His daughter, Martha, grew up in Anchorage and at her father’s mines, graduating from Anchorage High School in 1938, and then from the University of Washington and Swedish Hospital School of Nursing as an R.N. in 1942.
She married Frank Visger in 1944 and raised four children with him in the Pacific Northwest. They returned to Anchorage to live in 1977, later retiring to Bellingham, Wash. Frank passed away in 2006.
Martha moved to Homer to be near her daughter in 2012. A gracious woman with a quick wit and ready smile, she was a devoted mother and wife and an excellent nurse. Her family said she loved camping, hiking, singing and a good game of cards.
Martha is survived by her daughter Margaret “Meg” Visger of Homer, and sons Frank Visger of Gillette, Wyo. and Jeffrey Visger of Springfield, Ore. Martha was preceded in death by her husband, Frank and a daughter, Sally. Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
Lewis John Byerly, 55, died July 4 in Homer, doing what he loved: working on a commercial fishing vessel.
Lewis was born Oct. 15, 1957, to Donald Sr. and Betty (Pepera) Byerly, in Duluth, Minn. His family moved to Frederic in 1963, where Lewis attended Frederic schools and graduated in 1976. He was active in 4-H and other interests, and was an excellent gymnast and pole vaulter in high school. He graduated from UW-Superior, where he used his ability in athletics to coach gymnastics for the Special Olympics.
Throughout college, Lewis worked in Homer as a commercial fisherman, returning many times over the years to visit old friends and to fish. Lewis lived in the Indian Creek area, where his children Andrew and Emily Byerly grew to adulthood. He volunteered at many community events and was a member of the Lorian Fire Department.
Lewis was a good son, father, brother and friend, and he touched the lives of many with his smile, tender heart and generous spirit. According to his family, “He will be greatly missed by his children, family and friends. We all have a Lewis story or two to share and remember.”
He was preceded in death by grandparents, George and Evelyn Pepera and Frank and Mable Byerly; parents Donald Sr. and and Betty Byerly Webster; elder brother, Don Jr.; and nephew, David Slater.
Left to mourn are his children, Andrew and Emily; stepchildren Randy Ritchey and Sandi Ritchey; brothers, Francis (Vicki) Byerly and Blaine (Lori) Byerly; sisters Susan (Bryce) Thomson and Beth (Warren) Wood; sister-in-law Christine Byerly; nephews Daniel Byerly, Joe Byerly and Fran Byerly; nieces Sarah (Mike) Funk, Angela (Chris) Amundson and Paige Byerly; lifelong hunting partners Bruce Dudley and Ryan (Terri) Forstrom; and the Homer fishing community.
A memorial will be held at the Seafarer’s Memorial on the Spit on Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. A potluck will follow.
Lewis’s family would like to thank everyone who has reached out to us in prayers, words or deeds in this time of sorrow. We are so grateful and humbled by your support.
“Miss me, but let me go
When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not for long.
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that once we shared.
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we must all take,
And each must go alone.
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know,
Laugh at all the things we used to do.
Miss me, but let me go.
Shirley Cres Henry, 84 passed away, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013 surrounded by family at her home in Anchorage.
Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8 at the South Anchorage Church of Christ, 7800 Stanley Drive. She will be laid to rest at the Hickerson Memorial Cemetery in Homer, Alaska.
Shirley was born June 3, 1928 in Sheridan, Wyo. She received her high school diploma from Flathead High School in Kalispell, Mont. in 1947.
In her early married years, Shirley drove a logging truck for her husband’s sawmill in Kila, Mont. She moved with her family to Anchorage 1970, and greatly enjoyed meeting and socializing with new people.
A faithful member of the Anchorage Church of Christ, Shirley befriended many young families, visited senior citizens at the Pioneer Home and taught Sunday school.
Her other hobbies included antique dealing and collecting, participating on local bowling leagues and garage sales. Shirley was a wonderful cook and homemaker who never failed to host family gatherings on birthdays and holidays, keeping her large family close and connected to each other.
Shirley was preceded in death by her mother, Ceil Jackson; stepfather, Leonard Jackson; and brothers, Donald and Walter Conner.
She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Vernon Henry; son Don Henry and his wife, Cathy of Homer, daughter, Janice Weaver and her husband Jack of Kalispell, Mont.; Rick Henry of Portage, Alaska and Terry Henry, Nancy Heckmann, Daniel and Jerry Henry all of Anchorage; She is survived by nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; and another great-grandchild expected in January of 2014.
Arrangements were made by the Anchorage Funeral Home. Please visit Shirley’s obituary and online guestbook at www.AlaskanFuneral.com
Homer resident Mark Harland Matthews, 61, died Sunday, July 28, 2013 in Homer.
Mark was born Nov. 19, 1951 to Harland and Alice (Smith) Matthews in Seattle, Wash. He grew up in Washington, where he graduated high school as well. Mark has lived in Alaska on and off throughout most of his adult life. He lived in Ketchikan, Anchorage, Anchor Point and, most recently, Homer. He was a carpenter by trade throughout Alaska and Washington. And loved seeing new places and meeting new people.
The family wrote, “Mark was a man with a tender heart for his family, friends and his dogs. He always tried to see the best in people and always tried to help people with mostly anything. Mark was great at making people laugh. He loved to go on adventures and could always think of something he’d like to do or somewhere to go visit. His family will miss him for all eternity.”
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel and Crematory.
Kemper Lane Sackman, 63, passed away in his sleep in Homer, Alaska on July 25, 2013.
A celebration of his life will be held from 3-7 P.M., Aug. 17th at the Down East Saloon in Homer, Alaska.
Kemper was born in Riverton, Wyoming on May 1, 1950 to the late Kemper Eugene and Lois Sackman. His mother was a teacher and thus, Kemper chose to commit his entire life to giving everyone else, “an education.” Kemper will always be remembered for living life to its fullest and never missing a chance to try something different. He leaves this world with a social footprint the size of the state of Alaska and a bucket list the size of a thimble.
Born and raised in Riverton, Wyoming, after high school, and some education in Laramie, he worked as a mountain climbing guide with Exum Mountain Guides out of Jackson, Wyoming in the early 1970’s. His skill of ice and big mountain climbing led him to a number of first ascents in the Wind River and Teton Mountain Ranges. His passion for ascending the vertical lead him to the derricks of oil rigs.
He worked as a driller on oil rigs in Wyoming, around the world in Libya, and for Pool Arctic Alaska on the North Slope. Oil may have brought him to Alaska, but the fish and game kept him here. In 1987 he founded a company called Alaska/Wyoming Outdoor Adventures where he sought to share the best fishing, hunting and climbing opportunities that both states provided. From Chitna, Alaska he offered whitewater rafting trips and jet boat charters for dipnetters. For five years in the early 1990’s he ran a halibut charter fishing boat, the “Dutch Treat,” for Alaska Ocean Charters in Homer.
For the last twelve years he owned and operated KS Mechanical, a plumbing contracting business based in Homer, that often worked on projects in remote Alaskan villages. For himself and the men he worked with he always managed “to make ends meet,” figuratively speaking.
Kemper loved mountain climbing, bow hunting elk and moose, fishing and spending time with his son’s family at their cabin in Soldotna. He will be remembered too as one of the world’s best storytellers based on his many exciting adventures.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Kerry Sackman and his granddaughter Sabella Lane Serrano. Survivors include the children he chose, Shane and Synette Serrano in Alaska, and Phaedra Serrano in California, three sisters, Gail and Deena Sackman of Washington and Jana Eaton of Arizona; his neice and nephew, Tory Kretsch and Erin Martin. His grandkids Kemper Wayne and Sawyer Clark Serrano will miss his skill at pulling them on waterskis. He will be mourned and missed by the many who considered him family, and those he ever offered his handshake and friendship to.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be mailed, in the name of his grandkids, Kemper and Saywer Serrano, to P.O. Box 3086, Homer, AK 99603.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
Longtime Alaskan resident, Mr. Harry John Buccilli, 71, passed away, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. from ALS Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m., Friday, August 9, 2013 at Anchorage Funeral Home, 1800 Dare Ave. in Anchorage. The family invites friends to visit and share memories during the visitation from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Rick Burchell will officiate. Military honors will be performed by the JBER Honor Guard. A celebration of Harry’s life will immediately follow the services.
Harry was born February 19, 1942 to Ernie & Estelle Bottke in Highland Park, MI. He graduated high school in 1960 at the Dexter High School. Harry entered into the U.S. Marine Corps and served four years before joining the U.S. Army on March 22, 1965 working in the Criminal Investigation Department until he was honorably discharged. He became the first full time Chief of Police in Homer, Michigan before moving back to Alaska in 1969. He had a degree in police administration from the University of Alaska and had worked with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. He lived Anchorage where he was the owner of Driver’s Education School Inc. and Hightech Fingerprinting for over 35 years. He had also lived in Eagle River and most recently moved back to Homer, AK. Harry enjoyed going to the movies, fishing, hunting and never missing an episode of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.
“Captain Harry was a great father, husband and friend who will be deeply missed by everyone he knew. He was the most honest, generous, and kind person. No one will ever be able to tell a story quite like him. The ocean will soon be home to another lost fisherman,” wrote his family.
Harry was preceded in death by his parents and several aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, Sonia Buccilli of Homer, AK; daughters, Elizabeth (Buccilli) Richardson of Comfort, TX, Tandra Zitkus of Littleton, CO and Terika Kons of Redondo Beach, CA; three grandchildren, Ryan Richardson, Joey & Jordan Zitkus; granddaughter, Skyleigh Richardson; four great-grandchildren, Layton, Liam, Kaidyn and Landon Richardson; two brothers, Curtis and Ernie Bottke both of Sebewaing, MI; and close friend Mr. B.
Arrangements were cared for by the Anchorage Funeral Home & Crematory. Please visit Harry’s obituary and online guestbook at www.AlaskanFuneral.com
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