Francis ‘Frank’ X. Wirth Jr.


Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2007


  Francis 'Frank' X. Wirth Jr.

Francis 'Frank' X. Wirth Jr.

Soldotna resident Francis ‘Frank’ X. Wirth Jr. died Friday, Jan. 12, 2007, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. He was 86.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19 at the Soldotna Church of God. Pastor Floyd Seekins will officiate. Honorary pallbearers include Sen. Ted Stevens, George Sullivan, Gilbert Rosenberg, Stan Huhndorf and Max Huhndorf.

Mr. Wirth was born July 10, 1920, in Indianapolis, Ind., to Francis X. and Eleanor Wirth. He was raised in Helena, Mont. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He served on the U.S.S. Detroit and received an honorable discharge.

His love for Alaska began in 1943. He served as deputy and U.S. marshal in many villages along the Yukon. He was chief of police in Galena and Sitka. He also served as investigator and chief of detectives for the Fairbanks City Police.

He served in the House of Representatives in the last Territorial Legislature in 1956. He moved to Anchorage in 1962 and started his own private detective agency, Confidential Services. Before moving to the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1970s, he worked on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line out of Point Lay. He retired in 1975.

Mr. Wirth was an avid outdoorsman who taught his daughters to hunt, fish, trap and dig clams. Music played an important role in his life as a songwriter, singer and guitarist and he was called the “Singing Marshall of the Yukon.” He was a self-taught handyman and built his own log home. He was a believer in Jesus Christ.

“We will miss his sense of humor, his love for the outdoors, and his many wonderful stories of his life and adventures in Alaska,” his children said.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth; his last wife, Sylvia; his parents and great-grandchild, baby Jack.

He is survived by his sisters, Ceil White of Vancouver, Wash., and Jackie Peterson of Sioux Falls, S.D.; daughters and sons-in-law, Rita Hemphill of Soldotna, Cecelia and Steven Richard of Kenai, Kristen Kirk of Anchorage and Kaylene and Robin Shook of La Pine, Ore.; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

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