Earl W. WestphalGlenn N. ChapinRobert Osmar

Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2000

Earl W. Westphal

Longtime Sterling resident Earl William Westphal died Monday, Feb. 28, 2000, at Heritage Place in Soldotna from complications following a stroke. He was 84.

A gathering of friends will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Sterling Senior Center, Mile 82 Sterling Highway. His ashes will be scattered in Resurrection Bay in Seward.

Mr. Westphal was born Oct. 9, 1915, at Homewood, Ill., to Wilhelm and Ida (Holland) Westphal. After finishing high school in Homewood, he served for a short time in the U.S. Marine Corps, then worked from 1940 to 1950 in the personnel office of McDonnell Douglas in California.

In the early 1950s, Mr. Westphal was self-employed as a commercial fisher and worked for the Oregon Department of Labor. In September 1961, he moved to Juneau, where he began working for the Alaska Department of Labor. In 1962 he moved to Soldotna, where he continued working for the Labor Department, until 1963, when he started the peninsula's first office supply store, Westphal Stationers.

After a fire in 1969, he started The Ink Spot, a local print shop. In 1974, Mr. Westphal sold that business and moved to Anchorage, where he served as Alaska's first, and only, resident hired investigator, a state position later declared unconstitutional by the court.

He was transferred back to the Department of Labor, where he worked as an investigator for the Wage and Hour Division. He retired from the state in 1981.

Mr. Westphal was a member of the Church of Religious Science, the Sterling Senior Center, a charter member of the Kenai Elks Club, the Alaska Independent Blind, and Pioneers of Alaska. His community service included being a commissioner on independent living, serving on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors of the Sterling Senior Center. In 1973, he received the Man of the Year Award from the Soldotna chamber, and he received a legislative award from Sen. John Torgerson in 1998 for his community service.

His hobbies included Republican politics, fishing, gardening, family pets, radio talk shows, following the Iditarod, community services and art.

"Earl had a wonderful sense of humor and appreciated a good joke. He was a source of joy to his friends and family and bore his infirmities with a brave front," his family said. "His hearty laugh and appreciation will be missed by us all, as he was greatly loved, especially by his dog, 'Rowdy.' His passing has left a big blank spot in all our lives, as he enriched all he met. No one will ever fill his shoes."

Mr. Westphal was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Heinrich and Harold, his sister Violet, and his former wife Evelyn (Tinsley) Westphal.

He is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 38 years; daughters Carol Hamilton of Gardernville, Nev., Evelyn Meyer of Sparks, Nev., Pamela Mertz and Sheryl Coldwell, both of Seattle; sons William "Bill" Westphal of Sisters, Ore., and Richard Westphal of Soldotna; stepdaughters Patricia Wightman of Austin, Texas, Mary Wallis of Soldotna, Barbara King of Monmouth, Ore.; stepsons Ted Medley of Soldotna and David Medley of Salem, Ore.; sister Laverne Shaw of Grant's Pass, Ore.; 15 grandchildren, 12 stepgrandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, six stepgreat-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Sterling Senior Center, P.O. Box 154 Sterling, AK 99672.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapels.

Glenn N. Chapin

Soldotna resident Glenn N. Chapin died Tuesday, Feb. 29, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 43.

A memorial mass will be held at noon Friday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. Father Richard Tero will officiate. Further services will be held on Sunday at Christ The King in Richland, Wash.

Mr. Chapin was born Aug. 25, 1956, to Charles and Margaret (Sherwood) Chapin in Tucson, Ariz. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as a nuclear submarine medicine technician and medical field service technician. He also attended two years of college. He was a hotel manager at Nendell's Hotel and Embers in Oregon and also a manager at Fish Grotto. He moved to Soldotna in October 1999.

He was a member of the Catholic church.

He has received several military honors including the Soldier of the Year, Order of the Ditch, Bronze and Silver Stars, two Good Conduct Medals and many other commendations. He also received an Enlisted Submarine Qualification Breast Insignia.

His hobbies included reading, anything to do with the medical field and philosophy.

"He touched the hearts of everyone. Glenn, you will be with us always. We love you," his family said.

Mr. Chapin is survived by his mother and stepfather, Margaret and Ray Benson of Alaska; son, Nathan Chapin; brothers Matthew, Herb and Buck Chapin, all of Washington; brother, Fred Chapin; sisters, Juanita Weeg of Montana, LaTanya Colby, Krystal Shedd and Ilona Thomson, all of Alaska; Amelia Olson, Brenda Koeller and Carol Sollars, all of Washington; and 42 nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Glenn Chapin Family at P. O. Box 2173, Soldotna, AK 99669.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapels.

Robert Osmar

Longtime Clam Gulch resident Robert Bruce Osmar died Feb. 16, 2000, of a heart attack at his home. He was 55.

Following Mr. Osmar's request, no services will be held. Portions of his ashes will be taken to Maui, Hawaii, scattered in the Cook Inlet and buried in the family plot at Spruce Grove Memorial Park in Kasilof.

Mr. Osmar was born May 6, 1944, in Grand Rapids, Mich. He moved to Alaska in 1948. He served in the Alaska Air National Guard and was voted 1966's Airman of the Year. He attended college for two years in Philadelphia.

Mr. Osmar worked for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and as a commercial fisher. He was known for owning and operating several businesses locally, including The Video Place, CG Electronics, Twin Cities Used Cars and C & R Auto.

Mr. Osmar loved cats, horticulture and Ford Mustangs.

"Along with his parents, he helped the community of Clam Gulch. Robert (Bruce) was an entrepreneur and an extremely hardworking and intelligent businessman. He will be greatly missed," his family wrote.

Mr. Osmar is preceded in death by his wife, Linda; brother, David; and son, Christopher.

He is survived by his parents, Per and Fran Osmar of Clam Gulch; brothers, Dean of Clam Gulch, Frank and Nils, both of Seattle; sister, Kristin of Paonia, Colo.; daughter and son-in-law, Jodi and Tim Reed of Soldotna; granddaughters, Ashley Osmar and Leah Reed of Soldotna; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Peninsula Memorial Chapels made arrangements.

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