Soldotna resident and longtime Alaskan Stanley G. Rydberg died Saturday, March 28, 2009, in Phoenix, Ariz., of cancer. He was 80.
"His beloved niece, former Alaskan, Mary Pleskun, brothers-in-law, John Cook and Blackie Scholes and sisters, Carol Cook and Betty Scholes were at his side," his family said.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held later this summer.
Mr. Rydberg was born Oct. 22, 1928, to Anna (Olson) and Gustave Rydberg on a farm in Rosholt, S.D. He was one of 12 children. The family spoke a mixture of Swedish, English and Norwegian at home. The family moved to Washington state in 1944 where he attended school in Ellensburg and Port Orchard. He joined the Army after high school. In 1948 he traveled the Alcan with his brother, Art, to Alaska. They found employment with the airlines together. Eventually Stan became a dispatcher working in Anchorage, Seattle, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Wake Island working for United, Northwest, Pacific Northern and Western airlines.
"Stan had fond memories of relatives and simple pleasures of farm life, his mother's good Norwegian cooking and holidays," his family said.
He lived for several years in Wasilla before moving back to Soldotna to live close to his sister and brother-in-law.
"Stan loved to visit relatives as far flung as Sweden, Norway, Minnesota, Washington and Phoenix. He was a history buff, sports and crossword addict and a confirmed bachelor. Stan was also a veteran and a member of the VFW and Masons," his family said. "He could talk about any subject with intelligence and dry wit. He regularly kept in touch with family and friends by e-mail. He will be remembered fondly by his nieces and nephews that he regarded as his children. The feeling was mutual, as they felt that he was their beloved 'gentleman uncle' that made them feel valued and loved. He was always ready to listen and put on a pot of coffee. We will miss him."
Mr. Ryberg was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Arthur Rydberg, Allen Rydberg and John Rydberg; and sisters, "Mickey" Hardin, Lillian Moser, Edna Kaup, Margaret Samuelson and Helen Cooksey.
He is survived by his sisters, Carol Cook of Soldotna, Betty Scholes of Maple Valley, Wash., and Aileen Pearce of Port Orchard, Wash.; 35 nieces and nephews; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
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