Longtime Soldotna resident and pioneer Neil E. Sagerser died Thursday, April 29, 2004, at Desert Banner hospital in Mesa, Ariz. He was 83.
Mr. Sagerser was born in Northwest Douglas County, Mo., Oct. 4, 1920. He married Lucille M. Clouse on Feb. 28, 1942, shortly before his induction into the 259th Combat Engineers Battalion during World War II. After an honorable discharge in 1946, Mr. Sagerser returned to Springfield, Mo., where he joined the Springfield Carpenters and Joiners Union.
In September 1947, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at Los Alamos, N.M. In the summer of 1951, he and Lucille, with two small children James and Stanley drove the Alaska Highway, which had just been opened for civilian travel. After daughter Linda was born in 1952, the family homesteaded 160 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in Soldotna.
Mr. Sagerser gained his private pilot license while in Alaska and enjoyed years of hunting and fishing. He retired in the early 1970s with 35 years of civil service. He and Lucille traveled back and forth from Alaska to Arizona until their deaths.
Mr. Sagerser is survived by his four children, Linda, James, Stanley and Marianne; brother, Glen; sister, Wanda; several grand- and great-grandchildren.
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