Longtime Nikiski resident Darris Allen "Al" Cress Sr. died Sunday, May 13, 2001, at his home.
He was 66.
In accordance to his wishes, he was cremated. Memorial services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Aurora Heights Assembly of God Church in Nikiski. Pastor Rufus Tallent will officiate. Burial of the ashes will be in Central City, Iowa. Mr. Cress will rest with his father in the Center Point Cemetery.
Mr. Cress was born June 20, 1935, in Center Point, Iowa, to Ruth and Orville Cress. He was educated there and worked on the railroad as a young man. He moved to Alaska from California in 1973 and lived in Nikiski until his death.
Mr. Cress enjoyed a varied career including used car sales, heavy equipment operation and industrial construction. He worked for API as a roustabout on the platform in Cook Inlet, Wade's as a sandblaster and heavy equipment operator and Rappe Construction as a heavy equipment operator and mechanic. He was also Rappe's grader operator for the borough road maintenance program for many years.
"His family will miss him. Roxie will miss the phone calls with the 'news of Nikiski.' Donnie will miss the fatherly hugs and advice. Tony will miss 'papa' and playing and riding with him on the equipment. Robbie will miss the 'man who talked with Santa,' and we will all miss the little funny quirks he had. He gave advice freely gained from personal experience. He was always helping someone even when they did not ask for it," his family wrote.
"He dearly loved his grandson Tony. He loved country music, and, in his early years, he entertained his friends with his singing. He sounded like the late Hank Williams and sang a lot of the Hank Williams songs when he lived in California. We will all miss the little man with the long gray beard driving his old blue van up and down the North Road. He is now driving a golden highway and singing his songs with a heavenly choir."
Mr. Cress was preceded in death by his father, Orville Cress; son, Clayton Cress; and stepson Victor Hogge.
He is survived by his former wife and friend, Roxie Little, of Sterling; son, Darris Allen Cress Jr., of Nikiski; daughters Georgianna, Ruthie and Darlene; stepson, Joe Hogge, of Nikiski; stepdaughters April Weinrick of Palmer, Cheryl McGahan of California, Kathryn Dent of Colorado and Bridgette Storeck of California; grandsons Tony and Kody Cress; his mother, Ruth Cress of Center Point, Iowa; sisters Dorothy Meekins of Pennsylvania and Valeta Schnell of Iowa; and numerous step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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