Soldotna resident Jonathan David Wackler died Thursday, May 10, 2001, at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 44.
Memorial services will be held 7 p.m. Saturday at the Orca Lodge in Soldotna. Mr. Wackler's ashes will be scattered in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Mr. Wackler was born Sept. 1, 1956, in Champaign, Ill. He went to elementary school in Thomasboro, Ill. He then went to high school in Rantoul, Ill., and Fort Collins, Colo.
Mr. Wackler moved to Fairbanks in 1977. While in Fairbanks, he worked as a pipefitter for Local No. 375. In 1978, he joined Tulsa Local No. 798 and was still a member.
In 1985, he moved to Soldotna. He continued to work for Tulsa Local No. 798, and in 1989 he also began working as a Kenai River fishing guide.
Mr. Wackler was a lifelong member of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. He came to Alaska for the love of the outdoors. He was also an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers. He had a deep love for music, particularly Motown and funk.
His family said, "Jon, known by many as Big John, will be remembered for his zest for life and his insistence on living it on his own terms. He was generous in thought and deed, and had a deep abiding relationship with his God. As he wished, his organs and tissue were donated so others may live longer and better. Jon will be missed by all. He was a devoted son, loyal brother and uncle, and a special friend to many."
Mr. Wackler is survived by his father, Rev. M. E. Wackler, and his mother, Geraldine Wackler, both of Missoula, Mont.; brothers Dan of Eugene, Ore., Joe of Soldotna, and Tom and Tim, both of Missoula; a sister, Jane Curtis of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and 15 nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christian Children's Fund, c/o Orca Lodge, P.O. Box 4653, Soldotna, Alaska 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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