Former commissioner Holdsworth dies at 90

Posted: Wednesday, June 06, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Phil R. Holdsworth, former commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, died June 3 at the Anchorage Pioneers' home. He was 90 years old.

Holdsworth was born Aug. 21, 1910, in Grants Pass, Ore. He came to Alaska in 1913 when his father started a lode mine near Moose Pass.

In 1937, he married his wife, Peggie, in Fairbanks, and soon after they set off for the Philippines, where he worked as a mill superintendent.

When the Japanese invaded, he and his wife took to the jungle and conducted guerrilla activities against the Japanese. They were captured in 1942 and remained prisoners until 1945.

Holdsworth worked for mines in the Northwest until becoming commissioner of mines for Alaska in 1952. He became commissioner of natural resources at statehood, and had a part in the selection of Prudhoe Bay as state lands. He retired from the state in 1967.

Surviving are sons David of Tampa, Fla., and Bruce of Anchorage; daughter Phyllis of Beaverton, Ore.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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