Longtime Soldotna resident Elton "Al" Giersdorf, 83, died May 31, 2010, at Heritage Place in Soldotna.
In honor of his wishes, a private family gathering and memorial will be held.
Mr. Giersdorf was born Oct. 5, 1926, in Washoe, Mont. On October 22, 1949, he married Dorothy Lisenbee in Reno, Nevada.
"They were married for 56 years and she was the love of his life," his family said.
Mr. Giersdorf was a Corporal in the U.S. Army, serving with the 8th Field Artillery Battalion. He was very proud of his service in World War II. While stationed in Japan and the Phillipines,
He learned to speak Japanese, ran the Red Cross Station and managed the Cantina. He received the following honors for his service: Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal and Army Occupation Medal.
In 1961 he moved to Anchorage leaving Oregon where he had worked in the sawmills. In Anchorage he was the produce manager for Lou's Market. In 1963 the family homesteaded in Soldotna. During his time in Soldotna he worked at B & B Bi-Low grocery, Sport Lake Generator Plant and K & L Distributors. He also drove a school bus for Burton Carver and managed the Sky Bowl Bowling Alley where Sal's is now located. He was a hard worker and instilled honesty and dedication in all he did.
"Al loved hunting, clam digging, hooligan fishing and '49 Chevy pickups. As a '49-er (49-year resident), he was proud to be an Alaskan. His family will remember him as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was kind, gentle and had a great sense of humor. He loved animals and remembered all of the dogs and cats he had over the years," his family said.
"Al enjoyed sharing stories of his life from ranching in Montana with his horse "Big Red" to his adventures in Alaska and his time in Japan. Be at peace Dad, breathe deep and ride the wind on "Big Red. He is survived by his pets, dog Pepper and cat Slick. He will be missed by all who knew him."
Mr. Giersdorf was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; parents; seven brothers; and two sisters.
Mr. Giersdorf is survived by his son, Daniel Giersdorf of Soldotna; daughters and sons-in-law, Darlene and Dean Glick of Soldotna and Deanna and Larry Wissing of Anchorage, and daughter Deb Eisele of Sterling; grandchildren, Danna Hoellering, Misty Merriman, Coleen Bartolini, Jeremiah Eisele, Chyanne Borgen, Shawna Borgen, Cole Young, Deana Glick and Clayton Glick; and 11 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations be made in Elton's name to the Nurse and CNA staff at Heritage Place 232 Rockwell Ave, Soldotna, AK. 99669.
Condolences for the family may be mailed to Darlene Glick P.O. Box 3598, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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