Clinton D. Thurmond


Posted: Wednesday, July 05, 2006


  Clinton D. Thurmond

Clinton D. Thurmond

Longtime Anchor Point resident Clinton D. Thurmond died Wednesday, June 21, 2006, at his home surrounded by family. He was 81.

He requested no formal services be held. His ashes will be buried at the family gravesite in Blackburn. A celebration of life will be planned for a later date.

Mr. Thurmond was born June 24, 1934, in Grayling to William and Josephine (Demoski) Thurmond. He was baptized Episcopal and lived at Blackburn throughout his childhood until employment took him other places in Alaska and eventually to Anchor Point, where he met and married Vanita Loosli on Oct. 2, 1953.

He served in World War II from October 1944 through August 1946. He was based at Fort Richardson and Adak. He also served in the Alaska Scouts as a sergeant caring for rescue dog teams.

During the 1940s and ’50s, Mr. Thurmond worked on the Steese, Richardson and Glenn highways and helped rebuild the Homer Spit after the 1964 earthquake.

The couple built, owned and operated Thurmond’s Auto from 1968 to 1979. After selling it, he and Vanita commercial fished on the Yukon River until 1997. He continued traveling to Blackburn every spring to subsistence fish. In his spare time he wrote his autobiography titled, “The Blackburn Story,” now in book form.

“Clint raced dogs, and in 1946 he took second place at the Fur Rendezvous racing an Army dog team. He also was a talented fiddle, guitar, mandolin and harmonica player and played for many community dances and the Athabascan Fiddle Festival. He was gifted as a craftsman, building snowshoes, dog sleds and various furniture items for family and friends,” his family said.

Mr. Thurmond was preceded in death by his father and mother; sons, Wayne, Wyatt and Bill; and brothers, Hugh, Billy, Ernest and Archie.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Vanita, of Anchor Point; daughters, Alice Yates of Anchorage, Susan Kyllonen and Elaine Griner, both of Anchor Point; many grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; brothers, Calvin, Robert and Franklin Thurmond; and several nieces and nephews from the Fairbanks and Galena areas.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

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