Longtime Soldotna resident Larry Derleth died Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at his home in Soldotna from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 65.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Pastor Alan Humphries will officiate. A private family gathering will follow after the services. His ashes will be buried in Spruce Grove Memorial Park in Kasilof at a later date.
Mr. Derleth was born Oct. 13, 1937, in Rochester, N.Y. He went to grammar and trade school in Rochester. In 1956, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a torpedo man's mate on the USS SkipJack out of Groton, Conn. He was honorably discharged in 1960.
In 1966, he moved to Alaska, living in Cordova. In 1968, he moved to Soldotna, where he worked as a self-employed contractor. He enjoyed Model A cars and making furniture.
"Larry loved his family. He was a man generous in spirit and called many people friend. He was a gifted craftsman and leaves many of his treasures with his children and grandchildren," his family said.
"More recently, many people will remember seeing Larry riding his electric scooter through Soldotna with his faithful dog always with a bright orange toy in her mouth. Many beautiful buildings around the peninsula still stand as reminders of this beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Larry also was often seen driving his Model A Fords around town and in parades.
"It is safe to assume we all looked upon him in a similar way. The love and cheer that rang in his voice while singing and rocking us to sleep as young children will never be forgotten. Our memories of him will always be cherished, and although the man so dearly loved is now unable to be with us, the memories will forever be there."
Mr. Derleth was preceded in death by his father, Elmer Derleth, and a brother, Chip Derleth.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 43 years, Hazel Derleth of Soldotna; sons, Scott and Eric Derleth of Soldotna, and Jim Derleth of Pennsylvania; daughter, Peggy Azzara of Soldotna; grandchildren, David and Audrey Derleth, both of Soldotna, Jessica, Emily, Thomas and Annie Azzara, all of Soldotna, and Giosi and Giusep Derleth, of Pennsylvania; brothers, Tom, Richard and John Derleth, all of Rochester, and Harry Derleth of Palos Verdes, Calif.; sister, Maryann Derleth of Orlando, Fla.; mother, Arlene Derleth of Rochester; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be sent to the American Lung Association of Alaska, 500 W. International Airport Road, Suite A, Anchorage, AK 99518.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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